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Dolphin/Whale Watch Information
In the Caribbean you can see dolphins and whales.
Of the earth's eighty-one or so species of cetaceans (WHALES AND DOLPHINS), we in this area of the Caribbean can observe at least ten of the thirty-three species of oceanic dolphins.There are twelve whales, eight odontocetes, and four mysticetes of the whale family with-in St Vincent's coastal waters.
All dolphins are odontocetes. The most frequently seen dolphins with in four miles of the lee coast of St Vincent include the Atlantic spinner dolphin, the Pan-tropical spotted dolphin and the Clymene dolphin
Other dolphins that can be seen but usually further from the coast include Fraser’s dolphins, Bottle nose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins, Rough-toothed dolphins and Russo’s dolphins. Common dolphins and Striped dolphins are not so regularly seen.
Each specie of dolphin has its unique sound, swimming formation and general behavioral pattern. After twenty or so years of observing and listening to these magnificent creatures, I can often ID the species from sound with the use of a hydrophone, we can listen for sounds made several miles away.
Like humans they have they own moods, sometimes they would interact with the boat, bow-riding, spy-hoping and doing acrobatic tricks, other times they prefer privacy and keep their distance, more often than not they interact.
Whales are divided into two groups, odontocetes (have teeth and eco-locate ) and mysticetes ( have baleen plates) and are mainly migratory (these are here from January to the end of April).
The odontocetes are here all year round and can best be observed during the calmer months, August to November. Species include the Sperm whale, the worlds largest odontocete, Short fin pilot whales, Dwarf –sperm whales, Pigmy–sperm whales, Mellon-headed whales, False killer whales and Killer whales.
Sperm whales are large in every way, they can get up to sixty-five feet long,eat approximately five hundred pounds of squid per day and can dive to approximately nine thousand feet, staying almost two hours under water. These whales are usually seen in small groups, usually under twenty individuals.
Pilot whales are the most frequently seen of the whale family, dives last approximately fifteen minutes and pods can number near one hundred.
Dwarf sperm and Pigmy sperm whales are fairly rare and shy although can be seen by a keen look out.
The most well known baleen whale is the Humpback. The humpbacks of this area migrate from the New England area off the USA and head to the Grenadine bank, (from Bequia to Grenada) to give birth to their young and pass the winter. They do not eat while in our area. Other mysticetes (baleen whales), not as frequently seen, include the Fin, Brydes and Sei whales.
With my hydrophone, we have a 95% success rate of finding you cetaceans, for more information and a tour to see these great, gentle creatures in they natural habitat.
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