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Whale Strike, What to do.

Whale strikes with sailboats are becoming more frequent. How to avoid whales and what to do when it happens.

Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 1 Week Ago at 04:15 PM.
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

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Whale strikes with sailboats are becoming more frequent. How to avoid whales and what to do when it happens. Whale Strike!! What if you HIT A WHALE with a Sail boat? (Tips from the Pros #3/P. Childress #53) - YouTube
Sorry, didnít view the video. Hope this isnít just a way to drive more views.

But on what basis do you say ďwhale strikes with sailboats are becoming more frequentĒ? Data please. And where are you talking? The globe? A local area?

Itís a pretty amazing fact ó if true.
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

Sail New England coast and Windwards. Whales are frequent in summer in New England and winter in windwards. They have the same migration pattern as I do. So have had whales on on four sides of the boat at times. Have had whales want to scratch an itch. Have had whales sleeping on the surface at night. Beyond whales on transit see pilot whales hanging out where I like to fish.
Things Iíve learned.
Porpoise are fine. Whales arenít. See whale spouting go around them. Figure out if they are stationary with calves or moving. Just like with a ship head behind them. You arenít in a massive steel or Aluminum whale watch boat best is to never head toward them for a peak but rather stay away.
Banging pots works as does engine with changing rpm.
Turn on engine. They can turn on a dime and sailing you are slow to change course or speed.
Some think colored bottom paint helps. Havenít seen anything that supports that opinion.
Most whales are solitary but will get together when calving or bubble feeding. If you see more than one whale get as far away as possible. Itís the whale you donít see that will hit you.
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

Whale strikes are becoming more frequent? Frankly, I doubt that. I have never seen any evidence to that effect, and I would be extraordinarily surprised if the OP could come up with any real data to support his claim.

I will apologize most obsequiously if I am proven wrong, but I am pretty certain this is just another internet claim, completely unsupported by any facts, and invented solely for the purpose of driving more clicks.
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Whale strikes are becoming more frequent? Frankly, I doubt that. I have never seen any evidence to that effect, and I would be extraordinarily surprised if the OP could come up with any real data to support his claim.

I will apologize most obsequiously if I am proven wrong, but I am pretty certain this is just another internet claim, completely unsupported by any facts, and invented solely for the purpose of driving more clicks.
This is what I suspect as well, but I wanted to give the OP the benefit of the doubt. Itís a pretty clear claim.

On the driving clicks issue, Iím getting pretty annoyed at people who simply post a teaser line and then toss in a youtube video. It seems rather insulting to this community to be using it largely as a means of driving clicks on your own revenue-generating link.

By all means, use videos to support a discussion. But DISCUSS it here, donít just toss out a teaser and a link.

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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Sail New England coast and Windwards. Whales are frequent in summer in New England and winter in windwards. They have the same migration pattern as I do. So have had whales on on four sides of the boat at times. Have had whales want to scratch an itch. Have had whales sleeping on the surface at night. Beyond whales on transit see pilot whales hanging out where I like to fish.
Things Iíve learned.
Porpoise are fine. Whales arenít. See whale spouting go around them. Figure out if they are stationary with calves or moving. Just like with a ship head behind them. You arenít in a massive steel or Aluminum whale watch boat best is to never head toward them for a peak but rather stay away.
Banging pots works as does engine with changing rpm.
Turn on engine. They can turn on a dime and sailing you are slow to change course or speed.
Some think colored bottom paint helps. Havenít seen anything that supports that opinion.
Most whales are solitary but will get together when calving or bubble feeding. If you see more than one whale get as far away as possible. Itís the whale you donít see that will hit you.
Iíve been gaining a lot of experience with whales these past few years through the St. Lawrence and in Newfoundland waters. Lots of pilot whales and humpbacks. And even bigger ones like Fin and (perhaps) Right.

They seem pretty aware of us when weíre motoring, but under sail ó not so much. Iíve diverted around pods a number of times, but I also love being close to these amazing animals.

Last season we had a couple of humpbacks visit us at anchor. Pitch black. Iím awakened to the PShhhhtt ó massive exhale right beside the boat. Then the boat starts rocking, I assume from the swish of the fins. Two of them circled us a few times, I assume just to check us out. Very cool, but I did wonder/fret if they could see our anchor chain.
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

Delivering a boat for the Heineken in SXM years ago on the no-moon midnight watch with an old hand named Rudy (he was John Steinbeck's private charter captain over 50 years earlier). Rudy sent me below to make coffee. I come back up into the cockpit and all of a sudden, something really, really, really stank. I mean 3 day old fish factory stink. I said "what the F is that??" Rudy says "whale, he's right beside us." Pitch black, he was 30' off our port side and blew again. Unbelieveable stink. Suffocating stink. Rotten crill stink.
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

Have had only one encounter with what I thought at first sighting was a whale. Turned out to be what would be considered a small adult whale shark ( about 25-30' long). It was a magical experience, second only to swimming with manatees at Three Sisters Springs near Crystal River. Both experiences were simply awe inspiring. The whale shark came within a few feet of the boat and left me totally mesmerized. Awesome creatures.
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

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Originally Posted by VIEXILE View Post
Delivering a boat for the Heineken in SXM years ago on the no-moon midnight watch with an old hand named Rudy (he was John Steinbeck's private charter captain over 50 years earlier). Rudy sent me below to make coffee. I come back up into the cockpit and all of a sudden, something really, really, really stank. I mean 3 day old fish factory stink. I said "what the F is that??" Rudy says "whale, he's right beside us." Pitch black, he was 30' off our port side and blew again. Unbelieveable stink. Suffocating stink. Rotten crill stink.

Hahaha......some memories you canít shake!
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Re: Whale Strike, Are We Sinking?

I don't know whether whale strikes are more common, but it seems like we hear about them and floating container accidents with a lot more frequency than we used to. I don't know whether this is because of better reporting, or more boats out there in whale grounds, or whale recovery numbers, or just me paying greater attention. The video itself does provide some useful information.

Jeff


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