Friday, July 30, 2010

Whales in the Dawesville cut

The Dawesville Channel (also known as the Dawesville Cut or just The Cut) is an enormous man-made channel between the Peel and Harvey estuaries and the Indian Ocean.  It is just a few minutes drive from where we were staying when we first arrived here and a few minutes more from where we are living now.  The channel was created to solve long-standing problems with toxic micro algae growing in the estuaries.  (Background information about this issue and the solutions can be found on Wikipedia here.  To see an ABC report from earlier this year about the ongoing effectiveness of the channel and problems with the health of the estuaries go here.)

This week Southern Right whales were in the channel accompanied by several local dolphins.  Reports vary on how many whales were there with some reports saying three whales and others four.  Apparently this isn't such a rare occurrence but how special is getting such an amazing view of whales from land! 

Wildlife officers have been keeping a close eye on the whales because while the channel is deep enough for them, the estuary itself is very shallow.  News reports say that the whales are not in trouble or distress and swim in the channel to scratch their bellies. Reports and photo galleries can be found here and here.

This afternoon after school we are screwing up the "To do" list and going down to have a look just in case they are still around.

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