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Cruisingdad 01-25-2007 06:03 PM

Sharks and Whales
Just curious:

Most of my cruising grounds have been SW Florida and the surrounding area. I think I saw a small whale once... but it was quite some way off. Someone told me it was a Pilot Whale, but I saw it about 10 miles offshore of Fort Myers and I thought they were more focused in the Atlantic Ocean. I have to confess I am ignorant of whales, but a picture I saw kind of resembled it and I will say a Pilot Whale unless otherwise corrected.

On sharks... I have seen many. I think the inlet to Charlotte Harbor must be the worlds leading proliferator of Hammers and Bulls and Black Tips. None of them have ever messed with me (including a Tiger I was diving over in the Tortugas). Their reputation as aggeresive seems over exhagerated in my book (of course, though, it only takes one).

So, just curious what whales others have seen? Types? How far offshores? Other sharks? Interesting stuff. Pictures are great... but not neccesary.

- CD


PSS Anyone seen any Blues or Humpbacks?

Giulietta 01-25-2007 06:09 PM

is this real or you're joking???? got me confused here, if its real I'll delete it...

Cruisingdad 01-25-2007 06:28 PM

Very real and serious!!

T34C 01-25-2007 06:29 PM

I heard about the rare Portuguese Sperm Whale once!! (explains some of those sponsors)

Sharks- had one try to give me $1,000 when we were downtown the other day???

Cruisingdad 01-25-2007 06:34 PM

Hey Giu,

What marine life do you have out there? Any whales (and no sperm whales T, for God's sakes)... I'm serious. I would love to see some pictures! I did not get one of the whale I saw... but more dolphins that I know what to do with.

Giulietta 01-25-2007 06:38 PM

Actually he was right, that is exactly it!!! Sperm Whales

I saw a whale once off the Azores....big we cal them CACHALOTE.

on another occasion, leaving Sines marina at 4 am, dark as a mule's butt, I heard something that sacred the hell out of me, pfffffffffffffff, I had a surge of adrenaline, I could hear it 5 or 6 more times.....pffffffff then gone

I never found out what it was but I was really looking around like crazy...maybe dolphins, but they normally say hi.

T was it the guy selling the rolex?? you know the one that keeps sending me emails to increase my penis size??? As If I need it!!

sailingdog 01-25-2007 07:19 PM

I've see a pod of Right Whales.... other than that not much.

Giulietta 01-25-2007 07:21 PM

Hey...that's the species of my Aunt mathilda....

poopdeckpappy 01-25-2007 07:51 PM

Out here in the Catalina Channel, we have Gray whales on the move right now and with them come the Orcas which have also been seen in the last few weeks, There was two orcas crusing inside the Avalon Mooring Field in Dec.

In 71' I saw a orca breach, center punching what I thought a the time was a sea lion, I later read in the paper it was in fact a Great White the orca had killed, this was a couple miles off Pt Loma.

Sharks; I've seen a few Blues, been diving with white tip reef and had close encounters with a couple of threshers, had one almost take the end of my finger off while photographing, (That was my fault, I hit him, not the other way around,) also had a 6' threasher swim under me once while photographing, I never saw either one, but everybody else did

paulk 01-25-2007 07:55 PM

Sail more, see both!
We had sharks once, on the way from Newport to Bermuda in a millpond-calm sea. Every hundred yards or so in every direction there was the tip of a tail sticking up about 4" out of the water. They would each flop first to one side, and then off to the other as the sharks (basking??) cruised slowly along. When we came up to one, it would sink into the dark, and then reappear a few hundred feet aft.
Whales are much more fun. We were going transatlantic when we came across a pod of about 80 or 100 pilot whales. They lay in the water like telephone poles, with stubby little fins on their backs, and stubby, rounded jaws sticking forward of their heads, making little pfft noises as they jostled around in a big group off our starboard side. A few lifted their heads out of the water and splashed a little. They looked to be as big around as a 55 gallon drum (in the middle) and perhaps 30 or so feet long. They swam near us for about 10 to fifteen minutes, and then melted away.
On another night it was so foggy you could barely see the mast from the helm on our 38' sloop. We were sailing gently along at about 5 or 6 knots, with the bow wave making an occasional swish, when we heard snoring. Very distracting on the 00:00-04:00 watch, with everything else so quiet. Humph. Captain must need turning over, we said to each other, so I went below to give him a poke. Wasn't him; no snoring going on in the quarter berth below. It was louder aft than forward, though. I went to the backstay to listen. It was coming from about 10 feet aft of the transom, with the fog so thick that the stern light's blur only extended about three. A little bit later we noticed an occasional "poof" and swish sound off the leeward side as well. The two (maybe three?) whales "piloted" us through the change of watch, but were gone when we came back on at 0800.
On another day during the trip, a Finback whale gave us a distant perusal, coming up to breathe a few times within sight, several hundred yards off. When he (?) dove, you could see the long arching back and then the small fin, well aft. Didn't see any flukes.
It was really neat to see animals so at home in their environment. They reminded me of cows in a field. Solid, content, purposefully doing their thing and not worrying about it or us. Saw more whales more recently on a trip to Alaska -bubble feeding - but that was on a whalewatch tourist boat so doesn't count here.

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