I can’t remember the first time I saw a Sperm Whale. What I know for sure, is that every Easter since I was a baby, I have been sailing with my father in the Strait of Gibraltar to welcome them. When I was little, I thought that Whales also had holidays, just like me. Then I grew up, and understood they start coming in Easter in search of giant Squids.
Daddy has many friends, they are biologists; they call the Sperm Whale “semi-resident specie”. This means that Whales stay in the Strait during several months. Then they leave. No one knows when. I guess they need a change in the menu…
Most of them are very large solitary males; my father and I used to play at guessing who would discern first their spout. It is really fun. The thing is to gaze at the horizon, not focusing on anything in particular. Then it appears. It shows up as a spray, rising up to 3 meters out of water when the Sperm Whale exhales. Unmistakable. As soon as we locate their spout, we have no more than 10 minutes to arrive on the spot. After that, it is too late; the whale dives down. They can remain up to 1000 meters deep for about an hour to eat.
Daddy perfectly knows the Whales; we can always photograph them, for he knows how to place the boat in the best spot without disturbing them. Most people enjoy photographing their large and beautiful tails. Besides, it is an important clue for biologists; every tail is unique. They study it and are able to identify the whales.
A moment before she dives, there is a deep silence in the boat. We can only hear the “ffffff” when the Sperm Whale inhales. We hold our breath… The magic moment comes, when the whale bends its spine (Dad and I know exactly when) and we think “Now!” Then, the sounds suddenly change. We hear a big “Oooooohh”, from the mesmerized spectators and, of course, the cameras’ clicks.
Dad and I have witnessed this moment many times. Nevertheless, I always feel the same emotion.
Marina Morales- 11 años-