2011 03 16- A whale scarred by a propeller is identified by Dr Jooke Robbins as Broomball Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

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The horrendous photographs above were taken by Michael Smith on Sea Slipper on Monday 14th of March. The whale is Broomball.  It has no NAHWC# yet but it has been seen in the Gulf of Maine every year since 2007. The propeller wounds are severe and the whale was lucky to have survived. With plenty of whales appearing around Bermuda over the next two months it's a reminder for us to drive slowly and carefully. The whales can be underwater for as much as half an hour before surfacing. Racing at speed there is no possibility of knowing if a whale is in the vicinity about to come to the surface.

Just in case you think we do nothing except look for whales in this household, here are some images of Somers and Elsa after school this afternoon taking advantage of yesterday's change to Daylight Savings and longer evenings to look for critters.

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Somers follows Elsa to explore Flatts Inlet. A fishing rod is not meant for fishing, it's meant for prodding around at the edges of the water.

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Elsa almost catches this crab but it wisely realizes it's met its match. Then Elsa yells in excitement. With the tip of her rod she has carefully hoisted out of the water two nudibranches.

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Elsa proudly shows me one of the nudibranches or sea hares she's found and caught.

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Above Elsa and Somers prepare a temporary home for their new friends and then sadly watch them swim away when it's time to head for home.

But later this evening we received a call from Elsa's swim coach, Jenny, with whales sighted breaching off Spittal Pond. I was about to put the girls into the bath but we changed our plans and quickly drove to Pokiok Estates

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Above Elsa has her camera all ready to take photos of the whales but gets distracted. So does Somers.

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I saw whales breaching off Devonshire Bay only seconds after witnessing whales breaching off Spittal Pond. I have seen this behaviour many times where a breach in one place is almost immediately answered by a breach a mile or so away. This could be a response from one whale, or group of whales, to another group, in this case  about two miles away, to indicate their relative positions.

Elsa asks me incredulously as we headed back to the car, "You mean you saw two lots of whales breaching? How come I didn't see them?"


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