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Journals 2007/2008

Kimberly Pratt
Alvarado Elementary School, Union City, California

"Atlantic Northeast Shelf Ecosystem Monitoring Project
NOAA, R/V Delaware II
August 15 - 29, 2007
Journal Index:
August 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22
           23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29


Additional Resources

August 27, 2007

August 27, 2007 A barbeque and whales too!

Latitude: 42° 42.06' N
Longitude: 67° 35.01' W
Sea Depth: 188.5
Wind Speed: 8 kts.
Sea Temp: 16.1
Location: 118 miles northeast of Provincetown, MA
Time: 1715

Wow, I cannot believe that this trip is almost over. Time has gone by so quickly. As they say, one more day and a wake up and we will be in port at Woods Hole (Wednesday). Today we continued sampling with awesome weather! The fog has gone away as we get closer to shore and it is really nice outside. In the morning, we spotted some humpback whales off our stern. It was majestic watching them surface and blow. The humpback - Megaptera novaeangliae can grow up to 53 feet in length (16.2m) and is mostly black and its belly can be white. They are found along the coast, usually on a continental shelf, island banks or in the open sea. They are migratory and in the Atlantic migrate from North Iceland and West Greenland south to West Indies. Humpbacks feed on krill and small fish. They concentrate their food by forming a bubble curtain, created by releasing air bubbles while swimming in a circle beneath the water surface. Humpback whales "sing" or vocalize a long series of phrases. Some say that they are recognizable by their "song". Humpbacks can breach, or leap clear of the water, and spy hop by sticking their heads up out of the water to look around. They are very playful, sometimes slapping their tails on the water, and have been known to follow ships and often jump for twenty minutes straight.

Later in the afternoon, celebrating this beautiful day, the chef, Jonathan pulled out the barbeque and cooked up steaks and tuna for everyone. The smell was delicious! We continue to enjoy good weather and calm seas. Tomorrow will be a lunar eclipse at 0500! Something to be awake for!

Ref: Caldwell, David & Caldwell, Melba. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Fishes, Whales and Dolphins. 1983 Chanticleer Press, New York.

Humpback. Photo courtesy of Cornelia Oedekoven,