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Old 20-12-2008, 04:09   #1
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Question Whales . . . Should Cruisers Care ?

I hear of whale attacks on cruising yachts and wonder how would I react to that event. Then I see on cable’ s “Animal Planet Network”, a new series called “Whale Wars” about the slaughter of whales by the Japanese whalers, in the Tasman Sea, under the cynical cover of “research”. I don’t know if there is a connection between human aggression towards whales and theirs toward us, maybe. If the shoe was reversed I know how I would react.

Whales have been deemed by international treaty to be protected. Considering the history of whaling, I agree with that aim. The Japanese say they do also, but their actions say they don’t. The “Whale Wars” series makes that plain.

However, the actions of the “Sea Sheppard”, which is supposed to be the hero ship, in the series, Is run by a foolish captain and crew and I believe they ultimately are counterproductive with their over aggressive and reckless tactics. IMHO, they hurt the cause they try to support.

On the other hand I do believe the old “Greenpeace” organization has become too careful and too fat and has settled into a mainstream politics that cares more about raising money than their original charter of saving endangered species; the whales were among their first.

Am I naive? Is this issue above, below or spot on the radar of cruising people in this forum?
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Old 20-12-2008, 04:55   #2
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Originally Posted by porttack View Post
I hear of whale attacks on cruising yachts and wonder how would I react to that event. Then I see on cable’ s “Animal Planet Network”, a new series called “Whale Wars” about the slaughter of whales by the Japanese whalers, in the Tasman Sea, under the cynical cover of “research”. I don’t know if there is a connection between human aggression towards whales and theirs toward us, maybe. If the shoe was reversed I know how I would react.

Am I naive? Is this issue above, below or spot on the radar of cruising people in this forum?

The only question you asked was if you were naïve. My guess though is you probably didn’t intend us to answer that.

It seems you were asking if whales would attack humans as retribution for humans hunting them. That’s possible; there are times when it looks so, however, it’s also likely to be a form of Anthropomorhism.



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Old 20-12-2008, 06:39   #3
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However, the actions of the “Sea Sheppard”, which is supposed to be the hero ship, in the series, Is run by a foolish captain and crew
Says who?

They are at least doing something and I am happy to support them.



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Old 20-12-2008, 07:21   #4
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I seriously doubt there are whales running around out there looking for boats to attack to seek revenge. When whales and boats collide it is usually a result of the boat running into a sleeping whale. Where exactly have you seen all of these reports of them attacking boats except maybe the book Moby Dick? I suppose it is possible for the same reason any wild animal attacks. But all of our encounters with whales have found them curious and docile and an awesome experience.
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Old 20-12-2008, 07:34   #5
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"Ain't" No Cheese Down the Hole!

Frankly, guys, I think this subject is fodder for another pointless debate. I don't think there's any cheese down that hole so why go there? I don't approve of the Japanese harveting whales nor do I approve of the protester's actions to prevent same. Moreover, the fellow leading that action has earned a reputation for self promotion and agrandisement and can hardly be considered a paragon.

As for whales and yachts, while there might be some risk of a whale attacking a yacht it seems the incidence is so rare, it's not going to keep me up at night. Moreover, of the few incidences I have read about, it seems the yachts may have inadvertantly come between a whale and it's off-spring or otherwise been percieved as threatening. On the few occasions we saw whales--Gray Whales while on trips to Catalina--we simply slowed and bore off so that we were less likely to be percieved as a threat. Whale watching tour boats did the exact opposit.

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Old 20-12-2008, 09:08   #6
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I seriously doubt there are whales running around out there looking for boats to attack to seek revenge. When whales and boats collide it is usually a result of the boat running into a sleeping whale. Where exactly have you seen all of these reports of them attacking boats except maybe the book Moby Dick? I suppose it is possible for the same reason any wild animal attacks. But all of our encounters with whales have found them curious and docile and an awesome experience.
There were a few incidents along the British Columbia coast were an Orca was pushing sail boats around and people had to call the CCG. I knew one of boats myself just three slips away in my marina.

But the word was is was most likely the bull was seeking attention. :kissy:
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Old 20-12-2008, 10:28   #7
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Bet they had black bottom paint. Sounds more like assault with a friendly weapon.
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Old 20-12-2008, 10:54   #8
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+++ for Sea Shepard. I've had whales cruising right alongside my boat at night crossing the Sea of Cortez. So close you could smell their fishy breath. It was scary. We tried everything, turned the stereo up loud, started the engine, but he hung right in there cruising along with us. after about an hour he disappeared. Did the music/engine work... telling him we are not a mate? We'll never know. Most of the "attacks" I've read sbout seem to be whales courting or playing with boats, or possibly trying to rub on the boat. There is an old account of a killer whale ramming a boat I believe. I guess they have been known to try to kill other whales. Not sure how rare it is. Motoring in the Straight of Juan de Fuca in flat calm conditions I saw a killer whale top fin far ahead. I watched it and then went back to reading my book. I looked up in 10 minutes and it cruised past me right alongside my boat, I could almost touch the top fin. It seems we were both on autopilot on a head on course. Wierd, but he never changed course even after he cruised past...... even though my motor was on....
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Old 20-12-2008, 12:27   #9
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Has anyone tried stopping their boat. It seems like that would be worth a try.
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Old 20-12-2008, 13:47   #10
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We've been told (dunno by whom) that male whales can attack yachts in the breeding season if the male is courting a female and mistakes a yacht for another male. It seems that a sail boat keel can look, to a whale, like a... ummm... well... how do I say it? Ummmm a keel looks like a.... boy thingy!!!!!!!!!


The answer is if you think a whale is too close or aggresive you turn on the engine and the whale thinks: "Gee thats not an iron shlong, it a boat!"


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Old 20-12-2008, 15:36   #11
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I saw a movie where plants and trees released a nerotoxin and people started killing themselves. Movie said plants were protecting themselves from human aggression. Maybe the whales and jellyfish are doing the same thing. I think it is all on the net too.
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Old 20-12-2008, 15:48   #12
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I saw a movie where plants and trees released a nerotoxin and people started killing themselves. Movie said plants were protecting themselves from human aggression. Maybe the whales and jellyfish are doing the same thing. I think it is all on the net too.
I saw a movie once too where a large dinosaur walked out of the sea and destroyed Tokyo
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Old 20-12-2008, 15:50   #13
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I saw a movie once too where a large dinosaur walked out of the sea and destroyed Tokyo
Yikes!! Plants, trees, warm blooded AND now cold blooded intertebrates are against us as well??

We are doomed.
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Old 20-12-2008, 17:42   #14
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Old 20-12-2008, 17:52   #15
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My local cruising ground is here: Humpback Whales of Hervey Bay and Fraser Island
We see whales vitually every day we are on the water from September to November, and numbers are increasing.

I've never heard of a whale actually attacking a boat, although there have been some accidental collisions.

With the number of commercial whale watching boats operating during the season, if whales were attacking boats logic would suggest there would be many fatalities. Some of these boats carry 250 people.

The whales seem to be curious and friendly, we have had many fantastic experiences being "mugged" by pods of whales who will swim around and under the boat, close enough to touch them, and will do it for an hour or more at times.

Often the whales seem to go out of their way to come close and check us out, but they are never agressive in any way.

All of which makes the idea of harpooning them seem incredibly sick.
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