January in Dominica and in Pursuit of Sperm Whales

Written by Amos Nachoum

As someone said before me – Mother Nature is amazing but fickle, tooooooo. The first week we were here was totally dry, with only one whale encounter in seven days.

Now we’re starting the second week – and it is only the second day – and every one of my four guests is in love with another Sperm whale – we are experiencing about a dozen encounters per day.

However, nothing is like seeing Scar in the water (see first image below) and Enigma, his pod member…(middle image). They both are about 10 meters (33 feet) long. Scar is easily recognized as he comes very close to the swimmers and requests to be petted. Enigma just hangs around and demands that we swim along with her. As long as we do, she’s happy, and she has stayed with the swimmers once for 20 minutes and another time for over 30 minutes.

Yes, we all have great expectations from Mother Nature – now we hope to see a socializing group of seven or more underwater looking into our cameras…

Keep your fins wet, and remember that I am planning to return with three more expeditions next year…


Here are some images.  There are more on my Facebook album.  Equipment? I use the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Canon 1Ds Mark III. Lenses used are all wide angle – from the latest lens,  8 – 15mm, and also 14mm, and 16 – 35mm. Underwater housing –  Seacam.

Jules Verne

Written by Amos Nachoum

Underwater explorers like me owe a lot to the novelist Jules Verne, who was born 183 years ago this week. Google honored him with one of their “doodles,” but in that doodle is a clue to Verne’s greatness – it’s an image that reminds you of the electric submarine, the Nautilus, from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

When Verne’s words were published in 1869, electric submarines didn’t exist – they were just something out of his imagination. As National Geographic wrote, Verne also predicted that news wouldn’t just come from newspapers, but would be “spoken to subscribers,” in the way that radio and television news happens today. He thought of that in a story that was published nearly thirty years before the first radio broadcast.

The Verne list of firsts goes on. In 1865, in From the Earth the Moon, he thought there could be such a thing as a solar-powered spacecraft, and of course he wrote about traveling to the moon long before the first astronaut got there. He even thought of skywriting, videoconferencing, the Taser, and landing a spaceship in the ocean for a “splashdown.”

The mention of water brings us back to the ocean, and the visionary thoughts of Verne make it possible for me to do what I do today – explore the hidden depths and the distant lands that I want to share with you. Verne didn’t have any engineering training at all, just a lot of imagination. That’s all you need to come along on an adventure with me. My polar bear expedition to the high arctic has an April 17 departure and there are just two spaces left. Will you join me?

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