Posted on 07/18/2007

Photo taken on October  9, 2004

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1986 FISSURE 16: 1st ENCOUNTER 8/31 3 of 5

1986 FISSURE 16: 1st ENCOUNTER  8/31 3 of 5
Next he glided along the full length of the boat, insuring we all got a good look. He was so close we could hear the water gliding off his back with a whisssh. When he exhaled it was explosive; when he inhaled it sounded like someone whistling in a big hollow tube... wonderful sounds, hard to represent accurately with words but I can still hear them in my head.

In this picture his blowhole was clamped firmly shut; he had just inhaled. You can see the fleshy ridge that forms a V around his nostrils and works as a splash guard. Whales nostrils (and those of most marine mammals) are closed when relaxed and must be pulled open to breathe.

He lay parallel to us for a bit (perhaps scoping us out with one eye), then slowly turned to face us. We were amazed to see him move such a huge body with just gentle gesture of tail and flipper! He was just a younster, a "mere" 35-40 feet long, when full grown he would be 50+ feet!

A more detailed account of my encounters with Fissure are in Fissure's blog OR
The Story of the First encounter with Fissure starts here.

The Story of the Second encounter with Fissure starts here.