Monday, March 17, 2008

Whales and a Dolphin

March 14, New Providence Channel
Crossing from Eleuthera to Abaco, we transited the very deep, and on this day, calm water of New Providence Channel. Off in the distance, Keith spotted something jumping on the surface of the water. He said, “There’s a big group of dolphins over there…. No, they’re way too big. They’re whales!”

We altered course to get a better view of eight or ten pilot whales gracefully arching their dorsal fins out of the water. One came right alongside our boat to check out the bigger fish in the sea. She surfaced a few times, then the entire pod dove deep and disappeared. What a thrill!

We read up afterward and learned that pilot whales can grow to eighteen feet long and weigh over 5000 pounds, males significantly larger than females. They live in matrilineal pods consisting of up to three generations of related females and their offspring. Pilot whales can be seen in Abaco year round, but are more common during the spring and summer.

As for dolphin, Keith caught and landed a big, beautiful mahimahi out on the blue water. The twenty-something pound fish will provide the two of us at least eight meals. It's a good thing dolphin are so tasty!

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