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An unexpected Journey – Our First Satellite Tag Results!

Posted September 3rd, 2014

Our first Argos satellite tag has returned some very interesting data! The tag was deployed on a sub-adult humpback whale off the north shore of Rarotonga on August 27, 2014. Between August 28 and August 29, the whale took an unexpected journey into the deeper waters north of Raro.

This journey lasted at least 16 hours, during which time the whale swam more than 80 kilometers! If we did not have the satellite track data, we would have assumed that the whale had spent these days in the coastal environment just outside the reef. What’s so interesting about this jaunt into the open ocean is that the whale somehow was able to return directly to Rarotonga along a remarkably straight path. Like the great polynesian navigators, this whale certainly knows how to find an island in a vast sea of blue!