Whale-watching was holding one of the top slots on my Mauritian bucket-list.
You can see sperm-whales along the west coast all year. They are the biggest predators – meaning they have teeth, not baleen. They love squids and other cephalopods. They can dive very deep. I read once that a diving sperm whale damaged an underwater cable which was 1 kilometer deep. They were used as an archetype of Moby Dick. Male sperm-whales can reach 18 meters, females are up to 12m. There is a herd in our area, few females with their young. The males come to visit from time to time (you never know when). And of course they are an endagered species. Apart from sperm-whales you can spot humpback whales who travel from South Pole towards Madagascar to breed.
Our trip stared with rain and a warning that we may not see anything today. The boats which left earlier in the morning didn’t spot any whales and the weather was… well far from perfect. Despite that we went approximately 5 kilometers into the sea and the boat started to rock so much that my stomach quickly reminded me of where I belong. The crew set up their sonars in search for the big animal while I was fighting to keep the contents of my stomach inside (don’t sleep, focus on horizon). Szymon complained that the sea is bumpy and Tytus was sitting on the bow enjoying the breeze in his long blonde hair.
Just when I reached the stage of “allright, it was cool, now let’s go back home quickly” one of the crew yelled “a whale”. Everyone jumped up to search for it and even my stomach stood calm for a moment. The witness said they saw a whale-like shape under water but I was suspecting they were just bluffing. My eagle eye did not see anything and my stomach was knowing better what you can or cannot see. The boat kept rocking up and down, while everyone kept on searching for more or less visible whale shadows. All I could think of was “you wanted to see whales now suffer you stupid…”, exchanged with “f**k, I really wanted this? Just keep breathing, focus on the horizon…”
When finally I was sure I do not like whale watching and all I could think of was “I am going to puke in a moment, where is the bucket…” then, like in a biblical scene the sun came up. And the whales. One, then two, then three… seven, the whole herd with baby whales blowing fountains of air into the sky.
In such moments I am lost for words and in tears. Beauty in its pure form. Wojtek was super clever to put our GoPro under water, and we could see them in all their glory.