Friday, September 18, 2009

The Cove - Voted Best Documentary

If you haven't seen this movie currently showing in the theatres, wait no further! It is definitely one of the best documentaries I've seen!

Read more about why that deceptive smile on the dolphin's face does not translate to "I'm happy to be performing tricks for you". Download this captivity brochure -

The website goes on to suggest that there are many ways in which one can make a difference :

The only captive dolphins I can think of in Singapore are the Pink Dolphins living in the Dolphin Lagoon in Sentosa.

This article was published by the Nature Society presumably before the Underwater World
established their pink dolphin attraction :

Interesting to note what the Underwater World Singapore has to say about their dolphins in captivity.

And how they defer to the better wisdom of the Alliance of Mammal Parks and Aquariums is replicated on their website.

Acres launched a "Suffering, Not Smiling" campaign back in 2003.

More related articles about mammals in captivity:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Snorkelling with Whales in the Kingdom of Tonga

Back from a week of snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga, followed by another week veging out with space cadet sis, Ping in New Zealand!

Have lots of videos and photos to process, but here's one which should fire up your imagination....

...below, me - the black creature on the left above the baby whale, holding onto my new Sony Handycam HDR-XR520 with Light and Motion Stingray Plus housing. To my right, a fellow Japanese whale snorkeler by the name of Jumpei (or Jump, for short). I think he's in his 60s, and still globetrotting with his video camera. He's been to the Galapagos three times!!!!

The rule goes that whoever spots a baby whale for the first time gets to name him/her. This baby was constantly hiding under her mommy at great depths so much so that it'd be eclipsed by the mummy every half a minute or so, until she peeks from under her mommy's fins, and picks up the courage to greet us when it's time for her to surface for a deep breath of air.

While we were watching her every move, the beams of light bouncing off the whales made me think, "MoonBeam"! When I broached that name, Tony thought it sounded too hippy-sounding, and Takaji gave me a half smile (not sure what that meant, since he was rooting for yet another Pokemon name that his son would have liked).

Eventually, she was named "Full Moon" since it was a full moon the night before.

"Arise fair moon and let the beams of the envious sun show your beauty in true light!"

I could live with that! :)

Big thanks goes to Tony Wu, Emi and Takaji Ochi (who captured the shot above) : the main drivers of this Vavau trip! It was one of the best trips I've ever been to.

For more photos taken by, and whale research undertaken by, Tony and his gang, go to his blog :

Likewise, even if you can't read Japanese, check out Takaji's blog :

Tony's got his 2010 itinerary out already so for those of you (like myself before this trip) who have not gone up close and personal with whales ever in your life, this is definitely a great place to start!

Why Tonga? Coz the people are super-friendly, the scenery is untainted and it's one of the rare few places in our planet where you are allowed to swim and snorkel with whales.

How else are we to learn about these wondrous fellow creatures? Surely not through a pair of binoculars!!

Still recovering from a bout of acute coughing and sorethroat, and will get down to workin' on me next video project about these humpback whales!!!