Breaching etc (fwd)

From: Mike Williamson (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 17:05:47 EDT

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 16:03:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Phillip J. Clapham" <>
Subject: Breaching etc

Hi Lucy:
When I worked on whalewatching boats I used to give a small prize to anyone
who asked a question I hadn't heard before, because when you've done 1500
whalewatches there are very rarely any new questions! It was always a kid
who asked a new one when it happened; and the question you ask is the first
new one I've had in a long time!
It depends what you mean by "that feeling". When you do a belly flop it
can knock the wind out of you; whales are so large and so well padded with
blubber that even the biggest breach won't do this to them. In terms of
stinging or hurting your skin (which I guess you could do if you slapped
the water really hard with your hand), I'm not really sure whether whales
feel this because I;ve never been a whale! Again, a whale has a lot of
fat, and the force with which they flipper slap, lobtail or breach isn't
huge compared to the size of the animal, so this probably explains why it
doesn't hurt them. It's rather like you in a swimming pool or a bathtub
slapping the water with your hand, but not really really hard - it doesn't
Thanks for the question!
Phil Clapham
P.S. Send me your full name and address and I'll mail you a small something
for the new question!

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