Summary: September 13th 2023

Humpback Whale: Merge

Sea Lions

The morning sunrise was hard to see today, the fog was so thick you could barely see the boats moored just 50 metres from shore. There was the distant blow of a humpback that could be heard from the deck during the morning scan. As well the puffs of a few sea lions hauled out on the rock near Parsons Light. Everything was being documented by sound alone due to the fog, a good reminder to the life of whales and their dependency on a quiet space to locate each other and understand the soundscape they travel through.

Later in the morning, as the fog started to lift there was the hint of blue sky, a very west coast scene was slowly emerging with slithers of the fog still draped over the mountains surrounding Blackney Pass. It was a quiet day, a day of getting things cleaned and organized, wood chopped, and preparations made for the next day’s town run to Alert Bay

Once the sun had set the clear dark sky was alive with so many stars. That is when it happened, just before midnight, the clear calls of a humpback whale singing on the Parson Island hydrophone, across from the lab. A combination of whoops, soft cries and moans echoed through the pass. The whale was vocal from 11:15pm to until 11:27pm, then took a two-minute break, most likely to catch his breath at the surface, then sang for two more minutes, a pause, one last lone melancholy call, then silence. The song of the humpback whale still holds many mysteries, one being “Why do they sing? ” We still do not know the actual answer, but it does seem obvious that they do sing to be heard!

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