There was a fantastic story in our local paper today, about some fishermen out diving for Scallops in Loch Fyne. They were a couple of miles NE of Tarbet, when they spotted what they thought was a big tree in the water, surrounded by buoys.
When they approached, the ‘tree’ blew water from it’s blow hole. It was a humpbacked whale- one of the most beautiful and mysterious of all the whales. This creature, normally at home in the deepest ocean, had come into the Loch and somehow become entangled in the fleet of lobster creels. Creels are usually laid out in a string of 8 or 10, with marker buoys.
Humpbacked whales travel on average 16000 miles each year. Who knows where this one has spent the winter. The males produce a complex song each year- specific to each pod of whales. They compete to extemporise and develop the song, for reasons that are unclear- possibly for mating purposes. Over the singing season the song will develop because of all these changes. Then, the seas will be silent again, until the next year, when the pod will start again exactly where they left off the year previously.
Humpbacked whales can be well over 50 feet long, so who knows what courage it took for one of these scallop divers (Chris Denovan) to decide to get in the water with it? They knew that the poor creature was close to exhaustion, and they decided that they could not leave it to suffer.
Chris managed to cut it free from the creels, and ‘after two hours of building up courage I went back to cut the tangled ropes and buoys from it’s fluke’.
Well done Chris- what a fantastic story.
I discovered some footage on you tube;
Here it is, swimming away. May it sing for many seasons yet;