Tag Archives: blue whale

Mysterious Whale Deaths…

2 Aug

Crowds gathered to Newport Beach on Sydney’s northern coast in August 2012 to see a dead Humpback whale that had been washed into an ocean-side swimming pool. The thirty-foot long, twenty tonne juvenile whale will cause huge problems for the Sydney authorities not least because of the stench caused by the rotting blubber, but also because of the fact that the carcus is likely to attract packs of hungry sharks who’ll want to feed off it!

Read the story here – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/baby-whale-washes-up-in-sydney-rockpool/story-e6frg6nf-1226440079835

The whale is likely to have died out at sea.

Action-thriller IMPACT POINT starts off with a similar storyline as two dead blue whales are washed up on beaches in the UK and the Eastern Seaboard of the USA – see synopsis below.

MYSTERIOUS WHALE DEATHS…

When the World’s largest ever creature  – a blue whale – dies in front of Robert Spire on his local Welsh beach, the  UK’s Department of the Environment and local population are ill prepared. When a  second whale washes up dead on Myrtle Beach on the opposite side of the  Atlantic, the scientific community starts asking questions.

A QUEST  FOR METEORITE FRAGMENTS…

Environmental lawyer Robert Spire; newly  recruited to the UK’s Global Environmental Command Unit – GLENCOM, flies over to  South Carolina to investigate. Whilst there, he teams up with marine biologist  Dr Sally Rivea, also assigned to the case. Meanwhile, ex marine Travis Dexter is on the run in Nevada after he discovers the body of his employer – philanthropist Julian Smithies – murdered in his home. The only object missing;  a recently discovered, rare and valuable meteorite.

A FUTURE GLOBAL CATACLYSM…

On the island of Exuma In the Bahamas, four sport divers make a startling discovery at the bottom of Mystery Cave blue hole. Sixty miles offshore in the Caribbean Sea, drilling on the Proteus oil rig turns to disaster as the drill penetrates something hard on the ocean floor. Dr Rivea, at a loss to explain the high levels of the mineral olivine discovered in the whale’s tissue samples, accompanies Spire to the Caribbean in search of answers, but what they discover doesn’t bear thinking about…

After seeing the Sydney whale story, I wondered how many large wales are washed up on the world’s shores and was surprised by the answer…

The Sydney whale is the most recent, but here’s a list, with links to the news articles-

Vancouver June 2012 – Juvenile Humpback whale beaches itself and dies at White Rock Beach –  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/06/12/bc-beached-whale-vancouver.html

Skegness, UK March 2012 – A 50 foot long Sperm Whale with a large gash in its side beaches itself – the fourth whale to do so in recent years – a sad sight for the locals who came to view –  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-17260850

Kent, UK March 2011 a 45 foot long Sperm whale beached itself on Pegwell Bay off the Kent coast – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-13614855

Yorkshire, UK September 2011, a 30 foot long Sei whale was found beached in a field close to the Humber Esturary – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8796084/Mystery-as-beached-whale-found-in-field-in-Yorkshire.html

California, USA 2007 a spate of blue whale deaths causes alarm amongst scientists – http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/blue-whale986.html#cr

There are many reasons why such magnificent creatures end up dead on the world’s beaches. Disease is an obvious one, predator attack another or more commonly being hit by a large ship, causing the whale massive blunt trauma is quite often found to be the case. Military activity affecting the whales sonar capability is another factor. It has also been said that changes in the Earth’s magnetic fields or underwater earthquakes, or the advent of some other natural disaster causes the whales to flee or become confused…. whatever the cause, the sight of such a magnificent and majestic creature lying dead on a beach near you would be very sad sight indeed.

While a cause was found for most of the above whale deaths, the deaths of two blue whales on both sides of the Atlantic only days apart is not so clear. As marine biologist Dr Sally Rivea and Robert Spire struggle to search for the answers, why not try and solve the puzzle yourself? Download your copy of Kindle action-adveture thriller IMPACT POINT today, you won’t regret it…

USA readers click HERE

UK readers click HERE 

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Blue Whales and Asteroids

25 Mar

An unlikely combination I appreciate, but nonetheless the title sums up the story line of IMPACT POINT Kindle Thriller. So, how can whales and rocks from space be connected?

Well for one, both blue whales and asteroids and comets are pretty rare, but unlike asteroids and comets, blue whales are unlikely to harm you, unless of course your name is Moby Dick. OK, so it wasn’t a blue whale that got him, but you know what I mean! On the other hand, if a large asteroid or comet strikes the Earth, we would all be vaporized, much like the dinosaurs were 65 million years ago.

First of all, some facts. The blue whale is the largest creature that has lived, yes, even bigger than any dinosaur that ever existed. There are estimated to be only around 5-12,000 blue whales left in the world’s oceans, down from around 200,000 – 250,000 back at the start of the Twentieth Century, before man hunted them to virtual extinction. Thankfully their numbers are now increasing, but they still face numerous threats from shipping, global warming, increasing levels of ocean noise and being attacked by its natural predator, the orca whale.

In IMPACT POINT, Robert Spire’s adventure is kick started after a blue whale beaches itself in front of him on his local stretch of Welsh coastline. A second whale is discovered in South Carolina in the USA. What is the connection? It transpires that both whales have ingested the mineral olivine, to discover why, you’ll have to read the book otherwise i’ll give away too many spoilers!  Suffice to say, Spire is helped in his task by marine biologist Dr Sally Rivea; her name is actually an anagram for Dr Sylvia Earle – American oceanographer and author of many a book on the world’s oceans and its lifeforms.

What about the space rocks? My fascination began long ago, when I first read about the massive comet that wiped out the dinosaurs. That comet is thought to have been 10 kilometers  wide and left an impact crater – the Chicxulub crater – 180 km in diameter and 10 km deep in the Yucatan Peninsular of Mexico, which just happens to be the ancient home of the Mayans, who just happen to foretell the end of the world in December 2012, but that’s another story…

Back to space rocks. First some facts.

Asteroids, leftovers from the formation of our solar system generally reside in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and there are millions of them.

Near Earth asteroids have orbits that take them close to the Earth. NASA has found 19,500 objects between 100 meters and 1000 meters in size to date. There are 981 over 1000 meters in size, with an estimated 70 objects over 1000 meters still undetected. In November 2011, an aircraft-sized asteroid 2005 YU55 passed by Earth at only 201,700 miles away, closer than the Moon!

The next closest approach that we know about will be Apophis, when on Friday, April 13th – yes, that’s the genuine date – it will pass by at only around 18,300 miles away, a very close shave. Needless to say, NASA are keeping a close eye on it!

Meteoroids are generally classified as space rocks less than 10 meters across – these are the shooting stars that people often spot streaking across the night sky.

Comets are icy bodies with nuclei – ranging from hundreds of meters to tens of kilometers across – comprised of ice, dust and rock. Just over 4000 are known about. The comet or asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was about 10 kilometers across.

Centaurs are objects that display characteristics of both comets and asteroids. They have unstable orbits that cross one or more of the giant planets. It is estimated there are about 44,000 of them with diameters over 1 kilometer.

Pholus, one such Centaur is thought to be partly composed of olivine.

So, if the above facts don’t scare you a little, try IMPACT POINT. Your thoughts when looking up at the night sky will never be the same again!

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Impact Point: Action-Adventure Thriller. 2012; End Of The World?

21 Dec

Impact Point: Action-Adventure Thriller. 2012, the end of the world?

MYSTERIOUS WHALE DEATHS…

When the World’s largest ever creature – a blue whale – dies in front of Robert Spire on his local Welsh beach, the UKs Department of the Environment and local population are ill prepared. When a second whale washes up dead on Myrtle Beach on the opposite side of the Atlantic, the scientific community starts asking questions.

A QUEST FOR METEORITE FRAGMENTS…

Environmental lawyer Robert Spire; newly recruited to the UKs Global Environmental Command Unit – GLENCOM, flies over to South Carolina to investigate. Whilst there, he meets marine biologist Dr Sally Rivea, also assigned to the case. Meanwhile, ex-marine Travis Dexter is on the run in Nevada after he discovers the body of his employer – philanthropist Julian Smithies- murdered in his home. The only object missing is a recently discovered, rare and valuable meteorite.

A FUTURE GLOBAL CATACLYSM…

On the island of Andros In the Bahamas, four sport divers make a startling discovery at the bottom of Mystery Cave blue hole. Sixty miles offshore in the Caribbean Sea, drilling on the Proteus oil rig turns to disaster as the drill penetrates something hard on the ocean floor. Dr Rivea, at a loss to explain the high levels of the mineral olivine in the whale’s tissue samples, accompanies Spire to the Caribbean in search of answers, but what they discover doesn’t bear thinking about…