Madagascar diary, day 14. August 10, 2010

 

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Today we need to get up early to be in time for a 7:45 pre-briefing for our whale spotting tour. As a precaution, we get a tablet against motion sickness with breakfast. Together with 9 other tourists we fill in questionnaires and the leaders from Cetamada give us a speed training whale anatomy. Then we dress up in raincoats and life vests and into the boat that brings us to the whale tour boat a little further in the harbor. The weather today is very wet, the camera is packed safely in a sealed bag. We leave in south-westerly direction but quickly after bend off northward at full speed. There we encounter a mother whale with baby.

Solitary male humpback whaleGroup of 7 whales

During the rest of the trip we encounter a few solitary males, and a large group of seven whales traveling towards the south together. Each of the whales we find is carefully noted and tracked for a while with a special GPS unit. We also listen to a hydrophone at some point to hear the song of the males. During the four hours on the water it is almost continuously raining, and the camera must be put away all the time in its safe pocket. Sometimes the rain stops to make place for a downpour. When we come back, we are completely soaked to the bone. Anne and Maxim take a shower immediately while I follow the debriefing.

After lunch we try to make a tour on bicycle. After a few km we are soaked again and return to the hotel, where we spend a quiet afternoon instead. Anne and Maxim decide not to go on a second whale spotting trip tomorrow: four hours is too long for them in the rain.

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