In the Agulhas

A juvenile Cape Gannet streaks in among a group of Spinner Dolphins – Photo by Carl Safina

March 27, 2015 – The Agulhas current flows down the east coast of Africa from the north. It’s described as “narrow, swift, and strong” on our briefing material aboard National Geographic Orion. As it reaches the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas (Cape of Good Hope is not actually the continent’s southern tip), it recirculates. […]

Cruelty, Not Culture, in Japan’s Dolphin Hunt

Previously posted on: CNN CNN blog in Spanish: CNN Spanish Huffington Post: HUFFPOST I just read, ” A Veterinary and Behavioral Analysis of Dolphin Killing Methods Currently Used in the “Drive Hunt” in Taiji, Japan,” in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. And as we’ll see, the “new” method creates such terror that it […]

Listening to Sperm Whale Sonar

Sperm Whale
Photograph by Carl Safina

Amazing. A few years ago in the Gulf of California, we found ourselves surrounded by a pod of female sperm whales sleeping peacefully like massive logs in a calm sea. One, followed closely by a seemingly protective companion, had a baby so new that it still trailed an umbilical cord as it swam with tail […]

GYRE Expedition – Day 5- Bearing Witness; Witnessing Bears. Act 1 (Wednesday, June 12)

bear mom and cubs

Originally posted on National Geographic 6/14/2013: In the “morning” of the never-ending daylight, as the sun has swung round to the east and climbs the sky once more, we awaken in our windowless cabins. We’ve spent the short night at anchor in Hallo Bay. We head shoreward, trying to beat a dropping tide. We […]

GYRE Expedition, Day 4 – Landing in Hallo Bay (Tuesday, June 11)

Landing Craft in Hallo Bay

Originally posted on National Geographic 6/11/2013: We spent several morning hours steaming west across Shelikof Strait to Hallo Bay in Katmai National Park, and landed the skiff on a rocky ledge at one end of a long bite of black beach backed spectacularly by the snow-peaked Alaska Range and Hallo Glacier. The highest peaks, […]

GYRE Expedition, Day 3- Late Afternoon (Monday, June 10)

Odile Madden and Carl Safina

Originally posted on  National Geographic 6/11/2013:  Odile Madden has brought two amazing pieces of equipment from the Smithsonian. One looks like a microscope stand without the microscope. The other looks like a little hand-held vacuum cleaner. Both fit on a desktop, and they’re incredible. The first shoots laser beams and the second generates x-rays. What […]