Marije and I drove to Biscay Bay on the Southern Shore Highway today, spurred on by news of a washed-up whale. The initial report I read was about a dead Humpback Whale, but soon I heard it might be a Sperm Whale instead, so Marije and I were even more excited having never seen a Sperm Whale before.
After a long and beautiful drive we arrived in Biscay Bay, where Marije immediately spotted the Sperm Whale glistening in the sun. It was in the water but close to shore, just a short walk down the beach:
Marije and the Sperm Whale – Biscay Bay
Sperm Whale tail fin – Biscay Bay
Smelly whale tongue – Biscay Bay
The smell was pretty bad when we got closer, but thanks to the wind we were able to choose a spot on the beach where the odour was minimal. The whale was still in great shape, only its tongue was bloated and there were some skin marks, perhaps from rolling around on the rocks. When we arrived the whale was half submerged, but with the tide going out we decided to wait and see what else would be revealed.
As Marije unpacked her lunch next to the dead whale, a Mink swam by, climbed on top of the whale and enjoyed his lunch too:
Mink has a Sperm Whale for lunch – Biscay Bay
In case you’re wondering, that’s the right side pectoral fin he’s munching on.
After a while, blisters started appearing under the whales’ skin, they grew quickly under the influence of the warm spring sun:
Blisters form and quickly grow – Biscay Bay
Waiting for the tide to recede paid off when we got a great look at the jaw of the whale:
Sperm Whale teeth – Biscay Bay
This next shot shows the whale head on, so you’re looking into its mouth:
Dead Sperm Whale – Biscay Bay
After a while, pieces of whale started floating towards the shoreline, and ended up on the seaweed:
Whale meat – Biscay Bay
Before we left we spoke to two locals who knew more about the situation; this whale had been swimming in the bay earlier this week, very close to the river mouth. Three days ago it washed up in this location, and the tide has been playing with it since then.
If you want to have a look for yourself, this is where we found it today:
Sperm Whale location in Biscay Bay, Newfoundland
It may be gone with the tide again soon, so don’t wait too long!