Thursday, 14 July 2011 09:18

The Whale Journey Continues

Written by Janie

Written by Holly

During my first full day at Cetacealab I am honored by the distant presence of a humpback whale.  Through the binoculars I see the low, round, bushy blow of the humpback whale.  She seems to gracefully rise to the surface, blow, breath and then as if in slow motion slide back beneath the water and disappear.  No one can guess as to where she will surface next.  The average dive time of the humpback whale is 7 minutes; this humpback could be far down Whale Channel, out of my sight, by the time she surfaces again.

Later that day while doing my scan I spot another humpback whale in the distance. I again see, the tell – tale blow.  I am so excited I hold my breath to see what she will do next.  Then I see the rise of the tail and begin to yell with excitement, “Fluking, Fluking, Fluking!”  As the humpback whale dives deeply below the surface his/her impressive tail or fluke appears high above the surface of the water.  I like to think of this as wave good-bye because you just don’t know when, where or even if you will see that humpback again.

Then there is the elusive Fin Whale.  These whales are fast, huge, sleek and above all stealth!  On my second day at Cetacealab the elusive fin whale slipped into Taylor Bight and surfaced for only a moment about 75 feet away from the lab.  He/she surfaced only long enough for me to get a glimpse of the enormity of this amazing whale and then he/she was gone.  I waited, waited and waited for her return, nothing.  Talk about stealth!

As of yet I have not seen any Orcas but have heard their beautiful songs on the hydrophone.  Their vocalizations are so spectacular that words cannot convey the beauty of the Orca song.  Any description I may offer will not do the songs of the Orca justice.  I can only describe how I feel when I hear the Orcas.  Their songs seem to touch something deep inside of me that has never been touched before.  I feel a sense of calm and contentment within as I listen to the Orca song.  While listening with the headphones on, all other sounds of the world are gone except the song of Orca, I release a sigh of absolute peacefulness.  Their songs stay with me, become a part of me.  I dream of Orcas and their songs.

Near my tent there is a speaker hanging from a tree broadcasting the sounds from the hydrophones.  The hope is that when one hears the humpback whales or Orcas in the night one will get up and run into the lab and hit the record button, twice I might add!  Well, this becomes a problem when one dreams of Orcas!  In the night I hear the songs of the Orcas I wake up, I get dressed, I put my rubber boots on, I go back to sleep!  I wake up a couple of hours later and wonder why the heck am I fully dressed with my rubber boots on?!  Then I remember but, I am not sure if I was dreaming or were there really Orcas singing on the hydrophone?  Oh well, at least I am ready for the middle of the night run to the outhouse.



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