Sunday, August 30, 2009


Today was spent searching widely across our new operating area -- in search of suitable wind and sea conditions and, once we found those, in search of beaked whales. The day dawned rougher and windier than we expected from the forecasts, but we had a clear picture of where to find better seas. By mid-morning we worked into relatively calm winds and workable swell conditions and began running across some of the steep drops and seamounts on the bottom of this once-volcanic area. For the rest of the day we had relatively good viewing conditions and we worked at speeds where we could monitor as much area as possible using both our visual and acoustic teams. However, somewhat surprisingly to us, we didn't see a single beaked whale today and heard just one sperm whale on a sonobuoy. There were the occasional striped dolphins and a few sea turtles, but relative to where we were yesterday, this area was relatively devoid of marine mammals.

We have quite a lot of other promising looking areas to cover and the wind and wave forecasts for tomorrow are promising. We will try and work in an area where there have been some incidental sightings of beaked whales from ferries.