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Old 04-26-2022, 04:18 PM   #1
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Whale Watching Incident

Highly likely to be a captain error.

Lots of power there and not to be messed with.

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Old 04-26-2022, 04:53 PM   #2
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Long time ago we were going down the Pacific coast in heavy fog. Our boat had twin Detroits in it so it certainly wasn’t quiet. The fog opened up a bit and there was a whale dozing on the surface directly in front of us about 100’ away. I started turning the boat and we passed beside the whale about 20’ off. I thought it would have heard the boat a long ways off, but apparently it didn’t.
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Old 04-26-2022, 06:01 PM   #3
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Whales are NOT very aware of us. As their numbers increase there are more close calls and collisions happening here.
They , even if they hear you, may not understand the meaning of the noise.
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Old 04-26-2022, 07:33 PM   #4
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I have been along side a grey whale, have had an orca approach and dive under the boat, tail on one side head on the other. One time in an aluminum cartopper was surrounded by feeding orca in 15 feet at river mouth. They were very aware we were there and would look at us before diving again.
From my experience they are very aware of you if you are slow moving or stopped. Noise in the water travels fast and loud, they need time to know where you are.
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Old 04-26-2022, 07:47 PM   #5
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We were doing about 8 knots when it happened to us.
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Old 04-26-2022, 07:52 PM   #6
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We were doing about 8 knots when it happened to us.
Dave 8 knots is not slow. walking speed is slow.
Have you ever dove and heard sounds but could not tell from what direction?
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Old 04-26-2022, 08:17 PM   #7
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15NM out in the Pacific 8 knots is pretty slow.
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Old 04-26-2022, 08:32 PM   #8
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15NM out in the Pacific 8 knots is pretty slow.
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Old 04-26-2022, 10:19 PM   #9
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15NM out in the Pacific 8 knots is pretty slow.

Dave, I'm CRUSHED! I just discovered that our cruise speed (7.5 kts) is not only slow, but SLOWER than slow . . .

Crushed, hurt and dismayed . . . I think I need a drink . . .
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Old 04-26-2022, 10:35 PM   #10
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Well that was 12 boats ago. Our current boat cruises at about 24 knots. But it does use a bit more fuel…
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Old 04-27-2022, 03:01 AM   #11
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Doesn’t take much effort to learn whales have excellent hearing, can hear outside the range of humans and can hear for hundreds of miles. Guessing they hear a boat but don’t think they have to move out of the way. Maybe they think that thing making a noise is smart enough to get out of their way. Maybe not. When I’m walking down the road and hear a car coming I don’t flee to the nearest building. I see it, know it’s there and assume it will stay away from me unless it appears it will not.

Whales may have evolved not needing to respond by running away since they are not prey. They weigh up to 90,000 lbs and can swim up to 30 mph. Unfortunately their evolution didn’t keep pace with man’s ability and propensity to kill everything in sight.
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Old 04-27-2022, 03:27 AM   #12
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Was sailing a 37’ cutter to Bermuda from Marion. Totally convinced a whale wanted to make love (or had a itch to scratch) to our boat. Would approach and attempt to rub against us. Was racing so didn’t want to turn on the motor which would be a DQ so banged pots, blasts from airhorn and changed direction. Fortunately (s)he didn’t touch us and swam away after some tight sphincter moments. Thing was considerably longer than the boat. Maybe she thought we were a calf as we had black bottom paint. Who knows.
We’re fortunate as whales are common off race point of P’town but rarely cause troubles. Bigger issue is the apparent major increase in the number of seals in our area. Whenever they come near you all fish disappear. They seem smart enough to follow the birds just like you and know the good spots. See them around you might as well move on as you rarely catch fish near them. Still it’s their world. We’re the visitors and should be good guests
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Old 04-27-2022, 05:44 AM   #13
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We’re fortunate as whales are common off race point of P’town but rarely cause troubles. Bigger issue is the apparent major increase in the number of seals in our area. Whenever they come near you all fish disappear. They seem smart enough to follow the birds just like you and know the good spots. See them around you might as well move on as you rarely catch fish near them. Still it’s their world. We’re the visitors and should be good guests

The seals attract fish too. They are typically great and white.


We love P'town, it's a pleasant 6.5 hour cruise away from us and there's always plenty of room to anchor.
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Old 04-27-2022, 06:33 AM   #14
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Lots of whale sighting reports where the whale surfaced under or near a boat.

Sure they may hear your, doesn't mean a thing in many cases...why?...... don't know .

With many years on or over the water I have seen thousands of whales and kin. Some pods had hundreds in them.

Staying away from dolphins and orcas is a joke as they come right to you many times.

Right whales are called right whales for a reason...look it up.

The mysteries of nature have eluded us for centuries.... but we are slowly understanding a few every year.
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Old 04-27-2022, 08:39 AM   #15
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Don’t worry about dead whales floating. Do worry about my boat if we hit them. They can have 1/2 brain asleep other 1/2 awake. Sleep on the surface. You really don’t want to hit one sleeping on the surface. Remarkably hard to see night watch on passage.
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Old 04-27-2022, 09:01 AM   #16
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Was sailing a 37’ cutter to Bermuda from Marion. Totally convinced a whale wanted to make love (or had a itch to scratch) to our boat. Would approach and attempt to rub against us. Was racing so didn’t want to turn on the motor which would be a DQ so banged pots, blasts from airhorn and changed direction. Fortunately (s)he didn’t touch us and swam away after some tight sphincter moments. Thing was considerably longer than the boat. Maybe she thought we were a calf as we had black bottom paint. Who knows.
We’re fortunate as whales are common off race point of P’town but rarely cause troubles. Bigger issue is the apparent major increase in the number of seals in our area. Whenever they come near you all fish disappear. They seem smart enough to follow the birds just like you and know the good spots. See them around you might as well move on as you rarely catch fish near them. Still it’s their world. We’re the visitors and should be good guests
Hippo...which Marion to Bermuda race were you in and on what boat? I have done about a dozen of those races on my boat and others...
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Old 04-27-2022, 09:17 AM   #17
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I nearly it a blue whale just off Catalina in my previous 26' boat going 20 knots. I was on my own and if I'd hit it expect I would be thrown from the boat. Installed a lanyard kill switch after that an wore an inflatable PFD when on my own.

I'm sure some of you saw this, but there are some pesky orcas off Spain which are causing damage to boats. Maybe getting their own back on us humans for messing up their home....

https://youtu.be/Y-CYjFy_Alg
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Old 04-27-2022, 07:18 PM   #18
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Also done them often. Over 20 + years alternate Newport with Marion so at least 10. That event was on another hippocampus a Tayana 37. Mid 1990s.
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Old 04-27-2022, 09:26 PM   #19
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If you would like to see a story about how intelligent and intuitive whales can be, here's a story of a pod of Orcas helping whalers.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...of-the-tongue/
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Old 05-01-2022, 09:05 AM   #20
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In the video in post 1 I love how they say: "an official said the vicious bump may have come as a surprise to the captain." Yeah, I'm pretty sure it did!
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