Humpback Songs

Sea Wolf Adventures’ naturalist Jenny Hahn has more than 30 years of wilderness travel under her boots and kayak hull – including kayaking solo from Ketchikan, Alaska to Washington.  Currently, she is a professor at Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College, teaching courses on Northwest wild food and the Salish Sea ecology.  Jenny guided her first trip with the Sea Wolf in 2011 — a Wild Foraging trip. In 2015, Jenny took a sabbatical as she received a grant to study seaweed toxicology in the Salish Sea.  She is currently sharing her research results with Tribes & First Nations and divides her time between teaching, writing and guiding.  This week, Jenny shares with us a humpback whale video she captured while on board the Sea Wolf and their songs, as recorded by a hydrophone.

Jenny says of the magical experience; “I love guiding in September aboard M.V. Sea Wolf. Hedgehog mushrooms are growing Lilliputian teeth under mango-orange caps. Coastal brownies and black bears–the lucky ones–are putting on salmon-enriched love handles. And if you listen closely, you just might hear the sandhill cranes compassing south in mile-long, unbraiding skeins. Their staccato chuckles free fall from the autumn sky.  “Hoho-AK! Hoho-AK!” One spectacular day, a dozen-plus humpback whales also gathered within our ear’s reach. It was the 10th of September. Captain Han’s (aka “Humpback Hans”) timing was perfect. Peril Strait turned into a giant sheet cake of sterling, calm water with dozens of billowing whale spouts. It was Han’s birthday. We un-looped the hydrophone’s mic and lowered it into the depths. We listened…to the sounds emanating far below us. You can too…”