Abaco Island:

Where Leslie Took All the Sperm Whale Pictures

In June 2005, I spent 2 wonderful weeks on Abaco Island, Bahamas participating in an Earthwatch program participating in a survey of the Marine Mammals in the area. Abaco Island is an ideal location for this research because not too far off shore, the ocean bottom drops steeply to >1000m deep. This allows research to be done on deep water species like the Sperm Whale relatively close to shore. After the trip I got hooked on Sperm Whales and marine mammals in general, thus my choice of this topic. Throughout the website are pictures that I took of Sperm Whales from this trip.

Here are some other pictures I took of highlights of the trip:

This photograph is of a Dense Beaked Whale that surfaced right next to the boat. Actually, they came up from underneath the boat. I was the first to spot them and as soon as I saw them I exclaimed, "Dude they're under the boat." Not the most scientific statement, but it worked.

This is another photograph of a Dense Beaked Whale. The white cirlces on its side are from a Cookie Cutter Shark biting it.

 

This was the view from the porch of the research center, which was also the house we stayed in. The boat, in the picture, was the research vessel that we took out each day. Also in the picture is a fellow Davidson College classmate, Kara Koehrn.

A view of the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from the porch of the research center.

This is a photograph of a Bottle Nosed Dolphin. If you look at its dorsal fin you will notice that it has a distinctive shape because a chunk of it is missing. The researchers use distinguishing features such as this to identify individual dolphins.

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