Bryde’s whale, Giant Manta and Mako shark!

May 7, 2012

After a few days hearing that some whales are nearby,  yesterday we decided to try some luck and went with Cristo, Iñaki  and Bea, Anita, Candela and Marina towards Tacorón to see if we get to see the whales. Just exiting the harbour entrance and turning west, you could see the tremendous blows on the horizon. There were so many, that before we even realised, we had 3 whales around our boat (see video),  hundreds of fluttering shearwaters and seagulls and far looking into direction Orchilla Lighthouse every few seconds you could see  huge blows. Although the specimens we saw would have 9 or 10 meters long, these Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera brydei), may reach 16 meters and weigh 20 tons.

In addition the area is full of bait such as sardines, bream and mackerel which are the preferred food for this whale  and also for the hundreds of beautiful and large yellowfin tuna scurrying balls of bait near the surface. It was a tremendous festival and that was not all…

After being more than satisfied to see these tremendous fish jumping and swimming just a few meters off the boat, decided to return, just by the time when we saw a fin at the surface near the stern of the boat. Immediately we think of a Hammerhead Shark and rushed to jump into the water when we found that it was a 2.5 mt Manta Diablo (Mobula tarapacana) that  not intimidated by our precense, kept on flying around the boat for a couple of minutes (see video). Just after it sank and losing it from sight, Anita sees a fin at the surface near the bow of the boat and  to play a prank on her cousin Bea that was still in the water, says it is the fin of a shark! Bea immediately does a somersault in the stern of the boat when Cristo advises us that a shark was right underneath us! We all saw it  but Bea, someof us  from the boat (very clear) and some from the water. Unfortunately, the shark went so fast that we couldn’t get it  photographed, but we believe it was a shortfin mako. It also had about 2.5 meters and only crossed once, apart from being seen on the surface…simply AMAZING.  Just like a National Geographic! Too bad in the Reserve is not allowed to do drift dives, otherwise i would be there now, in the middle of the blue watching the show…See ya in the blue.  Carlos


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