Dick Watching: The Chart

All you Dicksters out there: You know what time it is. It’s Dick Watching time. But no more of this blubbering now, we are going a-whaling, and there is plenty of that yet to come!

1. Yet another example of why Provincetown, Massachusetts is the coolest place on the planet: Not only is it lousy with hippies, it’s lousy with whales—it is home to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of the most active marine sanctuaries in the world. And over at the Cape Cod National Seashore’s Province Lands Visitor Center, the Provincetown whale nerds have unveiled a brand new warning system that shows whales and ships in real time, in their specific locations throughout the sanctuary. The hope is that by monitoring the course of whales and ships, the technology will aid in drastically reducing the number of whales accidentally hit  by speeding ships. Excellent!

2. The only operational zeppelin (that’s right—zeppelin!) in the world is now being used to watch whales! The Pilot Katharine Board of Everett used the 246-feet long zeppelin to track a pod of southern resident killer whales near Puget Sound. Scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mounted high definition cameras on the bottom of the zeppelin, and watched the orcas, which move at a speed of 3 miles per hour, and scientists aboard the zeppelin observed “Ttwo dozen whales from the zeppelin. They watched the whales swim in tight groups, roll around each other and “spy hop,” moving with their heads above water.” So awesome! Also, the zeppelin is called Eureka–adorable!

3. For all you sports-loving Dick Watchers out there, this delicious blubbery tidbit is for you: the Hartfod Courant brings us some breaking hockey-related news: In 1997 the Hartford Whalers hockey team left Connecticut and became the Carolina Hurricanes, so a lot of New Englanders were bummed. They got a new AHL team–the Wolf Pack–but it just wasn’t the same. BUT! Now, the Wolf Pack is being re-named the Connecticut Whale and…drum role please…they’ve got new jerseys! And a new mascot! His name is Sonar. I love the gentle giants as much as the next guy, but a very large, fat, barnacle-y whale with a mouth full of baleen doesn’t exactly exude intimidation, as a mascot for one of the most brutal professional sports around probably should. And they tried to make this whale look mean, and he kind of does, but still. But this article is an example of why community newspapers rule so hard:

“Club members had plenty of questions and concerns, from their status as an organization to the status of Sonar as an active mascot. Baldwin said he wants the Wolf Pack Booster Club to combine with member of the Whalers Booster Club to form a Connecticut Whale Booster Club. As for Sonar, he’ll move from a solo act to a partnership with Pucky the Whale. “We have this whole thing with Pucky and Sonar, this whole production,” Karen Baldwin said. “We’ll keep that going.”

4. Thanks, Galleycat, for bringing us a photograph of a custom-made jersey made exclusively from pages of Moby Dick. Now THAT is a sports team I’d play on. The Moby Dicks?

5. In other, “uncool, dude” news, a guy climbed on the back of a Southern Right Whale 20 metres off Albany’s Middleton Beach on Friday afternoon. He just legit climbed right up there, which is a really big no-no. You aren’t supposed to be within 30 meters of a whale, letalone force it give you a piggy back ride. Plus, according to this article “marine mammals are stressed by random encounters, and people swimming too close to them can interfere with their normal behavior. When southern right whales are coming close to shore in calm waters, they are probably resting, or tending to calves.” So uncool! But, he’s probably going to be fined $10,000, so sucks for him.