A zodiac is the best way to see whales.
We were racing at high speed along the east coast of Newfoundland in a zodiac filled with a dozen people in search of a sperm whale. It was a relatively calm sea but 50 mph makes for a noisy, bumpy, wet, and exhilarating ride.
We'd seen "literally" tons of humpbacks and fin whales over the past few days and gotten lots of tail shots as they propelled themselves into deep dives, but sperm whales were not as common and it was exciting to hear that there was one somewhere in the area. It seemed like our chances were pretty slim, though. It could be anywhere and not just longitude/latitude wise but depth wise. And it could stay down for an hour so we could pass right over it and be none the wiser. Even if it was on the surface, blowing, it was a challenge to spot the spout up against the seemingly ever present fog.
We stopped for a humpback and were about to turn back because of heavy fog ahead when the spotter called it out - “sperm whale three o’clock!”
800 meters out, full speed ahead, the skipper calling out bearing and distance at every blow, ocean spray crashing over us, trying to get there before the dive, the bus shaped/sized head coming into view, it’s back arching downward in the telltale shape of the deep dive just as we arrived, the huge tail lifting up trailing a long, wide curtain of water until it was totally vertical, seeming to pause and then slipping into the waves … then gone.
What a great ride.
sperm whalenewfoundlanddivewhalesatlantic ocean