Earlier this month I followed my boyfriend/dolphin researcher colleague Eric to the Brazilian state of Bahia, where we stayed with his friend/whale researcher colleague Marcos.
Marcos and Eric met me early in the morning at the airport in Salvador. I changed into comfortable clothes in the car, and we went straight to the beach, where we hopped into a 20-foot-boat and went looking for whales.
We dropped hydrophones into the water:
And we heard this:
The funny thing is how easy it was to find them. Humpback whales are everywhere. There are even humpbacks near New York City. You just need a boat to go find them. We’re barely aware of them, but they have a hard time sharing the ocean with us: humans make a huge amount of destructive noise, like boat engine sound. In fact, I just learned that in the days following 9/11/2001, right whales off of Nova Scotia had less stress hormones in their blood—probably because of reduced shipping traffic.
More photos coming up!