sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : How dangerous are whales really? - incredible photos
How dangerous are whales really? - incredible photos


'Whale below dive boat, this could be you - photo by Barcroft Media'    .

How scared should you be when boating off shore about a collision with a whale? It goes without saying that there are known seasons that should be avoided at all costs, but what about the number of boats that 'hit an unknown object' and sank quickly?

A scuba diver off the coast of Argentina snapped a series of incredible pictures for Barcroft Media recently of a pair of southern right whales lurking menacingly close beneath a tiny boat of whale watchers. This was published by the Mirror Newpaper and the very proximity of the whale watching boat to the whales raises the question again with Slate's Brian Palmer.

As cruising sailors, as also with whale watching boats, we are required by law to keep 100 metres or yards between the vessel and the whale, but there are occasional accidents.

Whale resting below while baby rests on surface - photo by Barcroft Media -  .. .  


In Hawaii whale-watching boats strike a few whales per year. The collisions are usually minor and involve no injury to man or beast. Ten years ago, however, the captain of a whale-watching vessel near Hawaii was fiddling with the volume on the public address system when his boat struck a humpback whale. The collision caused a 3-year-old passenger to lose his balance. He was killed when his head struck a guardrail and the deck, and the family later reached a legal settlement with the tour operator.

Collisions between whales and boats occur with some regularity, sometimes in spectacular fashion.

Whale collides with sailing boat -  .. .  
In July 2010 off the coast of South Africa, for instance, a cruising couple received a nasty surprise when they were dismasted by a whale which breached on top of their boat. Palomo Werner and Ralph Mothes were sailing on their yacht Intrepid when the whale, estimated by onlookers to weigh about 40 tonnes, crashed across their yacht, inflicting heavy damage to both the yacht and itself. (In South Africa the minimum distance is 300m)

In 2012, a 55-foot whale surged out of the water 40 miles west of the Mexican coast and landed on a 50-foot sailboat, sinking it, sadly on the last leg of his round-world voyage. The Coast Guard rescued the boat’s only occupant.

Again in 2012, a solo catamaran sailor suffered a collision with a whale in the Tasman Sea and had to take to his life raft after setting off his EPIRB. He was rescued, but lost his catamaran. His rescuers reported he was more concerned about any damage to the whale than he was about the loss of his boat, which was his only home.

Then there are older reports. Maurice and Maralyn Bailey were on their way from Panama to the Galapagos Islands when, at dawn on 4 March 1973, their 31ft Auralyn was struck by a whale and holed. The Baileys survived for 117 days and drifted 1500 miles on an inflatable liferaft before being rescued. They wrote an account of their ordeal entitled 117 Days Adrift (Staying Alive! in the US).

Dougal Robertson left England in 1971 aboard Lucette, a 43ft wooden schooner, with his wife and four children. On 15 June 1972 Lucette was holed by a pod of killer whales and sank approximately 200 miles west of the Galapagos Islands. The six people on board took to an inflatable liferaft and a solid hull dinghy, which they used as a tow-boat with a jury-rigged sail. They were rescued after 38 days by a fishing trawler.

Whale meets diver - what is she thinking? Photo by Barcroft Media -  .. .  


Authorities suspect that there are many unreported close encounters with whales, because ship captains worry that notifying the Coast Guard may lead to legal liability.

Most whale-boat collisions appear entirely accidental, but a few captains claim to have been deliberately targeted by a bloodthirsty cetacean. During the 19th century, the heydays of the whale-oil trade, sperm whales regularly attacked whaling ships, biting the hulls or whipping the boats with their tails.

The most famous attack involved the whale ship Essex. In 1820, a male sperm whale twice lined up and rammed the boat nearly head-on, striking just off the bow and sinking the vessel while protecting its own head from the sharpest part of the ship.

It’s not entirely clear what motivated the whale to attack, but one theory is that tapping sounds coming from a carpenter’s hammer may have resembled the noises made by rival males guarding territory and female whales.

Fifty years after the Essex went down, whale-ship captains were still worried about the danger of whale collisions. In a landmark 1870 treatise on English shipbuilding, Henry Coleman Folkard lauded the development of the harpoon gun, which allowed captains to keep their ships out of hand-throwing distance of whales.

However, today, the vast majority of cruising sailors report happy experiences when encountering whales in the ocean - of hearing them singing, of having them circle the boat repeatedly, of them sailing along in company for a period of time.

All in all, rather than it being a catastrophic event, if you encounter a whale in an ocean you are more likely to have an experience you will remember - and treasure - for the rest of your life.
..............

Letter from reader, adding information:

Sender: Jay Reese

Message: I have been sailing in the Sea of Cortez for over three years and have had five sightings of whales. Of these five sightings two came very close to disaster.
The first was between Cabo San Lucas and Frailes, when a whale came (without warning) completely out of the water and landed within a few feet of the side of our boat SV Wind Raven. The impact of this huge creature lifted the boat several feet on the starboard side and we almost took a knockdown from it.
I turned to starboard trying to get away from the offending whale and another whale burst through the surface directly off the port bow. I turned back to starboard and managed to leave the area without any more problems.
Other than trying to avoid the whales by steering away from them, I turned off the Interphase forward looking sonar immediately after the second whale burst from the water. It is my opinion that the sounds made by sonar can confuse the whales and cause unfortunate collisions.

The second encounter was about a month ago while on the northern crossing from Guaymas to Santa Rosalia Mexico. I was traveling under sail at between seven and eight knots at sundown, when a sperm whale surfaced about a hundred and fifty feet directly off the bow. I was alert and had been watching for whales, as I knew they were beginning their migration, but it came out of nowhere.
Being under sail, close hauled with the wind off the starboard bow, I had no choice but to steer to port, trying to go behind the whale. As soon as I turned, two more whales surfaced off my port bow. I had no choice, but was forced to turn back to starboard or hit the whales. As I turned back the whales dove and it appeared that I managed ti slide between them. Unfortunately, I felt a slight bump and a huge whales tail breached the surface beside the stern on the starboard side.
When I arrived in Santa Rosalia and went under power I had a strange noise coming from the drive train. I sailed from there to La Paz, where I now am now anchored (dead in the water) trying to determine whether the prop is turning on the shaft, or the damage is to the V-Drive, or both
I welcome any constructive criticism or advice you might have. I do like whales, but only at extreme distances and think whale watchers are bonkers!


by Brian Palmer/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117781

12:40 AM Sat 21 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World







The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe by Andy Adams and John Armstrong,










The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat? by Martin Flory/Sail-World Cruising,


ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea' by World Cruising Club/Sail-World,








Heart-stopping moment as whale capsizes Zodiac by Sail-World Cruising round-up,


If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,


Climate change could stop fish finding their friends by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,






















A Beer Bummel on the Thames River by Greg Nicoll with John Armstrong,






The North West Passage calls: Who will answer this year? by Douglas Pohl/Sail-World Cruising,








Jessica Watson, solo sailing star, four years on...
Americas solo non-stop circumnavigator crosses Pacific for research
What is an El Niño and how will it affect my sailing? (Part 1)
The Dinghy Nav Light Solution- a brilliantly dumb idea
ARC Portugal concludes in Marina de Lagos
Spike in water temperatures evidence of ‘irreversible’ El Nino *Feature
Sailing crew's battle to save yacht lost in the Indian Ocean
Five Top Tips for selecting the best boatyard
RYA Onboard gets half a million youngsters on the water
Tips for selecting the best boatyard
Predictwind unlocks more features on free accounts
Composite Rigging launches new campaign for ECsix
When is a Captain not a Captain?
RYA summary of Navitus Bay Wind Park views submitted
Free app for managing your yacht
Amazing MOB survival - 13 hours floating, rescued by fishermen
Boater hit by lightning survives: 'It was the worst pain ever'
Inauguration of the new Yacht Club Monaco - Images by Carlo Borlenghi
Lessons for sailing clubs - how does YOURS rate?
Turkey's new cruising black/gray water rules, skipper qualifications
Giving up the luxuries of a life on land for Lizzy Belle   
Dehler 46, 'serious' cruising boat, debuts July   
SV Mystic to carry out OHPRI teen summer camps and voyages for adults   
Australian rescuers get bravery medal for rescuing Russian sailor   
Sailors and windfarms: Largest ever UK wind project approved   
Cooking at Sea? Which cook book should I buy?   
Fraudulent yacht broker gets jail for twelve months   
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville joins Summer Sailstice   
The Grand Pavois - What's new as at June?   
Life jackets lead to fewer deaths - the campaign is working   
Boat buying scams and the Red Flags to watch for.   
Retired yachting star to sail again - for the love of her boat   
The quest to save coral - one man's plan   
Paint Guide: Carry it with you on your smart phone   
The mouse is roaring. Newport mooring owners don't want docks   
Being a guest on someone's boat - 8 Tips to get you invited again   
Bounty sinking Coast Guard final report: rot, decay, low standards   
Carbon monoxide poisoning on boats - it keeps happening   
Own a romantic Skipjack for just $10,000   
Classics Rally in Falmouth - historic and spectacular this weekend   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT