Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale


Bryde's whale

Bryde's whale or the Bryde's whale complex (/bruːdə/brew-də) putatively comprises two species of rorqual and maybe three. The "complex" means the number and classification remains unclear because of a lack of definitive information and research. The common Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera brydei, Olsen, 1913) is a larger form that occurs worldwide in warm temperate and tropical waters, and the Sittang or Eden's whale (B. edeni, Anderson, 1879) is a smaller form that may be restricted to the Indo-Pacific.

Bryde's Whale

Also, a smaller, coastal form of B. brydei is found off southern Africa, and perhaps another form in the Indo-Pacific differs in skull morphology, tentatively referred to as the Indo-Pacific Bryde's whale. The recently described Omura's whale (B. omurai, Wada et al. 2003), was formerly considered a "pygmy" form of Bryde's, but is now recognized as a distinct species.

B. brydei gets its specific and common name from Johan Bryde, Norwegian consul to South Africa who helped establish the first modern whaling station in the country, while B. edeni gets its specific and common name from Sir Ashley Eden, former High Commissioner of Burma (Myanmar). Sittang whale refers to the type locality of the species. In Thailand, locals distinguished Sittang whales different from B.edeni, and it is unclear whether Sittang whales were applied for later classified Omura's whales by locals.

Bryde's Whale

Members of the Bryde's whale complex are moderately sized rorquals, falling behind sei whales, but being larger than Omura's whale and the relatively small minke whales. The largest measured by Olsen (1913) was a 14.95 m female caught off Durban in November 1912, while the longest of each sex measured by Best (1977) at the Donkergat whaling station in Saldanha Bay, South Africa, were a 15.51 m female caught in October 1962 and a 14.56 m male caught in April 1963; both were the offshore form.

At physical maturity, the coastal form off South Africa averages 13.1 m for males and 13.7 m for females, while the South Africa offshore form averages 13.7 and 14.4 m. The coastal form near Japan is slightly smaller, with adult males averaging 12.9 m and adult females 13.3 m.

At sexual maturity, males average 11.9 m and females 12 m near Japan. Sexual maturity is reached at 8–11 years for both sexes in the offshore form off South Africa. At birth, they are 3.95–4.15 m. The body mass of Bryde's whales can range 12–25 metric tons.

Bryde's Whale
Bryde's whale range


Bryde's whale is a baleen whale, more specifically a rorqual belonging to the same group as blue whales and humpback whales. It has twin blowholes with a low splashguard to the front. Like other rorquals, it has no teeth, but has two rows of baleen plates.

Bryde's whales closely resemble their close relative the sei whale. They are remarkably elongated (even more so than fin whales), with the greatest height of the body being one-seventh their total length – compared to 1/6.5 to 1/6.75 in fin whales and only 1/5.5 in sei whales. Bryde's are dark smoky grey dorsally and usually white ventrally, whereas sei whales are often a galvanized blue-grey dorsally and have a variably sized white patch on the throat, a posteriorly oriented white anchor-shaped marking between the pectoral fins, and are blue-grey beyond the anus – although Bryde's off South Africa can have a similar irregular white patch on the throat.

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Bryde's have a straight rostrum with three longitudinal ridges that extend from the blowholes, where the auxiliary ridges begin as depressions, to the tip of the rostrum. The sei whale, like other rorquals, has a single median ridge, as well as a slightly arched rostrum, which is accentuated at the tip. Bryde's usually have dark grey lower jaws, whereas sei whales are lighter grey. Bryde's have 250–370 pairs of short, slate grey baleen plates with long, coarse, lighter grey or white bristles that are 40 cm long by 20 cm wide, while sei whales have longer, black or dark grey baleen plates with short, curling, wool-like bristles.

The 40 to 70 ventral pleats extend to or past the umbilicus, occupying about 58% and 57% of the total length, respectively; sei whales, though, have ventral pleats that extend only halfway between the pectoral fins and umbilicus, occupying only 45-47% of the total body length, whereas their umbilicus is usually 52% of the total body length. Both species are often covered with white or pink oval scars caused by bites from cookie-cutter sharks.

Bryde's whales have an upright, falcate dorsal fin that is up to 46.25 cm in height, averages 34.4 cm, and is usually between 30 and 37.5 cm. It is often frayed or ragged along its rear margin and located about two-thirds of the way along the back. The broad, centrally notched tail flukes rarely break the surface. The flippers are small and slender.

Their blow is columnar or bushy, about 3.0–4.0 m high. Sometimes, they blow or exhale while under water. Bryde's whales display seemingly erratic behaviour compared to other baleens, because they surface at irregular intervals and can change directions for unknown reasons.

They usually appear individually or in pairs, and occasionally in loose aggregations up to 20 animals around feeding areas. They are more active on water surface than sei whales, and this tendency becomes even stronger in coastal form.

They regularly dive for about 5–15 minutes (maximum of 20 minutes) after four to seven blows. Bryde's whales are capable of reaching depths down to 300 m. When submerging, these whales do not display their flukes. Bryde's whales commonly swim at 1.6–6.4 km/h, but can reach 19–24 km/h. They sometimes generate short (0.4 seconds) powerful, low frequency vocalizations that resemble a human moan.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Blue divider

Thursday 21st of September 2017 and I was tired when my alarm went off. But the whales won't wait so out of bed it was. I called the taxi driver and he was already waiting on the parking lot. We left at 7 and we decided to stop to buy some MAX But we would do it after we had left Bangkok behind as we wanted to dodge the traffic.

The called several times from the whale watching boat to ask where we were. The high water is obviously around 8 and we're aiming to be there at 8 thirty. So the bigger boat had to go out to drop the anchor and I would take a smaller boat to the bigger boat.

We didn't arrived to Laem Pak Bia until almost 10 o'clock and there was a guy on a motorcycle waiting along the road. I recognised the place, the very same place I took the boat from when doing birding out on the small sand islets looking for the Spoonbill. Click HERE to find out more about that adventure.

The man on the motorcycle (turned out to be the Captain on the small boat) showed us the way and I was soon on the small boat and it took us about 15 minutes to reach the bigger boat. And the bird life was excellent on the mudflats and in the mangrove.

All the Egrets (Little, Intermediate and Great) present. Cormorants, Common, Collared and the Blue-capped Kingfisher. Shore birds on the mud flats, but I have a hard time identifying the shorebirds. But Plovers and Shanks, a lot of them.

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
We reach the boat

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
We reach the boat

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Now I have to get down to the boat

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Lucky that I'm an ex Commando and climbing is no problem

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Captain prepare for departure

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Lucky as I have lost weight, or climbing this flimsy...

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Leaving the jetty

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Leaving the jetty

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Finally bound for Gulf of Thailand

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
How many CATS can you see on the picture?

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
The “CAT” boat

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
We get to see some of the local wildlife

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Great Egret

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
Great Egret is taking off

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour

Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour
We can see the other whaling boat waiting for me at the light house

I have my 28 - 300 mm lens today, but as I'm used to the 70-200 mm I took a whole lot of photos with my phone, and they turned out to be exactly as good as expected. Then I realised that I had a 28 mm lens on my camera and I started to use my Canon. We reached the other boat, bigger. Well, not so much bigger, but there was a wooden bench. I had to sit on a plastic box during the transfer.

We reached the boat and I climbed over with my bag of water and Pepsi MAX that we had bought on the way here. We heaved up the anchor and we were soon on the way towards Gulf Of Thailand and Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st hopefully the Bryde's whales.

Two hours, and suddenly, I saw a huge pink Bryde's whale head sticking up from the water. Now you could really see how big the whale is. A few splash and the whale was gone. I never saw any head sticking up again. But we had maybe 7 Bryde's whales in the area. We ended up with a group of three whales swimming around us. We could see the whales under the water and suddenly we had one coming up just next to us.

Almost as I could touch the whale. I have had some thought about how to use my lens. 300, no, 200mm will be good. This whale, even though I used my lens at 28 mm I could just get the head to fit in the frame. So it was a good day on Gulf of Thailand.

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale
The whale comes up just next to the boat

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale
The whale comes up just next to the boat

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale
The whale comes up just next to the boat

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale
The whale comes up just next to the boat

Whale watching in Thailand - Bryde's Whale
And the Bryde's whale are gone again

It was a beautiful, but hot day. Excellent whale watching but we had to leave because we needed to be back with the high water so they could get their boat in to port. Well, I cannot blame anyone. And I had to pay 500 Baht extra for the transfer from shore to the boat. But next time we will leave from Bangkok at 5 o'clock and I hope we will be there for departure at 7.

Yes, I never got any pictures of the Bryde's whales with their heads up. So I decided to go on Sunday again. Well, I wanted to go on Saturday but they didn't had time on Saturday. And I will bring some food on Sunday as I was getting very hungry and tired. No sleep and no breakfast.

We searched for more whales but nothing. But we had seen 7 or 8 of them so it had been a good day. They stopped at a fishing boat on the way back to Laem Pak Bia to get some fish. The fishermen threw over a bag of fish and we were on the way again.

Fishing boat on Gulf of Thailand
Fishing boat on Gulf of Thailand

Fishing boat on Gulf of Thailand
Approaching the fishing boat

Fishing boat on Gulf of Thailand
We get the fish

Fishing boat on Gulf of Thailand

Fishing boat on Gulf of Thailand
We leave the fishing boat again

Lam Pak Bia
Collecting something

Lam Pak Bia
Collecting something

Lam Pak Bia
Collecting something

Lam Pak Bia
Back at the fishing harbour in Laem Pak Bia

Lam Pak Bia
Back ashore in Laem Pak Bia

I stepped ashore and I went to look for the taxi. No sign of the taxi and I called the driver. He was having a rest at the temple up the road and he was here to pick me up a few minutes later. We drove the SCENIC ROUTE back to Bangkok and all in all it had been a very nice day.

Next whale watching will be on Sunday, leaving Bangkok at 5 o'clock in the morning. This is of course promise to be exciting. Click HERE to find out if I'm lucky with the whale sightings.

I will soon be on Tonga to swim with the Humpback whales


Blue divider

                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? NJET PROBLEMA! Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.



                  

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