This past week has been an exciting one as the field season begins to draw to a close for me (Megan) and Kata. We've been able to survey some different sets of islands lately and it has been nothing but exciting. The other day we traveled to the Contreras, a wild set of islands located near Coiba. Kristin had told us early in the day that we might see some different species than what we were used to seeing, and we were not disappointed! On the ride out to the islands we encountered three different pods of Spotted dolphins and quickly saw out first Humpback of the day once we were within the Contreras. After capturing a shot of flukes, this whale surprised us by doing a full breach and several lunges directly in front of the boat! The biggest surprise of the day, however, came when we spotted 2 whales that were definitely not Humpbacks.
Although we still cannot be 100% sure (there are several species of whales that look very similar), we believe these whales were Bryde's whales based on behavior and some physical characteristics. After surveying for most of the morning, we took a break by snorkeling around one of the islands. A moray eel, crown of thorns starfish, and a sea turtle were just some of the amazing creatures we saw while exploring the reef.