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More encounters with Orcas...

greeny

Well-known member
Joined
15 Jun 2004
Messages
1,548
Location
Portugal
There must be something (not lethal) they don't like the taste or smell of, maybe white spirit or turps pumped through the heads which, in our case, has the outlet about 2 metres ahead of the rudder.
At last, a bit of lateral thinking to solve the problem. (y)Just got to find what it is they don't like now. Something smelly and distasteful but concentrated enough you don't need gallons of it. Or even what about a water soluble dye that would discolor or cloud the water enough to put them off. Don't plumbers use something of that nature?
I just hope it doesn't make them more angry.(n)
 

AntarcticPilot

Well-known member
Joined
4 May 2007
Messages
7,593
Location
Cambridge, UK
At last, a bit of lateral thinking to solve the problem. (y)Just got to find what it is they don't like now. Something smelly and distasteful but concentrated enough you don't need gallons of it. Or even what about a water soluble dye that would discolor or cloud the water enough to put them off. Don't plumbers use something of that nature?
I just hope it doesn't make them more angry.(n)
Sight is not a major sense for them, and I've read that their colour vision differs from ours. Whales can operate perfectly well in muddy water, as in estuaries.

I don't know about their sense of smell, but I can't imagine it is particularly strong - unlike sharks and fish, they don't pass water over sensory tissues because they don't breathe water. Like us, they hold their breath underwater - they're just very good at it!

Unfortunately, what little evidence there is suggests that they don't like people emitting noises that messes with their very sensitive hearing and echolocation, and react against it.

I also doubt that this is merely a single rogue pod, but rather that something in the area is prompting this behaviour. Perhaps their normal prey has become too scarce, so they are investigating potential new prey, and yachts happen to look (to an echolocating animal) similar? Remember, their vision doesn't stop at the skin - could they see the internal framework of a rudder as a skeleton? Could they attack rudders because it mimics the large fish that are their usual prey?

I don't know the answer, and suspect it might take considerable research by marine biologists to find out. But who will pay for it? Does the RYA have a research budget?
 

sarabande

Well-known member
Joined
6 May 2005
Messages
34,849
If the boats are a source of the echolocation distress, then why do these whale killer dolphins come even closer to the source ?
 
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