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Old 06-05-2013, 11:14   #16
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Re: whale encounters of the close kind

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I think whales may go on "autopilot" at times when cruising toward a destination. I have witnessed them going in a straight line kind of like a long distance swimmer... just cruising along, apparantly unaware of boats etc around them. I've had to change course a couple of times to avoid a Orca in this mode. Went right by the boat without change in course, hesitation, looking up or anything.... I imagine this is what costs so many of those big whales their lives when they are hit by a tanker. One was found on the beach here in Puget Sound recently with "blunt force trauma".

That's interesting. I actually saw a whale right off Tampa Bay once. The club had gone to this little cove for the weekend, just saw a patch of skin, but someone credible had identified him. Only saw his back break water once, and then he just disappeared. We were really surprised because it was awfully shallow in there, 8 - 10 feet.

About a day and a half later, a dead Bryde's whale was found not that far from where we were. I think it's the one we saw and he'd gone into that little cove to die. Bryde's whales are the only real whales around here, and they're not common. They did an autopsy on him and think it had been hit by a tanker.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:29   #17
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Re: whale encounters of the close kind

Whales of course don't understand the need to stay from boats with people it them. If they did there wouldn't have been an industry with people in little boats coming next to them and throwing a spear into them.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:56   #18
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Re: whale encounters of the close kind

Here are a couple of links to my brother in law's incident in 2009 off of Cabo San Lucas where a breeching whale hit his vessel. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Marlin fishermen survive collision with whale off Cabo San Lucas - latimes.com

Breaching whale crashes into Newport fishing boat - Green OC : The Orange County Register
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:59   #19
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whale encounters that have big impact

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
Whales of course don't understand the need to stay from boats with people it them. If they did there wouldn't have been an industry with people in little boats coming next to them and throwing a spear into them.
Nearly a decade ago we were motoring northbound, about 50 miles off of Cape Ann in a 40 foot Beneteau. Out of nowhere something hit our starboard rear quarter causing a flood of water into the cockpit and twisting the vessel nearly 90 degrees from its direction of travel. Something big had hit us from the side and we hypothesize it was a large animal - it certainly was not a sub cause it did not split the boat in to small pieces. We then noticed water at the floor boards. It turned out to be fresh water from damaged water tanks. The other damage to the boat included detachment of the tabs that anchor the fiberglass box frame and the plastic liner to the hull. It was at once frightening but at the same time reassuring that we could eliminate the likelihood of sinking. We easily made it back to shore but it diminished my enthusiasm for boats where a full plastic liner prevents access to inspection of the hull from inside the boat.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:52   #20
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Re: whale encounters of the close kind

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Whales of course don't understand the need to stay from boats with people it them. If they did there wouldn't have been an industry with people in little boats coming next to them and throwing a spear into them.
The way the poachers do it now is they fire a grenade-tipped harpoon into the whale from a big gun on the bow of a 1000+ tonne ship. Once the grenade has exploded inside the whale, the poachers then shoot it several times with high-power rifles. The whale then dies of drowning in its own blood, a process which takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours of agony.
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Old 06-05-2013, 22:07   #21
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Re: whale encounters of the close kind

Once in the '80s I was sailing my montgomery 17 out of Marina Del Rey (near Los Angeles, next door to LAX). MDR has a "T"-shaped entrance channel, with an off-lying breakwater and 2 entrances. We were sailing out the North entrance, when 2 Grey Whales taking the scenic route south-bound surfaced briefly on either side of us. It was too quick to be scared, so quick that we looked at each other and did the "did you see what I think I saw?" bit...
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Old 06-05-2013, 22:21   #22
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Re: whale encounters of the close kind

I'm sick of whales. They're too big to be that close to the boat. One night between Cabo and Vallarta, a humpback spun us around 360 degrees. SCARY!
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