Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BIG MAMMALS AND THE BIG APPLE

I've been thinking about doing another around Long Island cruise recently. I did one a number of years ago back in the days when I still had a diesel engine on board. It was somewhat of an adventure with the engine exhaust elbow developing a hole the first day requiring some jury rigged repairs. I also lost my crew when he had to leave the boat because of the death of a friend. I ended up heading into Shinecock Inlet for the first time at night by myself in those pre GPS days. Like I said it was a little bit of an adventure but, I got in despite the conditions.
I've been thinking about doing another similar cruise now that I have electric propulsion. There is a lot of traffic in the area from freighters, cruise ships, tugs and barges and a lot of fishing boats. So one needs to be alert. Then there was this kind of a good news/bad news story that is making people stand up and take notice:

"Humpback whales, the gigantic, endangered mammals known for their haunting underwater songs, have been approaching New York City in greater numbers than even old salts can remember. Naturalists aboard whale-watching boats have seen humpbacks in the Atlantic Ocean within a mile of the Rockaway peninsula, part of New York's borough of Queens, within sight of Manhattan's skyscrapers.
"It is truly remarkable, within miles of the Empire State Building, to have one of the largest and most charismatic species ever to be on this planet," said Howard Rosenbaum, director of the Ocean Giants program at the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Humpbacks were spotted 87 times from the boats this year, and by cataloging the whales' markings, at least 19 different humpbacks have been identified in the waters off the city."- ABC News

As I said it's a good news bad news story as far as my plans go. While it's nice that the whales are returning to the local waters here. It does add a little more apprehension when cruising the ocean waters in a 30 foot fiberglass boat. Namely that one of them might perceive BIANKA sailing along in the middle of the night as a threat. I know the risk is probably low but, it's just another thing one has to think about and prepare for these days.


2 comments:

Mark Roope said...

I just think it is amazing that these whales are so close to New York but I would also have trepidation on getting so close. Your about the right size for a bit of breeding.
Good sailing.

Capt. Mike said...

Quite right Mark. I really don't want to find out what a "love tap" by a 40 ton whale would do to the boat. :)