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Old 07-11-2016, 10:48 AM   #1
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Whale Tale

Yesterday we were heading northwest along Finlayson Channel near the east shore of Swindle Island about midway between Swindle and Freeman points and there is this gawdawful thump and the boat shudders. WTF was that? Didn't feel or sound like a log at all. The engine sounded fine and no shudders or odd noises in the running gear. So we circle back and there are no logs anywhere around. Then out in the distance we see two distinct spouts of humpback whales. We had a near miss in the same area last year. We reported the incident to coast guard and a biologist from DFO phoned us later that night (we were in the Klemtu cell service area).

There were lots of humpbacks around last year in this northern part of the central coast, particularly in the aptly named Whale Channel and the approaches to Douglas Channel, Laredo Sound, etc. I sure hope the whale is ok. I'm pretty sure that it didn't strike the propeller, but I bet it hurt, that's for sure as it felt the full 40,000lbs of a KK42 travelling at a tidal assisted 8.5 kts. I wonder how many of incidents go unreported?

(Edit) I should add before anyone states the obvious, "you need to keep a better watch", well yes we do need to be better, but someone is always on the helm and these things can surface after having been down a long time.

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Old 07-11-2016, 12:21 PM   #2
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Man, I read the title and was hoping the thread was going in a different direction... Otherwise, hope the poor guy is okay.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:28 PM   #3
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Yes. We weren't pleased, and needless to say, the whale feels the same. Just leaving Clothes Bay and passing Klemtu. Will be out of cell/3G range for a week or more.


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Old 07-11-2016, 12:45 PM   #4
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... I wonder how many of incidents go unreported?
....
A few years ago, there was a study done of self reported collisions between whales and boats. Of the top of my head, it seemed like the study averaged 10 reported collisions a year and each year one boat would sink as a result. If one did not know about the study, there was no way to report the collision. I suspect the number of collisions is much higher that what was reported in the study.

In a sorta recent issue of Passage maker there was a passing reference to a boat hitting a whale.

Later,
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:21 PM   #5
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They can be sneaky alright, especially if you didn't see them before their 5 to 7 minute long deep feeding dive.

I'd say it was half the whales fault. You'd think they would keep a better watch as they come up for air. I was sea kayaking up Grenville Channel (milking back eddies against the steep rocky shore) when one appeared about 20 feet ahead, coming my way, fast

I had to hit the rudder hard, lean to one side, and do a high brace paddle stroke not to get hit. You'd think it would have had an eye out for driftwood 'cause it's gotta hurt to get your blowhole smacked!

Cetacea Lab on Gil Island has been documenting whales in the entrance to Douglas Channel area for years and the numbers keep building for all species. http://www.cetacealab.org/index.php

I asked a Haisla elder what the "normal" numbers for Humpbacks in this area would be, and he said he didn't know. Apparently that knowledge has been lost in the mists of time because of how long the commercial whaling hunt went on, combined with so many people dying of smallpox.
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:08 PM   #6
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New link for Cetacea Lab: https://outershores.ca/cetacea-lab/
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:46 PM   #7
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Man, I read the title and was hoping the thread was going in a different direction... Otherwise, hope the poor guy is okay.
Clynn, I have an '85 911, also black, no whale tail. Must have been clipped?
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:00 PM   #8
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Clynn, I have an '85 911, also black, no whale tail. Must have been clipped?
A whale tail? I always thought that was for grilling burgers at tailgate parties.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:10 PM   #9
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A whale tail? I always thought that was for grilling burgers at tailgate parties.
It's for changing diapers when you're babysitting the kid. Yes, I've seen it happen.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:44 PM   #10
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A few years ago, there was a study done of self reported collisions between whales and boats. ....
Dan
Who reported it, the skipper or the whale?
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:55 PM   #11
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Yesterday we were heading northwest along Finlayson Channel near the east shore of Swindle Island about midway between Swindle and Freeman points and there is this gawdawful thump and the boat shudders. WTF was that? Didn't feel or sound like a log at all. The engine sounded fine and no shudders or odd noises in the running gear. So we circle back and there are no logs anywhere around. Then out in the distance we see two distinct spouts of humpback whales. We had a near miss in the same area last year. We reported the incident to coast guard and a biologist from DFO phoned us later that night (we were in the Klemtu cell service area).

There were lots of humpbacks around last year in this northern part of the central coast, particularly in the aptly named Whale Channel and the approaches to Douglas Channel, Laredo Sound, etc. I sure hope the whale is ok. I'm pretty sure that it didn't strike the propeller, but I bet it hurt, that's for sure as it felt the full 40,000lbs of a KK42 travelling at a tidal assisted 8.5 kts. I wonder how many of incidents go unreported?

(Edit) I should add before anyone states the obvious, "you need to keep a better watch", well yes we do need to be better, but someone is always on the helm and these things can surface after having been down a long time.

Jim
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I plan to do some boating in the PNW between Washington and Alaska. It wasn't until recently, that I became aware of whale strikes being an issue. I always though that one or the other would spot the other and make the needed corrections to avoid a collision. I know there are signs that whales are under the surface. I am learning what to watch for. If one is coming straight up toward the boat from underneath, how do you know the whale is there? Is there some crazy reading from the depth sounder?


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Man, I read the title and was hoping the thread was going in a different direction... Otherwise, hope the poor guy is okay.

I see your Porsche and raise you a Beetle.


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Old 10-14-2019, 10:29 PM   #12
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I see your Porsche and raise you a Beetle.


The Mulholland Look. They were horrific in the 80’s. They are still horrible.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:26 AM   #13
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The Mulholland Look. They were horrific in the 80’s. They are still horrible.
I agree. I kept my beetles original, except my Baja bug. I bought it that way. I would never cut up a beetle.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:55 PM   #14
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ben, agree 100%. Why ruin a good thing? Especially the older pre-1967 ones. They are getting harder and harder to find and I see people putting sawz-alls to them...



Still have a fully restored '65 Notch (resto-mod) and an all original '66 Westy SO42 bus. I've had a bug and a '64 Ghia in the past.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:19 PM   #15
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Never hit one before, but in the Bering Sea once on the tug, the skipper and I were watching some whales cavorting around ahead of us, splashing etc. Then it became obvious what the activity was. Skipper and I both dropped our binos and looked at each other in that "OH, so that's whats going on!" LOL. A certain anatomical appendage made its appearance that left no doubt as to the reasons for the commotion. Hope that's not TMI.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:25 PM   #16
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As noted in this and other threads, Humpbacks are in a class by themselves. In a previous boat we were doing 20Kn and would have hit one, if not for it raising its massive pectoral fin and slapping it down as we were bearing down on it. They know they are big and don't want to move, which is expected when you are at the top of the food chain. They are not easily spooked in general. We got about 60 ft. away from one while free diving a few years ago. Amazing experience that I will never forget.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:10 AM   #17
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We have found that whale will let you know if you are too close by slapping their front fin the water. We came close to hitting a mom and baby in the Five Fingers, AK area. We saw lots and lots of humpies this year. Did not see a single orca.....
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