Humpback expedition under way again

16th Apr 2003 The research yacht "Anna M" finally left Sal Rei harbour yesterday (Tuesday), in it's search for humpback whales, after being pinned down for two days by a huge Atlantic swell. The swell originated from a hurricane in the Azores 1500km to the northwest of the Cape Verde Islands and reached 4-5m as they rolled into the small harbour of Sal Rei on Boavista.

Such were the waves that nobody could even row the 100m from the "Anna M" to the nearest pier and the expedition team had to ride out the storm like a cork on the ocean.

The search for humpback whales continues. The strong winds and big swell has made locating whales difficult. "We have been using the hydrophone to locate singing whales" explained expedition leader Dr Simon Berrow, "and then we hove to, waiting for them to surface to breath".

Although there are still many singing male whales, they are difficult to approach and spending very little time on the surface making photography and filming very difficult".

The expedition has been joined by IWDG Committee member Kevin McCormick (Mac) who is joining the team for the remaining two weeks of the fieldwork in the Cape Verdes. The team are hoping Mac will bring a change in the weather, following the lovely spring back in Ireland.

Simon Berrow