8/31/86 Fissure03 (page #3)

Fissure03 8/31/86
Originally uploaded by yeimaya.
He dove down but we could still see the white of his flippers glowing way beneath the surface. Then we saw him turn so that he was vertical, standing upright, as he rose slowly back to the surface and "spyhopped" very obviously looking us over.

A whales eyes are placed in such a way that they can only see binocularly by looking down, so it is thought that whales spyhop to see objects clearly above the water.

You are looking at his bottom jaw, with barnacles strewn in amongst the rorquals or pleats on his throat. These pleats expand to hold the water while the whale sieves the mouthful of plankton out through its baleen. The green shapes under the water are his huge (15') white flippers.

We were looking as intently at him as he was at us. It was a very quiet, magical moment.