An Acoustics Update

Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus)

Sperm whales were heard by our acoustic team, and their sounds were recorded by scientist on board the Henry B. Bigelow.

Day 13.

After two days surveying in water too shallow to deploy the array, the acoustic team was happy to put the array out again this morning as we began to traverse a line off the slope of the continental shelf.  Seas were rough this morning – windy with a 2m swell – but with a little extra weight on our array, it was towing cooperatively about 13m deep, so the extra noise from wind and waves didn’t bother us.  So far today we’ve heard a few different groups of dolphins and pilot whales, but the highlight has been passing in and out of sperm whale city, where the clicks of so many animals start to blend together like the constant clacking of fingers on computer keyboards. We passed very close to a few animals and were able to pick them out loud and clear over the rest, tracking their slow and rapid click trains as we approached and passed them by, sometimes only a few hundred meters away.  We pulled out a short audio clip and converted it to MP3- put headphones on and take a listen! And imagine you are on the boat with us, hearing these animals as we pass them by.

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