National Geographic : 1995 Nov
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC OnAssignment SPERM WHALES On the Lookout for Baby Moby "It was like finding Moby Dick," says FLIP NICKLIN, a freelance photographer who specializes in marine mammals, here scanning for sperm whales with a feath ered friend 300 miles off Costa Rica. Spotting a white sperm whale is very rare-the holy grail of whale-watching. On the last morning of his fieldwork in the Azores, Flip heard that an adult white was in the vicinity. "I dived," he says, "and there was a baby white sperm whale, looking right at me from behind an adult. Photographing it [pages 56-7] was a high point of my career." Flip spent much of his own childhood underwater; his par ents owned a San Diego dive shop, where Flip taught scuba diving. In 1977 he landed a job as diving assistant to pho tographer Jonathan Blair for a GEOGRAPHIC story on the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and began learning about photography in the remote location. He learned well; two of his photographs appeared in the May 1978 article, and Flip was hooked. KIT ROGERS,WHALECONSERVATIONINSTITUTE ( SQUIRRELS Working in Her Own Backyard "You don't have to leave home to find adventure," insists writer DIANE ACKERMAN, who didn't have to leave her home in upstate New York to find a story, either. Three years ago she began observing squirrels in her own yard, putting out corn and nuts for the inquisitive creatures she thinks of as "neighbors." This is Diane's second article for the GEO GRAPHIC. The first, on Hawaiian monk seals, pro vided the inspiration for her new children's book, Monk Seal Hideaway (Crown, 1995). MARIA STENZEL NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (ISSN0027-9358) ISPUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHENATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY,1145 17THST.N.W.,WASHINGTON,D.C.20036-4688. $25.00 A YEAR,$3.00 ACOPY. SECOND-CLASS POSTAGEPAIDATWASHINGTON, D. C.,ANDELSEWHERE. POSTMASTER: SENDADDRESSCHANGESTONATIONALGEOGRAPHIC, P.O .BOX2174, WASHINGTON,D.C.20013.