Fwd: Mammal mia! Whales everywhere / Boy, 12, Stung By Man-Of-War On C ape Cod
- "Scanlon, Bill" <Bill.Scanlon@...> wrote:
From: "Scanlon, Bill" <Bill.Scanlon@...>
To: "'bostonCaptBill@...'" <bostonCaptBill@...>,
Subject: Mammal mia! Whales everywhere / Boy, 12, Stung By Man-Of-War On C
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 17:34:15 -0400Mammal mia! Whales everywhere
By Kristin Erekson
Monday, July 24, 2006 - Updated: 07:39 AM EST
Move over, Moby Dick!
Bay State whale watchers are reporting a bumper crop of the giant ocean-dwelling mammals cavorting just off the coast this year."A lot of whales are hanging around," said Jooke Robbins, director of the Humpback Whales Studies Program at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. "They are drawn by the prey and we benefit from that. The public is getting the opportunity to see them. It's been a good year."Since January, nearly 150 humpback whales have been spotted splashing in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary - a stretch of high seas north of Cape Cod, Robbins said. Approximately 900 hundred humpback whales have even been seen basking in the Gulf of Maine, Robbins added.But sheer numbers don't account for the plethora of sightings in the Bay State.
Instead, these massive mammals are sticking around longer this summer for the snacks.
Sand lances - also known as sand eels - are burrowing into the gritty ocean bottom of the Stellwagen, driving hungry whales to the area in droves, Robbins said."The presence of whales is a good thing for the whale watch industry and it indicates a healthy ecosystem," said Mason Weinrich, executive director and chief scientist at the Whale Center of New England in Gloucester. "People see what they see on a whale watch and are leaving extremely excited. That's good for the whales to have people caring for them."
Professional videographer Chris Hamilton, who records the gargantuan sea creatures daily while on whale watches, said his business is booming."I just went on a whale watch and their were like 40 humpback whales around the boat," said Hamilton, owner and executive producer of In the Wild Productions in Provincetown. "They were as far as the eye can see, feeding and reaching. It was a wonderful experience. They never cease to amaze me."Boy, 12, Stung By Man-Of-War On Cape Cod
More Than 12 Stung This Summer
HARWICH, Mass. -- A 12-year-old boy was stung by a Portuguese man-of-war on Cape Cod Sunday.
Reid Van Iderstine was body surfing with his father and two brothers in Harwich when he was stung on the upper right calf. The boy told the Cape Cod Times that it felt like, "a really bad wasp sting."Paramedics irrigated Reid's leg with sterile water and used plastic paddles to scrape some man-of-war residue off his leg because it was feared that some stingers were still lodged in his skin.A baking powder mixture helped draw out the poison.
The boy did not require hospitalization.
Portuguese men-of-war are rare in Massachusetts waters, but there have been numerous sightings on the Cape and South Coast this summer and more than dozen people have been stung.KT TunstallBill ScanlonUSCG Master 50 GT Inland Waters
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