Here in the Salish Sea, there are several hydrophones (underwater microphones) in place to help us listen in on our beloved whales. Scientists monitor the hydrophones to learn more about how whales communicate with each other. The rest of us listen in just for fun! Wherever you are in the world, you can listen to our Pacific Northwest whales sing.
What types of whales can be found here in the Salish Sea? Humpbacks, grays, minkes, and three distinct types of orcas—including my favorite, the critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales.
Southern Resident orcas eat only wild salmon and live in the coastal waters of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. They use a highly developed system of echolocation to find their prey and communicate with each other. They live their entire lives in close-knit family units and have been observed showing signs of deep emotion.
Whales inspire me so much, I write about them in stories set right here in the Salish Sea.
Would you like to read fun fiction that includes bits about our local whales? I love including readers in my writing process. Check out my interactive serialized fiction experience, The Wren Island Series. Here’s a preview of the first installment:
Across the quiet morning, the sound of a gong resonated. That meant whales could be heard through Wren’s hydrophone. Allison trained her eyes on the water off the western point, where the whales were mostly likely to be. Scientists used the hydrophone to understand whales better. But the people at the commune up the hill monitored the hydrophone for fun and rang the gong as a friendly way of letting their neighbors know to tune in.
Allison patted the dogs at her side and watched the water. There they were. A pod of five orcas traveling close to shore and toward her boat dock. The orcas surfaced several times in a row to breathe, then dove deep, arching their backs and straightening their tails. A dive like that meant they’d stay underwater for several minutes. Gong, gong, gong. This was worth using battery power for. Allison pulled up the app on her phone and listened as the orcas she’d seen talked and sang to each other.
A puff of air burst from the water near the dock. One orca, emerging to breathe. Then more puffs as the rest of the family surfaced. Allison tilted her head. “I heard you guys singing. Encore?”
What is interactive serialized fiction?
Every so often, my subscribers receive a new installment of a continuing fiction series. Between installments, readers have opportunities to influence what happens next! Readers are also included in behind-the-scenes peeks (without spoilers) and exclusive updates.
It’s fun, free, and easy to catch up. When you subscribe to receive my emails, you’ll receive a link to stories that have been published. Then, watch your inbox for opportunities to influence what happens next!
[Photo courtesy of Unsplash.]