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View Poll Results: What have you hit at sea?
8 x 40 cargo container 2 6.90%
Sleeping whale 2 6.90%
Cargo ship 0 0%
another sailboat 2 6.90%
Lost city of Atlantis 8 27.59%
Other ... please explain! 17 58.62%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-01-2008, 08:58   #31
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Migaloo the white whale

The previous owner of my boat had a whale surface underneath him , the whale ripped out the dagger board and left a hole the size of a dinner plate in the bottom of the boat, the whale was ' Migaloo' a white whale ,very famous along the eastern sea board of australia. As the boat was a trimaran he limped to shore damaged but the boat was easily repaired and is better and stronger for the misshap.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:53   #32
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The previous owner of my boat had a whale surface underneath him , the whale ripped out the dagger board and left a hole the size of a dinner plate in the bottom of the boat, the whale was ' Migaloo' a white whale ,very famous along the eastern sea board of australia. As the boat was a trimaran he limped to shore damaged but the boat was easily repaired and is better and stronger for the misshap.
Was this the collision in 93? I remember there was substantial speculation that the incident was not accurately explained by the skipper...

It is almost unknown for a whale to unintentionally 'surface' underneath a vessel. Collisions are almost always with whales asleep, which they don't do under water therefore assuming he was awake, something that can locate a krill at some distance isn't likely to miss something the size of a tri over his head.....

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Old 03-01-2008, 13:34   #33
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Yeah ,Ithink it was around 93, but as to what definetley happened ,I don't know, all I know is what I ve read on the incident on the net. What were the rumors that were circulating at the time ?
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Old 03-01-2008, 14:01   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeratlas View Post
Was this the collision in 93? I remember there was substantial speculation that the incident was not accurately explained by the skipper...

It is almost unknown for a whale to unintentionally 'surface' underneath a vessel. Collisions are almost always with whales asleep, which they don't do under water therefore assuming he was awake, something that can locate a krill at some distance isn't likely to miss something the size of a tri over his head.....

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There have been numerous collisions between whales which were wide awake, and boats. in Queensland in the last couple of years I know of two boats that were hit by breaching whales. (They don't do that while sleeping). One was a chartered yacht in the Whitsundays, and the other was a 100', twin engined whale watching boat here in Hervey bay. The handrails at the stern recieved considerable damage.

Whales make mistakes too... -

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Old 03-01-2008, 17:18   #35
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Big difference between an intentional collision (which is what your youtube certainly appears to be) and and accidental collision. I've had a number of whales over the years come up and examine the hull of my former boat. Something about it that intrigued them, had a big humpy full breach close enough to drench everyone on the deck, clearly intentional as he had been tracking alongside for some time. Had a blue get close enough to broom, but again a clearly intentional (and careful approach I might add, man those things are HUGE). If I remember right what i was commenting on was the report of your white whale surfacing, or attempting too, under a tri with a daggerboard...What I remember is a number of experts at the time (if this is indeed the 93 incident) questioning the captain's version of events.

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There have been numerous collisions between whales which were wide awake, and boats. in Queensland in the last couple of years I know of two boats that were hit by breaching whales. (They don't do that while sleeping). One was a chartered yacht in the Whitsundays, and the other was a 100', twin engined whale watching boat here in Hervey bay. The handrails at the stern recieved considerable damage.

Whales make mistakes too... -

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Old 04-01-2008, 12:16   #36
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Yeah ,Ithink it was around 93, but as to what definetley happened ,I don't know, all I know is what I ve read on the incident on the net. What were the rumors that were circulating at the time ?

Suspicion was that the captain was trying to get a 'close' look at the white whale and ran over him. This seems credible as how many white whales do you see in one lifetime? Trying to get a little closer is not unbelievable.

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Old 04-01-2008, 13:28   #37
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Actually there was another collision between a trimaran and a whale in the Whitsundays last year (I think). The skipper was charged with breaking the approach zone limit - even though he had actually altered course to give a whale watching boat surrounded by whales a wide berth, when a whale surfaced in front of him. Neither boat nor whale was damaged AFAIK, but the collision was seen by some of the whale-watchers and reported.

It's been speculated that the speed and shallow draught may be part of the reason the whale didn't seem to have been aware of the boat.

I'm not going to claim to be a whale mind-reader, but I doubt that any of the 3 breaching incidents were "deliberate" attacks by the whales - if the killer whale in the video had been attacking, surely it would have bitten either the person or the kayak? They have fearsome set of teeth.

I also can't see why a humpback would suddenly decide to attack a 100 foot long whale-watching boat, when they see them every day throughout the season here, and are invariably very friendly toward them. I doubt if it mistook it for krill.
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Old 04-01-2008, 18:08   #38
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Actually there was another collision between a trimaran and a whale in the Whitsundays last year (I think). The skipper was charged with breaking the approach zone limit - even though he had actually altered course to give a whale watching boat surrounded by whales a wide berth, when a whale surfaced in front of him. Neither boat nor whale was damaged AFAIK, but the collision was seen by some of the whale-watchers and reported.

It's been speculated that the speed and shallow draught may be part of the reason the whale didn't seem to have been aware of the boat.

I'm not going to claim to be a whale mind-reader, but I doubt that any of the 3 breaching incidents were "deliberate" attacks by the whales - if the killer whale in the video had been attacking, surely it would have bitten either the person or the kayak? They have fearsome set of teeth.

I also can't see why a humpback would suddenly decide to attack a 100 foot long whale-watching boat, when they see them every day throughout the season here, and are invariably very friendly toward them. I doubt if it mistook it for krill.
orcas are VERY intelligent. Any marine trainer will tell you and there is quite a bit of literature on their abilities. They are also quite playful. I did not suggest that the orca in the video was trying to kill the guy, but that the "attack" (using the video's language) was clearly intentional. Btw, orcas when attacking large animals often do not 'bite first' , instead they have been seen to strike with blunt force trauma at the heart and lungs (their sonar enables them to pinpoint these locations in a prey animal) Bottlenose dolphins do the same thing to smaller dolphins/porpoises as well as occasionally to their own young for some reason. In any event, I have personally seen them (Orcas), smash into 1. bottlenose dolphins, 2. seals, 3. seal lions, and have seen film of them killing a gray whale calf. In all of the foregoing events they dove into the target, driving it down below water and eventually drowning it, while presumably causing severe internal injuries. Only when the target was dead did they begin munching.

While I can't speak for the orca in the vid, I have observed whales that appeared to breach to 1. just for the fun of it, looked like they were playing; 2. as a prank, e.g. the humpy that splashed everyone on my boat made an approach from quite a distance, swam alongside but beneath for a bit then made a calculated breach very very close. Got all of us.


In any event, didn't see any reference to a humpback attacking a large boat, tho sperm whales have clearly done that, and even in Baja, when the grays are mating down at that bay (which you can't hardly get into anymore from what I hear) if you 'irritate' the bulls by getting too close, they will come and let you know it Saw one lift a panga up about 4 or 5 feet out of the water once heheheh.scared hell out of the people in it.

In any event, it is said that at least as to orcas, there are no authenticated reports of an intentional attack on a human...course, having been in the water with one, and close enough to scratch a big bull once, I have no doubt that if an orca wanted you, there would be no one left around to report the attack.

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Old 04-01-2008, 19:36   #39
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All very true. And all of which backs up my argument that there ARE collisions between boats and whales which are wide awake. Whether intentional or accidental on the whale's part is something which only the whale would know, and frankly makes no real difference.
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Old 06-05-2008, 15:08   #40
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We were once attacked by a sleeping net. It tried to eat the port saildrive before it expired. Once we saw there was no life left in the beast. We cut it loose from the saildrive, and drug it aboard. Depositing it at the nearest trash can on the dock!

You can see KILLER MELANIE is stomping it's head. Just to make sure all is safe...............
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Old 07-05-2008, 15:05   #41
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I knew someone who almost hit a mostly submerged container once off of Baja CA. One time while underway in a NOAA ship we almost hit a fridge, in broad daylight (lookout was sleeping or something), another time we almost ran over a Ghost net in the middle of the Pacific, at night. Only an incredibly alert helmsman (me) saw it at about 200 yds out and we managed to avoid it.
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Old 07-05-2008, 15:50   #42
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A couple of years ago we came across a sleeping Blue Whale during the day. At first we thought that it was sick or dead. It certainly was huge! We pulled along side almost close enough to step off the deck and onto the back of the whale. It was breathing deep and slowly for 10 or 15 minutes. Suddenly it took a deep breath and dove out of sight.

Considering how large the whale was and the fact that it was hanging out on the surface in a popular route to Catalina Island, I can easily believe that people hit these guys.

I’ve read several accounts of cruisers hitting whales and it seems to be very common..

From S/V Whisper
04/14/2004 - Day 21
  • Latitude: 07° 37' S
  • Longitude: 137° 21' W
  • Miles to go: Around 150 miles
  • Wind Speed/Direction: E 14 knots
  • Current Boat Speed: 6.8 knots
Today's scheduled Week 3 statistics update has been interrupted. Just when you thought we were out of interesting stories, we came up with one. The lengths we will go to keep the updates intriguing has "hit" a new level.
Duncan settled into bed after the 5 am watch change. Robin sat in the cockpit listening to the weather report and looking forward to the sunrise. "BAM!" Whisper lurched at the bow. Robin stood up and started looking around. "BAM!" This is obviously not normal. The second "BAM" hit forward of the port midships.
Duncan called "Was that a wave?". Robin responded, "Nope. I'm trying to figure out what we hit." Now if that doesn't get someone out of bed, nothing will. Wacky waves are bouncing all around. Duncan started to climb up the companionway. "BAM!" Whisper heels and Duncan gets knocked back down into the cabin. Duncan, now with a broken toe, made his way up toward the cockpit just in time to see the WHALE!
The fluke of a WHALE is within two yards of Whisper's port side. Then, the whale spouted its seafood-breath blow right into the cockpit -- soaking Robin and spraying Duncan. Simultaneous shouts of "It's a whale!", "Start the engine", "Check for holes", "Is water coming into the bilge?" jolted us into action.
At this point, we are not certain who was more startled -- the whale or us. Robin powered us forward while Duncan went below to check the bilge for incoming water and assess damage. Robin kept looking behind to see if the whale was following us to get revenge.
The initial damage assessment is one broken toe and a damaged boat-speed transducer. Checking the hull to see if there is any surface damage will be a priority upon arrival. No water is coming in the boat. The rudder still seems to be functioning as usual. Damage to the whale is unknown.
We've been sailing along for the last several hours without any issues. Did someone say we were supposed to get bored out here?
From S/V Billabong
Billabong's route from Niuatoputapu to VaVa'u
Hitting a whale and 25-30 knot winds on our nose made this a unique passage for us!!! We spent 36 hours tacking. It took us 250 miles to make good the 160 miles of the passage!
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Old 07-05-2008, 16:07   #43
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Had a brace of blue whales come up so close in a mirror sea that I slowed to a stop and crossed my fingers. They gradually moved in to examine the boat..at nearly twice my length, it made the hair stand up on my neck. Majestic is what they are, but clearly capable of sinking a yacht should they desire to do so.

They also smell. But I will tell you, one has only to gaze into that huge eye to see that there is cognitive intelligence there. To be examined by them in the open ocean is a humbling experience not soon forgotten.

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Yep, the one we pulled along side was nearly twice the length of our vessel...I'd estimate at over 85 feet. We too got the chance to look directly into it's eye.

In retrospect, it was probably really stupid move to pull along side so close.
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