Cardhu  HWC# 0240

Cardhu

Cardhu is an older whale who has been seen around these parts since 1981.  At that time she was pregnant with her first  known calf, Ember.   Cardhu has certainly done her part in helping the humpback whales recover from the hunting years.  She has had eight calves since that first sighting and could very well have had more before then (See Cardhu's Family Tree).

Cardhu seems to be fond of the Stellwagen Bank feeding ground and can be seen here at any time during the season.  However, in 1998, the year she had her calf Mallet, she was not seen around here much.  Then in 1999 she was seen frequently throughout the entire season.  She formed an unusually long association with another old-timer named Salt.  These two were seen from about June until November.  Baleen whales usually form "loose associations."  This means that they are only together for a short time.  These loose associations are often seen during feeding.  Generally, they only last a few hours to days.  Every once in a while they last a bit longer.

The name Cardhu comes from a world famous malt distillery in Speyside, Scotland located off the northern foothills of the Grampian Mountains.  There, they make a cardhu single malt whiskey that takes 12 years to mature in old oak casks.

Cardhu is not an easy whale to identify.  She has a stunning all black tail with almost no markings on it.  There are many whales with all black flukes so the key to correctly identifying her is with very good photographs of her fluke and dorsal fin.  She does however have another marking which is not easily seen.  One to two feet behind her blowhole on the right side is a 10+ inch gash.  It is very difficult to see because there seems to be no scar tissue around it and it blends in with the natural color of her body.  This could be a wound she inflicted on herself by rolling around the coral heads in the Caribbean or it could actually be a birthmark.  At least one of her calves, Venom, shows the same marking on both sides.  His markings were seen the year of his birth.


Cardhu's Family Tree

Cardhu-F ---
fs: 1981

Ember- M
yob: 1982

Comma- M
yob: 1985

Slope
yob: 1987

Treasure- M
yob: 1989

Skewer- M
yob: 1991

Venum- M
yob: 1996

Mallet- F
yob: 1998

Nudibranch
yob: 2000

 

 

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