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High seas diary: Part eight - the Risso's dolphin

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Gordon Buchanan Gordon Buchanan | 10:17 UK time, Thursday, 15 October 2009

Shouldn't blog just before bedtime, but a quick update won't hurt. We're still to better our very first encounter with the killer whales. Today was frustrating. We spent most of the time waiting out on deck for the nets to be brought in. We could have come inside but it's such a palaver pulling on and off all the safety gear. Besides it's nice out, and you never know what you might see. As it turned out, we didn't see anything!


Maybe I had said something to upset the killer whales

The whales gave us a fairly wide berth. A few cruised by without even stopping to say hello. Pity, after a rainy and windy start the weather turned out not too bad. Not bad is a relative term in these parts, but it was decent enough for filming whales at close quarters. There were lots of other trawlers working in this area, so I guess the orca had had their fill of mackerel and that's why they didn't come. Unless I said something to upset them.

We had a little more success an hour ago out on deck. We were hauling in the nets and a group of killer whales showed up. Previously, they didn't venture into the pool of light from the boat but tonight they did, and I was able to get some nice views and shots of them.

Interestingly there was a Risso's dolphin swimming in with the pod of killer whales. I don't know if that has been documented before. Must find out. Killer whales in other seas will hunt Risso's dolphins so it's doubly weird that there was one hanging out with these guys.


A Risso's dolphin (copyright Marijke de Boer/WDCS)

Now I'm off to bed, just in case we shoot the nets at some ungodly hour. I need my beauty sleep. Just looked in the mirror, and boy, do I need my beauty sleep!

Springwatch badgers, Autumnwatch killer whales. Have I been marked as the man who films black and white things? Whatever next... mint humbugs?

Catch up with you later and in the meantime read the rest of my high seas diaries.


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