CALIFORNIA GRAY WHALES-The Approach

GRAY WHALES– The ApproachHere’s a program from our archives.Ambience: Kayak paddlingThis time of year Gray whales are making their southern migration along the Pacific coast, towards Baja, California– a journey of some four thousand miles. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.”Well, rather then going after the whales, we’re going to try and position ourselves in such a way that the whales are approaching us.”Steph Dutton works with the Gray whale research project run by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey, California. He and his partner Tim Morrison have been following the whales’ migration routes in kayaks, which cause little stress to the animals as researchers paddle up next to them.”I think we’ve been bowled over by the amount that we’ve learned. In particular, Tim and I working together have devised our hunting strategy. After they sound, that’s when the big game starts. They’re going to stay down for three to seven minutes, and who knows where they’re going to come up. So when they go down there can be just the subtlest movement in their flukes which will indicate which direction they’re going to head. They don’t go in a bee-line all the time. So after a couple of minutes, we’ll drop our paddling pace; another minute we’ll drop it a little more. And the majority of the time, sure enough, they surface within fifty yards, and then it’s a a quick sprint over to them and then we’re paralleling them again. Working out this gentle angle of intercept, we feel that the majority of the time they’re accepting our presence. Or, if not accepting, they’re not concerned with our presence. “For transcripts of and other programs in our series, please visit our web site at www.pulseplanet.com. We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project – a novel. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

CALIFORNIA GRAY WHALES-The Approach

Using kayaks and “a gentle angle of approach,” a researcher pays a visit to migrating Gray whales.
Air Date:11/09/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

GRAY WHALES-- The ApproachHere's a program from our archives.Ambience: Kayak paddlingThis time of year Gray whales are making their southern migration along the Pacific coast, towards Baja, California-- a journey of some four thousand miles. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet."Well, rather then going after the whales, we're going to try and position ourselves in such a way that the whales are approaching us."Steph Dutton works with the Gray whale research project run by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey, California. He and his partner Tim Morrison have been following the whales' migration routes in kayaks, which cause little stress to the animals as researchers paddle up next to them."I think we've been bowled over by the amount that we've learned. In particular, Tim and I working together have devised our hunting strategy. After they sound, that's when the big game starts. They're going to stay down for three to seven minutes, and who knows where they're going to come up. So when they go down there can be just the subtlest movement in their flukes which will indicate which direction they're going to head. They don't go in a bee-line all the time. So after a couple of minutes, we'll drop our paddling pace; another minute we'll drop it a little more. And the majority of the time, sure enough, they surface within fifty yards, and then it's a a quick sprint over to them and then we're paralleling them again. Working out this gentle angle of intercept, we feel that the majority of the time they're accepting our presence. Or, if not accepting, they're not concerned with our presence. "For transcripts of and other programs in our series, please visit our web site at www.pulseplanet.com. We've been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project - a novel. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.