Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | February 13, 2012

Getting the 24 hour listening equipment running

Its now a month ago since we heard the bowheads for the first time. But only one have been spotted by a hunter at a distance of some nautical miles SW of the town. Until now we made recordings every 3-7 days and only for some 30 min in every session. This short time as experience have shown that the whales vocalize almost continuously in the winter and early spring. So even a short recording should catch the presence of vocalizing animals. But strangely we have not heard anything in the second week of February. So now we have put out our fixed set of hydrophones. This involves some climbing and some arranging of cables and plugs on the steep edge of the cliff of Qaqqaliaq (the look out point).

Our recording equipment at Qaqqaliaq lighthouse consists of Raven Pro 1.3. running on a PC, hydrophones connected to pre-amplifiers and a very long ground cable running from the top of the fliffs into the sea (grounding is truly a problem in Greenland). Photo: O. Tervo

Mads and Ole Stecker, the new scientific leader of Arctic Station, deploying the hydrophones down at the foot of the cliffs. Photo: O. Tervo

But now recorders are running 24/7 and we are very eager to find if there are some of the right kinds of signals on the recordings. And we are now bound to maintain cables and change batteries regularly for the next months.