1987 First meeting with Talon 6/20/87 #2

We watched the activities of this little whale for a least 15 minutes and still there was no sign of a second animal. We were pretty convinced by its size and wobbly movements that is was a calf and it was worrisome that it was on its own so early in its first year. Calves are born in January or February and leave the warm Caribbean water to migrate north with their mothers in March and April. Some go to the eastern North Atlantic but most will arrive in the western North Atlantic by May or June. This calf was, at most, 6 months old... just a "toddler" with lots to learn still before it was weaned (some stay with their moms for a year, sometimes two years)!

1987 6-20 Talon
Originally uploaded by yeimaya.

Suddenly a large whale popped up and blew right beside the boat, welcomed by shrieks from the startled passengers. "I'm here!" A man with polarized sunglasses said later he had noticed a dark shape underneath the calf through most of the those 15 minutes when we thought it was alone. It seemed the mother was giving her youngster plenty of opportunity to explore and learn, with as little interruption as possible but she was standing by to make sure it was safe. As a former nursery school teacher I had great respect for what I interpreted as her parenting technique: "learning by doing".