Dream summer job… to be paid for watching whales and other animals living in the sea and enjoy the free food and drinks at the boat.
Yes, we were lucky to have this job. Working in galley (Jan was working after the 1st month also as 1st mate) on the wahlewatch boats which make 3-hours long trip – this has really broaden our horizon.
We must really admit that these giant animals are a nature miracle and we saw them many many times in their natural habitat.
Provincetown is located near to the Stellwagen bank – special shallow area (also a nature sanctuary) where are good conditions for life and therefor there is a lot of food – plankton. In summer we were able to watch humpback whales, minke whales (the smallest baleen whale), fin whale, grampus dolphins, white-sided dolphins, leatherback turtle, sunfish, jellyfish and special plankton making jelly chains.
During the summer we’ve seen the different whale behaviours – breaching, tail breaching, chin breaching, flipper slapping, tail lobbing, logging, breathing, feeding, diving and also a rescue of a whale stuck in a lobster trap.
Some of the interesting information about whales:
- All humpbacks have characteristic patterns (shape of fin and flute, colors on tail). Also everyone has a its name and you can find it a catalog with pictures of their bottom side of tails (we saw for example salt – the most famous whale, vencesca, coral, …).
- Whales can live 200 years – so even your grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-child can see the same whale as you :)
- The whale breath can make a nice rainbow, but is stinks like a garbage can
- The whales can be left or right handed – on of their sides is more scratched from the bottom feeding
- The humpbacks have special way of feeding – they swim under the plankton and make a bubble net which scares the fish which then stay together and the whales just go through them with open mouth and at the surface just release the rest of water through the baleen.
- Everybody who saw Free Willy thinks that the killer whales are friendly – but there is a reason why there are called this way. Sometimes you can see a humpback with a tail bitten from a killer whales.
- Why you don’t want to swim with whales? Because they are reeely big and don’t care if something small like human is around them. They don’t want to hurt you on purpose, but it can happen and on their bodies grow the barnacles which are really sharp – like to scratch a coral reef :)
For more information you can visit a Center for Coastal studies.