Originally Posted by fstbttms
I think your aquaintance has serious paranoia issues.
I don't know Fst, it kind of makes sense.
Lets explore the requirements for the argument.
I know you are in the business of looking at bottomsides, but allow me to use part of my lazy sunday on this. Heh.
1.) Can whales identify color?
There are over species of 80 of Cetacea (Whales). Some are deep divers and others that stay closer to the surface. It has been surmised that the deep divers do not identify color ranges as much as their counter parts
In terms of the mechanics involved for color reception
I found this post by Pieter Folkens of the Alaska
It appears that whales and dolphins that keep near the surface have the most accute eyesight. while the deep divers rely less on eyesight.
Eye sight relies on receptors which are modified nerve cells called rods and cones. Seeing in dim light relies mainly on the rods. Cetaceans have a greater number of rods as well as larger rods than those of terrestrial mammals. Deeper diving mysticetes (baleen whales) have the longest rods of all. Cones are the receptors associated most with colour perception. The retina of most whales do have cones.
Therefore we can say that most whales can perceive colour. However, colour becomes meaningless as one dives more than a few meters below the surface where most of the light at the red end of the spectrum has been absorbed by the water above.
The reason I say "most" can perceive colour is that some species of cetaceans have very small, much less functional eyes. For these few species, seeing dark and light is about all they can hope for.
So technically Whales do seem to have the parts
needed to differentiate color. Killer whales are actually closely related to dolphins
and have similar eye and corneal structure so it is said they have the same color reception
Pretty self explanatory really. Can't deny that a fin keel
resembles a whale on its side. How that effects their behavior, who really knows.
3.) Behaviors involved.
Are Whale interactions with vessels that result in damage accidental? It is related to mating? Territorial behavior? Defending a calf? Just playing?
Hard to say.
They do attack boats? Yes, that much has been documented as we all know. I am not talking about small collisions, but determined attacks on a vessel. The proposed reasoning as to why the attacks occurred vary from place to place.
The incident involving a 27' Bayliner, "Blind Girl" opened my eyes a bit. (Kind of ironic boat name in terms of this discussion..)
Last Wednesday evening at just before sunset, Gerald Gormley left Santa Barbara harbor in his new 27 ft Bayliner boat. It was a brand-new boat, only the second time he had taken it out, and two friends accompanied him for a planned sunset run. They were off Leadbetter Beach and Santa Barbara Point when a 30 ft long gray whale suddenly breached - came completely out of the water - and landed on top of the boat. The weight of the whale crushed the cabin (see photo above) and it rolled off the boat back into the water. Just to show this wasn't a clumsy whale accident, the beast came around and took another run at the Bayliner and slammed the boat with its tail. This damaged the boat's rail and injured Gormley's friend Robert Thornburgh. The whale's tail broke some of his ribs, cut his hand, and imbedded some barnacles in his back. Finally the whale made a third run at the boat, rolled one of its eyes out of the water and stared at the boaters.
Will changing your hull
color prevent a whale attack?
Like you said, who knows, probably a paranoid decision, but I'd rather be a one of those crazy superstitious types than a statistic. I will be in the market for a cruiser soon (My heart is set on a Baba 35), I will be going with Red below the waterline instead of Blue or Black. Not really because of my fear of being hit by whales, but for the plethora of other reasons that have been debated on this forum regarding bottom colors. If ever asked about my decision, I might just say that it was "whale related" depending on the company involved, just to see their reactions heh.