Thursday, August 6, 2009

Whale Watch

Hello everyone,
Today was, i think, the most interesting day yet in our Marine Science course. We started the day off by going to an important hearing to save one of the islands in Boston Harbor. I might add that Professor Berman gave a well-addressed speech (am I sucking up? hahaha) and I think that the island will remain right where it is. It was after the court hearing that the really fun event took place; the whale watch. Now I am from Duluth, Minnesota and the biggest fish I've ever seen is something like a Northern; as you could imagine, I was pretty excited to get out on the water.

Species: During the ride out, our tour guide gave us some facts both about the area we were going to and the types of sea creatures we may see. The part of the ocean we sailed out to was called Stellwagen Bank which was about 40 miles out so it took a little while to get there, but along the way we found out that it was home to creatures like: Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, and White-Sided Atlantic Dolphin. We were not fortunate, however, to see all four of these species, but we did get to see the Humpback Whale which turned out to be incredibly interesting. At first we just saw the top of the whale which contained the double blow hole and an occasional pectoral flipper which had a bright green/white appearance. I was a little disappointed because it was crowded and I couldn't see much. Later on was more of a show than the price of the ticket because of all of the breaching the whale was doing. I saw one breach where the whale came 95% out of the water; it was absolutely incredible. Along with a ton of breaching we saw flipper slapping as well. It was all very worth while.

Interesting Facts: The Humpback Whale is usually around 40-50ft. long and weighs around 30 tons. When the Humpback sleeps, it is able to shut half of its brain off so the other half can control when it needs to come up for air. As for the flippers, they are each around 15ft. long and weigh about 2,000 lbs.

The Fin Whale, which we didn't see, is about 70ft. long and around 50 tons. It usually only comes up for air and is a very streamline and fast whale.

The Minke Whale is a smaller whale around 35ft. long and also a fast swimmer.

Q: Should people be able to eat whale?
A: My answer to this question is no. Even if it would not hurt the population of whale, I still don't think they should be eaten. Whales are incredible creatures and as far as I know, I don't believe that there are too many people out there that are dying to eat whale. I think they should let it be.

Chris Connolly

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