**Young sperm whale in trouble. Kay Overell in red suit**
A few months after we photographed a Southern Right whale and her calf underwater off Sydney Heads, this young sperm whale became stranded on a northern Sydney beach. We raced up the coast in my small boat to get some pictures, and as it turned out, to try and get the whale back in deeper water.
Nothing worked. This was the early days of whales being seen near the east coast again, (after almost a century of hunting) and before \Greenpeace, Save the Whale\ and \Project Jonah\ $$ foundations.
Why do whales come ashore? A good question.
Many friends make a guess and turn the answer into a fact.
I’ve often considered that floating oil would not be much good for any cetaceans lungs.
There’s also various acoustic disturbances (natural and man-made) which might cause **vertigo** to a sensitive brain, as it may also do to us humans.
Or it may be bacterial?
Try this. In a grassy park, close your eyes and standing upright, turn or twist 20 times as fast as possible. Make yourself super giddy. Imagine a whale with this problem 24/7.
It would not know where it was.