Thursday, August 6, 2009
Today was less humid and much more pleasant than yesterday I have to say. It was one of the best days we had in this class I have to say, but I wish we could see other whales not just the humpback.
We started the day at the Massachusetts State House where Bruce gave his testimony in favor of maintaining the outer Brewster Island. Professor Berman described the many benefits the clean up of the Boston Harbor have brought to the city of Boston. Not only what provide to its inhabitants but also the financial benefits it brings to the many businesses around the Harbor. I speak for myself and I can say I am glad I took this class with of the individuals behind such a Nobel act.
40 miles later we were able to see our first whale. It was explained through the PA system in the boat some of the most interesting characteristics about the Humpback whales. While still near the surface whales leave a very visible spot on the surface of the water called "fluke print," more or less its foot print on water. Humpback whales breath air through holes near their backs when at the surface of the water and can hold a lot of air. Their lungs are much bigger compared to ours and can fill up 1200 balloons with one breath. Their pectoral fins are one third of their body length and are the largest fins on any whale (15 feet). Something very interesting was explained to us was that they rest differently than other animals. They do not shut down their brains completely, they have the ability to shut down half of their brains while the other half "keeps working". The place we saw the whales today is called Stellwagen Bank an undersea sandy plateau that stretches from Cape Ann to Cape Cod. The Humpback of Stellwagen are one of the most studied whales in the the world.
One last fact these whales are pretty I would say independent, they like to live alone or in small groups.
Question of the day.
Is it OK to eat whales?
I have to say, if we lived two hundred years ago I would be indifferent and would not have a formed opinion. Today we live in a different society with different points of view and habits. I don't think that those that eat whales would have any health issue by not eating whale meat. There plenty of fish in the sea right?
See you tomorrow.