Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Humpback Whales / Coast Guard Cutter Cape Small 95300


In 1976 I had the pleasure of sailing around the Hawaiian Islands on a 95 foot Coast Guard Cutter. 

The Cutter was the Cape Small 95300.  On our patrols we were at time between the Islands of Maui and Kaho’olawe due to some unrest of the locals over bombing, by the Navy, on Kaho’olawe. 

During the patrols we had the pleasure of seeing humpback whales in close proximity to our patrol boat.   We launched a small boat and they came very close to us and showed little fear. 

The humpback whale is the fifth largest of the world's great whales. Distinct populations of humpback whales are found in each of the world's oceans. Newborn calves, weighing an average of 1.5 tons, range from 10 to 16 feet in length. Males may reach 43 feet in length, while females are slightly larger, averaging 45 feet. A mature humpback weighs up to one ton per foot, or about 85,000 - 90,000 pounds.

Recently published photographs showing graphic injuries to two humpback whale calves off Maui are raising questions about how to make the ocean safer for the endangered animals during their winter visits.

Also recently Luna the Orca was killed by a tugboat.  These cases raise issues about how man can share the ocean with these wonderful creatures.

I assure you if you ever seen one in person you will never forget the experience.


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