Another tiny break from cephalopods... it's just been too long since I posted something from the big blue. And, with a name like Blue Water Images, I needed to rectify that! ;-) .
So, I went searching for a good shot to post and I just couldn't resist posting one of a blue whale. This is the first blue whale I had ever seen and we were incredibly fortunate to see more on the same trip. All sightings were from above water and at a short distance (100-300 yards) but we were able to identify them by their size, their dorsal fin, and the shape of their split blow hole. I remember the excitement resonating across the entire boat when they were first spotted... Many of us went for cameras and didn't even care about fully gearing up; just get out there and see them before they dive! We were in the arctic; it was cold but, it just didn't matter! And, the lighting was wonderful too with just a tiny bit of orange from the twilight of midnight sun!
The most interesting part is that we saw this guy "out of range" of their normal habitat. I believe there have been other sightings at the edge of the pack ice but in reviewing their details online (IUCN + Wikipedia) and trying to log our specific GPS coordinates on iNaturalist.com, I've found that our location was atypical. So, now I'm trying to get their "range" extended on iNaturalist (they often just wait the range extension is confirmed with multiple sightings). .
But, I'm so happy I started forcing myself to go back through photos, research the critters I've photographed, and log them on iNaturalist. It's incredible, even when I think I'm logging something that might be fairly straightforward, I've been delighted to learn something new and interesting. .
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus / North Atlantic)
Date Taken: August 6, 2016 at 8:45pm
Just outside of the pack ice to the northeast of Nordauslandet / Svalbard Archipelago .
iNaturalist observation: 5138029
#photooftheday #bluewhale #whales #cetaceans #marine #marinebiology #ocean #ourocean #oceanlove #photography #saveourseas #MarineConservation #travel #wanderlust #travelphotography #arctic #svalbard