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Old 07-21-2010, 12:06 AM   #1
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Why steel is better : Friendly Whale
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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Not the same but I guess they were lucky it was steel.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:22 AM   #3
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"A South African sailor says her trip off the country's picturesque southwestern coast was wrecked by an unexpected whack from a whale.

"Paloma Werner said the southern right whale breached just metres from their boat in Cape Town's waters on Sunday.

"It slammed the yacht, snapping the mast in two."

Article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Can anyone from SA verify this? I find it hard to believe that a whale could break the mainmast of the boat without causing significant other collateral damage.
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel' date='22 July 2010 - 08:16 AM View Post

"A South African sailor says her trip off the country's picturesque southwestern coast was wrecked by an unexpected whack from a whale.

"Paloma Werner said the southern right whale breached just metres from their boat in Cape Town's waters on Sunday.

"It slammed the yacht, snapping the mast in two."

Article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Can anyone from SA verify this? I find it hard to believe that a whale could break the mainmast of the boat without causing significant other collateral damage.
Hello Del,

The article published in the Cape Argus (Capetown - South Africa) appeared in an earlier topic which I have merged with yours.

In the 2nd page of Argus story, you will find that the boat got back to its berth with the rigging, sails and broken mast. From the picture it looks like the whale came down on the port-side shrouds and the coach house roof. It was a Steel Boat!

Richard
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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I saw the whale contact near South Africa on a TV news report, the same happened on the Great Barrier Reef on the Queensland coast in Australia with a British family renting a yacht for a holiday a couple of years ago. The Barrier Reef contact also came from a breaching whale which broke the mast and coach house above the deck.

They both seemed to be too close to the whale, in Australia distance is restricted to prevent stress to the whale. I personally had a near contact in an area of the Barrier Reef which I was not aware of whales in the area. The two adult whales and a calf surfaced about 50 meters off my bow and instantly the rear cow turned thrashing up foam and faced towards me, when I saw the whales I put the helm full over. The whale did not charge; I suspect it felt I was not a threat, saw my size beam on(bigger than bow on) or realized I was turning away. Either way it left my heart pounding for a while.

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Old 07-24-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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A question to those who report whales getting a bit too close, did you have your depth sounder on? The reason I ask is because I understand that whales don't have the greatest eyesight, and I've watched whales playing for hours, breaching toward each other time after time. I sometimes think that whale run-ins are the result of their misunderstanding what they are approaching - boats or another friendly whale.

Years ago there were lots of reports of a whale chasing/following too closely sailboats leaving Gibraltar for the Caribbean. The nervous cruisers reported that this whale didn't stop following them until they turned their engine on. I can only guess that it was a case of mistaken identification, and the noise of the engine and prop corrected the whale's confusion.

In 1989 a couple sailing west from Central America were attacked by a pod of pilot whales and their boat was sunk. ("66 Days Adrift" by Bill Butler).

We were still in the Caribbean when we heard the reports of their disastrous encounter with the whales. What was most interesting to me was that in the same year a cruising acquaintance reported his encounter with a pod of killer whales as he was motoring along the coast of Venezuela to Trinidad. It was early in the morning and he was on watch when two killer whales started splashing and crossing in front of his boat time and time again, peculiar behavior he had never seen before. He slowed down and turned away from his course, and finally noticed that there was a large pod of killer whales that appeared to be sleeping directly in line with his original course. He guessed that the two whales swimming at his boat were the posted lookouts for the sleeping pod. As soon as he turned away from the whales they left him alone and went back to the sleeping pod.

We always kept our depth sounder on when making crossings, even when we were in the middle of the ocean, probably because I theorized that the sonar pings would alert sea mammals that we were there.

Some more interesting reading on this subject. Teenage drivers: why whales smash into boats

Sailboat sinks after encounter with whales
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:37 AM   #7
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From Whale to Jail? "The Department is conducting an investigation following a complaint from the public that the vessel was harassing the whale"

Full report - HERE
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:20 PM   #8
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From what I found with whales is that if they approach a vessel it is because they are inquisitive and can come very close without alarm - the ball is in their court so to say. When a whale is approached by the vessel they may feel they are being crowded, they didn't ask you to come close. If the vessel persists to come closer then 'vessel beware' is the motto. Whales are aware of a vessel in the proximity and if a good distance is held often the whale will relax and come closer - back to the whale making the choice.

I inadvertently got too close to a whale on the surface and received a very strong 'message' from the whale that it felt uncomfortable about me being so close. I believe that had I not responded to that warning things would only get worse. On the other hand I have had whales 'playing' very close while I drifted with them for some time; I guess; after they realized I was intending no threat to them.

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Old 08-24-2010, 11:03 PM   #9
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Having been around whales for the last 30+ years, and particularly Southern right whales for 27, my advice is: keep away from juveniles/subadults. Their behavior is definitely more erratic and they don´t seem to have the same spatial awareness as the older guys do. Also, if you have an engine, turn it on. It may help.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truda' date='25 August 2010 - 12:57 AM View Post

Also, if you have an engine, turn it on. It may help.
Running an echo-sounder is also said to help.

See this thread too

Incidentaly, as mentioned in the link above, in the early 1970's a British ship, the BENARTY, when on passage between the Cape of Good Hope and Indonesia ran into what is assumed to be a sleeping whale. That was a big, single screw, cargo ship doing about 17 knots. She was also a motor ship so there should have been a veritable underwater cacophony which obviously was not sufficient to disturb the whale's slumber.

The whale could not be detached from the bows of the ship destite the crew's efforts and even running astern at highest speed. In the end, the ship had to return to Africa, putting into Durban where, at the time, there was a whaling station on the Bluff. Flensers, from the whaling station, eventualy cut the whale off the bows.

IMHO, the best way to avoid whales and sea-sickness is to stand under a tree. In putting to sea we risk encountering both.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Running an echo-sounder is also said to help.
Sailing our small 21' sloop from Perth to Cairns we had daily encounters with whales right through the Kimberley and across Bonapart Gulf. Whales would broach at times a mere 200m from our bow scaring the crap out of us, so I'm not surprised that a vessel had the mishap of one landing onboard. I will say however, as a graphic designer of some 25 odd years specialising in photoshop retouching - that pic touted about is about as real as a three pound note - but image fakery aside, I am surprised that there are not more instances of mammal/vessel collisions.

We ended up leaving our engine ticking over when we sailed through the region after spotting a mother and calf on a collision course with us. We turned on the motor and they instantly changed direction. After that we decided to play it self and burn a bit of diesel for peace of mind.

Mind you, there were a number of occasions during the night when whales surfaced right beside our vessel - close enough for us to pat them on the snout from the tiller position. Whether or not they broach during the night I have no idea but unlike during the day, we heard no gigantic splashes in the night.

It's amazing how quickly you can go from 'ah look! there's a whale - ooh ahhh ' to "oh @#@#$%%$%^!!! there's another one! LEAVE US ALONE!!!!' I think the transition only took us a day!
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:50 AM   #12
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Off the SE coast of Australia "a sunfish hit us" is racing-yachtie speak for "I was sailing a poorly designed boat, thin-hulled and ill equipped for ocean sailing in big seas, I was out in conditions that should have had us in port, and I came off a big wave a bit hard and broke the keel/hull/transom and need to think of a good story to make my insurance company pay up for my stupid mistakes".

Yeah, in other parts of the world it's whales or icebergs but the sunfish is the IOYD (implement of yacht destruction) of choice here.
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