CALIFORNIA GRAY WHALES-Footprint

GRAY WHALES — FootprintHere’s a program from our archives.Ambience: Kayak paddling, gulls Starting out from the chilly waters of the Bering Sea, California Gray whales are beginning the southern leg of their annual migration. After a journey of some four thousand miles, they’ll end up in Baja, Mexico where the whales will spend the winter, giving birth to and raising their young. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.”You see that footprint over there? It’s hard to see, but it’s an area of calmed water? That’s where they just went in, so I think we’re just going to hang here a minute.”Steph Dutton is a kayaker with a Gray Whale research project run by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey, California. He and his team have learned to spot the whales by the footprints, or wakes, left behind the animals’ tails. But the footprints are an invitation and a warning. “The fluke is the tail and they are, well from twelve to fifteen feet across. And until you paddle over where a whale has just sounded, the calm, apparently calm area called a footprint, you just can’t imagine the power that’s contained in the flukes. And that’s, as we approach the whales, that’s what we have in mind most. Conceivably, they could upset us by coming up from underneath us, not realizing it, and bump us. I think that’s somewhat less of a danger than being swiped by the flukes.”Still, a close encounter with a Gray whale has its rewards — and soon the kayakers are treated to the sight and sound of a whale as it surfaces and exhales.ambience: whale blowOur special thanks to Patricia Lawrence for the whale recordings.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-Footprint

When whales surface, they leave a smooth section of water known as a footprint.
Air Date:11/11/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

GRAY WHALES -- FootprintHere's a program from our archives.Ambience: Kayak paddling, gulls Starting out from the chilly waters of the Bering Sea, California Gray whales are beginning the southern leg of their annual migration. After a journey of some four thousand miles, they'll end up in Baja, Mexico where the whales will spend the winter, giving birth to and raising their young. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet."You see that footprint over there? It's hard to see, but it's an area of calmed water? That's where they just went in, so I think we're just going to hang here a minute."Steph Dutton is a kayaker with a Gray Whale research project run by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey, California. He and his team have learned to spot the whales by the footprints, or wakes, left behind the animals' tails. But the footprints are an invitation and a warning. "The fluke is the tail and they are, well from twelve to fifteen feet across. And until you paddle over where a whale has just sounded, the calm, apparently calm area called a footprint, you just can't imagine the power that's contained in the flukes. And that's, as we approach the whales, that's what we have in mind most. Conceivably, they could upset us by coming up from underneath us, not realizing it, and bump us. I think that's somewhat less of a danger than being swiped by the flukes."Still, a close encounter with a Gray whale has its rewards -- and soon the kayakers are treated to the sight and sound of a whale as it surfaces and exhales.ambience: whale blowOur special thanks to Patricia Lawrence for the whale recordings.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.