I just finished the 17 day research trip with Charles Anderson on the MV Keana. It was another great trip with 14 cetacean species seen and a fabulous way to get over the Covid hump. We got some excellent looks at all of them.
The day we had a pod of Cuvier’s I got a clean look at a whale with a white head and a medium length, dark grey beak with white at the base, exactly like a Tropical Bottlenose Whale/Longman’s Beaked Whale. After some debate with myself I counted it even though no one else saw it, these are too rare to just write it off. So unofficially 15 species.
No Blue Whales, or any baleen whales for that matter. The ocean north of the Maldives was unusually clear, i.e. no phytoplankton or the rest of the marine food chain. Maybe something to do with the changeover of the seasonal winds which happens around this time.
Chas will likely do the same trip again in three years and is considering a beaked whale oriented trip some time, getting on his mailing list is a good way to keep track.