Western grey whale research update: a rare sunny day with the whales

A breaching western grey whale.This post was filed from the field by the International Fund for Animal Welfare Western Grey Whale Research team collectively. - MV

We have left you after the description of the bright meeting with a bear.

Since then, all the past time was pretty much spent monotonously.

At a dawn, in the beginning of the seventh hour, Max (the field chief of our expedition) and Oksana (photographer) went to check the weather.

Taking into an account the roughness on the sea, visibility and also the speed and direction of the wind, they discuss, if it is possible to have a survey.

After that they return back to our base, arguing with each other; was it a bad weather or a terrible weather…

Every day these actions were continuing every few hours until six pm – last time we could have a survey.

Repeat it for ten times a day and you understand the real meaning of the word “monotonously”…

You can imagine our excitement and happiness, we had, when Max has come once with words “To the sea!”.

It was almost midday.

So much rare sun was shining.

At that day we were working with eight whales: firstly with one young whale and a couple of mother and a whale kid, who were jumping out from the water, showing their heads, being disturbed.

We should say when almost thirty ton animal jumps out from the water and then falls, there are REALLY much splashes.

We have filmed everything happening and taken nice pictures.

At the same day one more long-awaited event has happened: we finally have left the sealed bottle with a letter to the ocean.

It was written by Aleksey few days ago.

It is really great to send a letter in a bottle.

It’s almost the same like to receive it. 

The team working on the water.Next day the weather was gloomy again, which made our survey impossible.

We didn’t deploy and were right not to.

In a day the weather was nice again and we could work.

This survey we specially remember, because of a big number of whales we saw a little bit to the south from the entrance to the gulf Piltun.

Observing from the lighthouse we have noticed sixteen whales, shooting cannonades of splashes up to the sky.

The work in the sea was continuing until the drizzle hasn’t become a real rain.

The rain and high roughness on the sea made us to return to the base.

It was an incredibly productive survey, considering the quantity of the material.

While these lines are being written, it is still being processed.

With working mood,

--Piltuns expedition by researching of grey whales.  

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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation