A whale of a tale

After our camping trip this past weekend we found ourselves at Mystic Seaport. The kids learned a few knots, a few skills like how to make dipped candles, and they learned a few facts about whales. We learned that often men would go on whaling trips for three to five years, and what they were doing was collecting whale oil. Whale oil was used as an oil to lubricate machines, used in cosmetics, and used for lanterns and such. All in all not unlike how we use petroleum today.

As a side adventure a whale watch opportunity kind of fell into our laps! We saw a single humpback whale named Nile. Nile was born in 1987 I believe. Every year she comes back to Stellwagen Bay Sanctuary. Unfortunately my phone died  and I did not get any pictures of her.

We learned that there are two types of whale, baleen whales and toothed whales. Also all dolphins are whales, but not all whales are dolphins. An Orca whale is a toothed whale that is technically a dolphin!

baleen from a minke whale

baleen from a minke whale

We got to touch the baleen of a minke whale, we learned that baleen whales open their mouthes wide letting lots of water, fish and krill in, when they close their mouths they force all the water out through the baleen. All of the krill and fish get stuck on that baleen and the scrape it off with their enormous tongues. The kids asked a bunch of awesome questions during the q&a, but my mind is a bit foggy at the moment, I will add them later. All in all we had a great time, a great learning experience and they barely knew they were learning!


(We also saw this awesome sail boat that all the kids on the boat insisted was a pirate ship)