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Thread: Whale Strike

  1. #1

    Unhappy Whale Strike

    My wife and I planned to spent last weekend in the Granite Bay area near Wells Bay. There was some excellent rock fishing but halibut fishing was slow. We camped on the beach near the back of the bay and saw a nice blackie and a small deer that evening.

    The next day we headed toward Glacier Island to camp and do some fishing/shrimping. Sea conditions were good and we were cruising at about 26 mph. We were just parallel to Chamberlain Bay when a Humpback surfaced 30' off the bow. I killed the throttle and spun the wheel. We were just going to miss it and the tail was coming up right by the boat.

    Unfortunately a second whale came up behind it and and there was no missing this one. We hit it right in the hump and went airborne, all I saw was sky. We crashed back to the water upright and sloshed some water over the starboard side of the stern. My wife was thrown from her seat and slammed to the ground between the front seats. Luckily missing any hard corners and only came away with a bruised elbow. I killed the engine and turned on the bilge pumps and hurried to the back. All I saw was two tales diving for the bottom.

    A quick inspection revealed no visible hull damage but my main outboard was disabled. We moved into Chamberlain Bay with my kicker and beached the boat to look things over. The skeg was gone and the lower unit gear case had a very large crack/hole in it. Luckily my cell phone works in the area and we were able to call into Valdez for a tow home.

    This lead to the untimely death of my Yamaha TRP. No one in the state had the tools to work on it and a new complete lower unit was too expensive. Fortunately Rocky's Marine in Petersburg helped me out and we were able to get a single prop lower on it with no problems. I do hope the whale fares as well.

  2. #2
    Member Snagger's Avatar
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    Ouch!
    Glad you are ok.
    I had similar experience in cook inlet in 03, my back hurt for a month and two of my buddies smacked heads really hard. Its a lousy feeling when your GPS antenna goes under. Most will say you did something wrong, not paying attention or lack of experience or whatever, I know thats bull in my case at least. Maybe whales arent as intelligent as we think or maybe they just dont care if there is a boat running right above them. I researched this topic a little and it happens in Hawaii occasionally. A couple skippers told me not talk about it. Good luck with the new motor.

  3. #3
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeze View Post
    My wife and I planned to spent last weekend in the Granite Bay area near Wells Bay. There was some excellent rock fishing but halibut fishing was slow. We camped on the beach near the back of the bay and saw a nice blackie and a small deer that evening.

    The next day we headed toward Glacier Island to camp and do some fishing/shrimping. Sea conditions were good and we were cruising at about 26 mph. We were just parallel to Chamberlain Bay when a Humpback surfaced 30' off the bow. I killed the throttle and spun the wheel. We were just going to miss it and the tail was coming up right by the boat.

    Unfortunately a second whale came up behind it and and there was no missing this one. We hit it right in the hump and went airborne, all I saw was sky. We crashed back to the water upright and sloshed some water over the starboard side of the stern. My wife was thrown from her seat and slammed to the ground between the front seats. Luckily missing any hard corners and only came away with a bruised elbow. I killed the engine and turned on the bilge pumps and hurried to the back. All I saw was two tales diving for the bottom.

    A quick inspection revealed no visible hull damage but my main outboard was disabled. We moved into Chamberlain Bay with my kicker and beached the boat to look things over. The skeg was gone and the lower unit gear case had a very large crack/hole in it. Luckily my cell phone works in the area and we were able to call into Valdez for a tow home.

    This lead to the untimely death of my Yamaha TRP. No one in the state had the tools to work on it and a new complete lower unit was too expensive. Fortunately Rocky's Marine in Petersburg helped me out and we were able to get a single prop lower on it with no problems. I do hope the whale fares as well.
    I read and re-read your experience and it seems to me that you two were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not much else you could have done. Glad to hear that both you and your wife are okay. It could have been MUCH worse. If you have insurance, you could make a claim and have a new TRP lower unit put on for the price of your deductible. Just I thought.

    Take care.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  4. #4
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Last summer I nearly hit one out of Homer. Same thing, cruising about 25mph on a glass calm day and the thing surfaced about 50' in front of us. I dumped the throttle and luckily there was only one. Just about had to change my shorts though.

    Must be astronomical odds of colliding with a moving whale in the middle of the ocean!
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  5. #5

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    It happens, and I worry about it quite frequently.

    I'm so glad to hear all was well in your case. That's not always the outcome.

    Too bad about the lower unit, I've never even seen a Yammie 'duo prop.'

  6. #6
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Question Question

    We were surrounded by whale out by story Island. We carefully left the area.

    When this happens, is there a requirement to report the incident to the CG?

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
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    Default Accident reporting

    The reporting requirements for boating accidents are: 1) Death or injury requiring more than first aid (hospital visit, etc.) and damage that exceeds $500.00 (State of Alaska requirement). I've attached an accident report form for your convenience. We have had fatalities related to whale incidents in the past. Mike
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike.

    No specific requirements for whale collisions?

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  9. #9

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    I contact ADFG and they referred me to a the National Marine Fisheries Service. I was unaware of the USCG regquirements.

    Thanks for the form.

  10. #10
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    An inevitability around here. I've also throttled back and used a few expletives on the near misses.

    Very cool that you are okay, your phone worked, and you're back up and running..... With a great story to share.

  11. #11

    Default Near Miss on boat but not the Poles

    We where bottom fishing up in Port Wells with a freind and his son, when we saw 2 Humpbacks in the area. A wonderful sight to say the least, they circled the area coming maybe 100 yards out. All of a sudden one came up 25 yards dead ahead in front of the boat, I said hang on to some thing in case it came up directly again under us and get your camera ready for a great photo. Well the fish finder went nuts and all the poles dove straight down, luckly there skin is so tough we just bounced over it.
    The young boys eyes where bigger than silver dollars, dodged that on.

    Had Killer whales swim directly past as close as 10 feet before but they always look at us as they come up. Way cool and scares the passangers!

    Love the PWS

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