Friday, August 6, 2010

Harbor Class Whale Watch Ted Williamson


My final day of class was a treat becasue I got to introduce my boys to a bunch of new friends. I enjoyed meeting everyone wish you all well.

We started early with a quick trip to see the Pinnipeds, more specifically Harbor Seals at the aquaruim enterance. It is a requirment when Danny visits the waterfront.

As we boarded the ferry at 10:00 am the weather was warm, 85 degrees and the sky was sunny after a heavy storm the night before. Runoff clearly affected the harbor's water visability and you could smell a foul odor. See the debris and lack of clarity below:

We all boarded the ferry with another great view of the city.

Off to Stellwagon Bank to see whales! We left the harbor on the route outlined below by the dotted line. This 842 square mile bank was once accesable by man 12,00o years ago and was a great spot to hunt and fish. Now the inderwater plateau (100 ft) provides for great feeding grounds for whales and other marine life (info found in Stellwagen visitor info guide.)

As we travelled out to the open ocean we spotted more fisherman and lobster markers indicating more marine life. The weatehr got cooler and the wind picked up once we left the coastline in Scituate.

We saw three species of whales, the Minke Whale , The Humpback Whale and the Fin Whale.

Below is a chart that outlines the size and shape of each whale type.

Here is a picture of a Humpback Whale breaching. We did not see this behavior on the watch, too bad.

The can take in up to 1,000 gallons of water to capture the bait fish they eat, sand lances.


Here is a picture of a mother and baby. This type of behavior is one of the reasons why I choose not to eat whale. These mamals are not fish and they act allot like humans in some ways.

This Humpback Whale, Wisk, is comming to the surface to breath. It could hold it's breath for up to a half an hour but it will usually take a breath every 6 minutes or so.

Here is a shot of Wisk's tale or fluke. Scientists identify whales by the unique characteristics of each fluke. It is like their fingerprint; no two are alike.

Here is a list of what we saw.

Here is a illustration of all the fish located at Stellwagen. It makes this area one of the most biodiverse in the Atlantic Ocean.

I very much enjoyed this class and would reccomend it. Thanks for the support!

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