Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | April 6, 2011

Singing at midnight

For the last 72 hours we have been constantly recording  sounds from Qaqaliaq.

We are interested  in the  day / night variation in the singing.  As the recorder goes all the time we also hope to get signals that we do not normally hear on our  daily  30 min recordings . For this longer recordings we go out every 6 hours checking  and to change batteries. Many people have passed by and asked  about the setup and the animals. Some of them have heard the whales live.

Not only whales get recorded Ice moving and  cracking is a major part of the sound recordings. Also hunters passing by in fast boats  send out  powerfull sounds ,and we are now specialists in distinguishing a two stroke from a four stroke engine

On the first night a group of hunters got stuck in the ice almost on top of the hydrophone. A  contact person  at land was following  them  pointing out  the best leads in the ice. All managed to get the boats over  the obstructive ice float and in the water on the other side and from there they  were able to reach harbour.

But of course most of all we  are interested  in sounds from bowheads. We do hear them all the time and several of them at the same time . On Wednesday morning at 06-00  between 6 and 8 animals were slowly milling  around on the surface  at a max distance of 1500 m from  Qaqqaliaq

We have not checked all the recorded files but frequent check up in the real time recordings  and the first harddisk brought back home  shows plenty of data

The setup is made from a:

Hydrophone –a fixed placed extension cable – powersupply for the hydrophone – preamplifier – computer with a(n) automatic file storing program – and a harddisk.