Saturday, August 20, 2011

Faroes: Ones That Got Away

At least these ones didn't make it to the cooking pot!
Early last Wednesday morning (17th), Brigitte Bardot – en route back to the Faroe Islands from the Shetland Islands – came upon a large pod of pilot whales. The whales surrounded the vessel, coming so close that the crew could reach out and touch them. Meanwhile Steve Irwin, positioned near the southern Faroes island of Suduroy, headed towards the same area to join Brigitte Bardot, arriving just in time to see this remarkable sight.
Their helicopter pilot estimated there were some 500 pilot whales from numerous pods in a large area around the two Sea Shepherd ships. Dolphins and endangered fin whales were seen breaching and spy-hopping as well. Several crewmembers jumped into the sea to film the cetaceans underwater, many of them coming within inches of the divers and their cameras. A fin whale, often referred to as "the greyhound of the oceans", was speed-checked at 22 knots as dolphins surfed in front of it.
Pete the Pilot Whale meets
Brigitte The Boat...
SS also retrieved a large floating ghost net from the water, to ensure it would not cause further harm to marine wildlife.
The ships stayed between the whales and the FI and monitored the movement of the whales, ready to intervene with acoustic devices if necessary to divert them away from the killing bays of the Faroes...

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