By Sara Golaski
An estimated 15 ton whale, later identified as a sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) was reported to the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP) on July 19th by local windsurfers. It had beached itself along the speed strip next to the Walvis Bay Lagoon and rested in shallow water. Before anything could be done by the Walvis Bay Strandings Network, a group of quick thinking kiteboarders and windsurfers had already managed to urged back into deeper waters, where it was lost into the choppy seas. They reported the valuable details to the NDP but were unable to identify the species as whales in this family can be difficult to tell apart. The whale was not found again that day, but was discovered the next morning by marine tour operators who reported that it was swimming in extremely shallow water near the salt works pump station, an area of frequent whale strandings.
A big thank you to Sara Golaski, John Paterson, Sue Roux and Margot Jefferson for getting out to the animal to assess it and collect data. Also to Willi Deetleefs for passing on the info to us on Saturday morning and most of all to Des and Miguel, for reporting the stranding to us in the first place.