At the surface

When at sea in Antarctic waters, this is about as good a photo of a whale I can hope for. It's good enough to identify the subject, but beyond that, there's not much going on. This first picture is of two killer whales, or Orcas. You can tell from the pattern of black and white that Not Only are there killer whales, but they are "type A". There are 3 types of killer whales in the world (A, B, C) and "A" includes Shamu and most of what we hear about in the US. I'll keep looking for a good picture of a "type B" which occur frequently around the Antarctic Peninsula, and "type C" around the Ross Sea. The killer whales are breathtaking, and one of few species of whale I feel confident identifying from a distance. Their dorsal fins are much taller than most things their size, and are the defining feature most of the time. Of course those white eye patches and markings help too if you get closer.

The most common whale around the Antarctic Peninsula, particularly this time of year, is the Humpback Whale. The humpbacks are always fun, and fairly easy to follow and spot. They are probably the only whale I ever have a chance of getting reasonable pictures of, and even then, I've never gotten a picture of their fascinating faces. I like this picture, though, because you can see the white of the belly through the water.

For the photographic record, I think these were taken with the SLR. I tend to lose track though, as I use both it and the point-and-shoot regularly. Of course, I've missed many fantastic shots during my travels, but am always glad simply to have experienced these incredible animals.


RobMonroe said...

Both are good - second one is really cool with the belly!

Lida said...

great photos