Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | March 21, 2010

Bowhead, dogs and Stevie Wonder

We are still hoping for the bowhead whales to come closer to town and Qaqqaliaq so that we would be able to try our plan A. Originally we wanted to deploy an array of four hydrophones and use that and the theodolite up from the cliffs to acoustically and visually track nearby whales. On Saturday we went to Qaqqaliaq to test our system in order to be ready to move our entire field work to the cliffs in case the whales move closer.

We decided to combine work with hobby and went to our ‘field office’ by dog sledge. It was a wild ride through town and we almost ran over an innocent pedestrian. Luckily, for us and for him, he could foresee the risk for possible limb fractures and was quick to jump over the fast approaching rein of Mozilla (our too curious 6 month old puppy). Finally, we managed to reach the light house without further close calls with humans, cars, scooters or other dogs.

Otso relaxing. Photo: C. Ilmoni

We could hear one bowhead singing in the distance so instead of recording we concentrated on preparing and testing our hydrophone array equipment. Testing of the hydrophones proved to be challenging due to unexpected noise sources: the chorus of our howling dog team and love song by Stevie Wonder (the coil of the hydrophone cable sometimes acts as a perfect antenna capturing local radio stations…).


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