Saturday, May 26, 2007

Surrounded by Blackfish!

Blackfish! This is the name given to a small group of cetaceans that are actually more closely related to dolphins than to whales, but due to their larger size they are often given the misnomer of whales. The killer whale, actually the world's largest dolphin, belongs to this group.

Today we encounter one of the larger blackfish; the short-finned pilot whale. There were literally hundreds of these animals spread out as far as the eye could discern near Isla Ildefonso.

This animal waved goodbye with a wave of a tail and a fluke-up dive!

Off Isla San Esteban we encounter a pod of about thirty different blackfish called false-killer whales, or Pseudorca. All ages were represented, from old bulls to newborn calves. We travel along the coast with this group, part of the pod for just a little while.

Traveling at speed these animals are actually lunging out of the water as they travel.

Here are the three adults surfacing side-by-side in relatively shallow water off the east coast of Isla San Esteban.