A Day on A Whale Watch

Chapter Two

We need to think about what to wear out at sea, and what to bring with us on the boat. It's best we all wear rubber soled shoes or sneakers because the deck can get slippery when wet. We should all bring an extra sweater or jacket, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses (even though it's a cloudy day, there is often a glare on the ocean), and, of course, our cameras.

Today, there is just a slight breeze, and that probably means that the boat won't be rocking very much. It is not likely that wave spray will be soaking the deck, or us! As we get on board we walk around the decks and try to decide if we want to be up front, on the sides, or maybe even on the top deck so that we can see better.

When we look for great whales the first thing we may see is the blow, or spout. Being mammals, whales have to come to the surface to breathe and when they exhale it appears as visible spouts - they sort of look like puffs of smoke. We might also see some splashing in the water, or maybe even part of the whale's body.

The scientist tells us that in order to point out where the whales are, we will use the boat as if it were a giant clock. The bow, or front, of the boat is 12 o'clock, the stern, or back, of the boat is 6 o'clock. The left side (Port) of the boat is 9 o'clock, and on the right side (Starboard), 3 o'clock. So, for instance, if we hear the naturalist call out over the microphone "whale at 11 o'clock!" we will look ahead to the left side of the bow (Port Bow).

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