Friday, August 7, 2009

Whale Watch: Stellwagon Bank

On Thursday August 6th Bruce began our day at the State House with a subject very close to his heart the safety and protection of the 34 Boston Harbor Islands.  It was a very cool way to start the day actually being able to go into the State House and watch our professor fight for what he believes is the right thing to do.  Bruce did a fabulous job I envy him in the way that he can articulate himself so well in front of an entire room of his peers, public speaking is not my thing but Bruce is fabulous at it, partly because he just tells it how it is.  After that we had an hour to meet down at the Long Wharf Marriott to go over a few things before our whale watch got under way.  

Once Bruce gave us a brief background on the whale watch and what to expect we boarded the boat right around noon.  It was beautiful hot and sunny with a light breeze a perfect day to take a forty mile ride out to Stellwagon Bank.  The ride there was great I spent most of the time on the top deck until we decided to go downstairs and inside is when all of us began to feel ourselves getting a little sick.  Final the boat came to a stop and it was time to look for whales now it was definitely a bit cooler with a cloud cover.  We spotted 3 Humpback Whales total 2 up close and one in the distance, they were all spectacular.   The first of whale we got close to appeared to just be floating on the top on the ocean come to find out that is where whales usually rest or go to eat, there is a lot of food in the murky water on top.  The woman on the speaker also told us to listen closely if we could to hear the whale breathing because whales are like us they focus and realize whenever they take a breath, which is why they do not sleep or they would drown, this whale did not put on that big of a show for us.  

However the second whale we came up on loved to jump it was a beautiful and powerful sight to see.  The whale was breaching also known as slapping their fins and body around as if a human were to flap their hands around in a pool it makes that flat slapping noise.   This technique known as breaching can help the whale get off any barnacles or extremities off of them, but can also cause the skin of the whale to become raw and worn off.  All in all the whales put on a great show for us at one point they were very close to the boat which made for some great action shots.  We also got some interesting information for the girls running the watch whales live a solitary life for the most part, they have bright green flippers which many people get confused for white, they can stay under water for about a half hour if not longer, they usually store up on their food at Stellwagon Bank, they do not choose mates for life, and their mouth is only the size of a grapefruit which is weird because you would expect it to be bigger at first.

I have never had whale and I do not know if I will I guess if a species of whale is not endangered it would be OK  to eat them but people do not know when enough is enough.  I do not think it is acceptable if that species of whale is already in danger.  It is a hard decision because there is always going to be one side that is not happy even with recreational fishing today there are so many rules and regulations surrounding how many fish you can catch how many pounds so I can only imagine how hard it would be to make legislation when it came to whales.  At the end of the day I do not think it is right.

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