Sperm Whale in Oban Harbour
On Saturday March 30th, someone phoned us to say that they thought there might be a whale in Oban Harbour. As we had planned a short trip anyway, we headed down to the harbour to see what was going on and almost immediately saw a large whale. At first we thought it was a hump-back whale, and were able to get some pretty good images of its back, tail fluke (picture) and pectoral fin. When we looked at these and subsequently saw it 'blowing', we realised that it was probably a sperm whale.
It's extremely unusual to see any whale this close to Oban, let alone a sperm whale, which was a 'first for us, and a very exciting experience. We have a strict 'no approach' policy, and tempting though it may have been, we kept our distance and watched the creature for about three hours.
We're currently updating British Divers Marine Life Rescue (www.bdmlr.org) and the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) with the whale's movements. Members of the public are being really helpful and posting sightings to our FaceBook page (ChaliceCharters). It is possible that the whale may be ill, or it could simply have wandered 'off course' and be a little confused by its new surroundings.
Sperm whales are the largest predator on the planet, with males reaching lengths of 18 metres. They are found globally, although it is thought that only males frequent sub-polar regions. They famously dive to incredible depths to hunt a variety prey, including the giant squid. The whale in Oban s approx 12m long.