Thursday, April 6, 2017

Right Whales Moving Into Cape Cod Bay

Massachusetts has rites of Spring, just like Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado do. Some of our rites involve whales coming for a visit at a certain time of year, just like they don't in Iowa.

North Atlantic Right Whales are entering our waters as we speak. They come in after plankton, using some primordial algorithm to know when the water temperature is just right to chow down on the microscopic organisms.

Right Whales are as rare as it gets, and are especially rare for both large whales and marine mammals in particular. There are only 500 left in the world. At the moment, 71 of those have been recorded as being in Cape Cod Bay as of Wednesday.

A mother and her calf were spotted in the Cape Cod Canal Tuesday, and another mom/baby were seen in Cape Cod Bay about halfway between Provincetown and Marshfield. Experts expect many more in the upcoming weeks.

 The whales cruise the surface, filtering tons of plankton into their tummies. They often work very close to shore, and are visible to beachwalkers. Set up on a cliff (Manomet, Cedarville, Scituate, Saquish) if you can, height always helps when spotting. It involves more "getting lucky" than me getting laid, but even a bad day staring at the ocean is better than most good days.

It goes without saying that you shouldn't hassle these whales. They are very rare. Boats are required by law to keep a few hundred yards between them and any righty. A collision between a whale and a boat could take an endangered species off of the charts.

It's also good sense for the mariner. Look at how things ended for Captain Ahab, Quint, Joshua, Samuel L. Jackson... you don't want to mess with anything that can fit you in their mouth.

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