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Nautical Naturalist - The humpback

2012 June 11

Whalers named humpback whales for the blubber stored in a pronounced bump in front of their dorsal fin.Most of us recognize humpbacks by their long, winglike pectoral fins and their distinct throat grooves they use to expand their throat during feeding.Humpbacks like the waters around Hawaii, and their songs, produced in their nasal cavity, can travel nearly half the distance between Honolulu and San Francisco, or about 1,000 miles. If you can't take the time to cruise the eastern Pacific, listen towhale sounds here or listen to jazz musician Paul Winter play along with humpbacks.

If you have questions about animals you see sailing, e-mail rich@sailingmagazine.net