Avoiding Crisis

tale of a whale…

with one comment

or two or four or more.

Following our very successful day of coastal whale watching and and hanging out with a few hundred elephant seals, we were very excited to be going on a boat tour and get up close and personal with some whales.

Now, I feel that I must warn you, the following pictures do not include any magnificent shots of a whale breaching. We did catch one whale breaching in the distance, and, let me tell you, it is an absolute amazing site, however we did not have the camera ready to capture the moment. Sorry to disappoint.

During the hour that we were out at sea we were fortunate to see at least a dozen whales. We observed a mother feeding her baby, a female playing hard to get by floating on her back, a sign to her male suitor that she wasn’t quite ready for him, and two whales swimming back and forth under our boat.

The kids were really excited about going on a boat. They were particularly fond of their bright Orange life jackets – they couldn’t wait to put them on and we had a hard time convincing Owen to give his back when we finished.

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We boarded the boat

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and got underway.

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We spotted our first whale within seconds of our departure. And then, like stars in the night sky that seem to multiply the longer you stare into the darkness, the whales came into view.

Now, all we had to do was wait, be patient, and observe.

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As we slowly made our way closer to the whales, our guide, who also happens to be studying the mating habits of this particular whale population, filled us in on some interesting facts.

Right Whales, are Baleen whales, categorized as such because they have baleen plates instead of teeth. This type of whale has two blow-holes – like two nostrils.

blowholes

When the whale comes to the surface, because of the position of its blow-holes, it creates a V shaped spray when it exhales.

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In addition, the most distinctive feature of a Southern Right Whale is its raised patches of skin called callosities that appear on the head, snout and lips. The callosities are like fingerprints in that each whale has a unique pattern. This allows the animals to be individually identified, tracked and studied.

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Eventually we would settle into a nice cozy spot in the bay. And sit back and observe the whale in its natural environment.

swimming under the water

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and on the surface

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lying on their backs (we know this because the white patch of skin that is visible in this photo only appears on the underbelly of the whale)

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and waving

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And then, after an hour and a bit, just about the time the kids found the bag of emergency candy I had stashed in my pocket, we said a fond farewell to our fellow mammals and headed back to shore.

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the end.

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Written by nicolemarie

October 7, 2007 at 5:26 pm

One Response

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  1. The beauty and serenity of nature…. What a great experience especially for the children! Thank you for sharing your lovely vacation experiences.

    -SD

    SD

    October 7, 2007 at 10:24 pm


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