Tale of a whale in Tacoma

by Tim Flanagan on June 28, 2011

SEATTLE, medical Wash. – As part of Fleet Week during this year’s Sea Fair, esophagitis Navy Morale, pharmacy Welfare and Recreation (MWR) is hosting guest cruises aboard U.S. Navy, Canada Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels Aug. 3.

The deadline for applications is Thursday, July 7, 2011. Application forms, along with guest cruise policies and procedures can be found online at http://www.navylifepnw.com/site/217/Seafair.aspx.

Guest cruises are open to all U.S. citizens, eight years of age and older. Cruises depart from the Port of Seattle and may last from six to eight hours, including boarding and disembarking.

Cost for this exciting day at sea is $20 and includes lunch on-board the ship as it cruises around Puget Sound.

Transportation to and from the departure point is not included. Space is limited on guest cruises, so all applications received will be processed at random.

Previous Seafair guest cruises have included destroyers, frigates, cutters and hospital ships. However, due to heightened security requirements, participating ships cannot be identified at this time.

Also during Fleet Week, ships will be hosting shorter tours pier-side Aug. 4-6 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Aug. 7 from noon to 3:30 p.m.

More information on this activity and other Fleet Week events can be found at www.seafair.com.

Craig Sailor has the story in the Tacoma News Tribune:

[Rowen Higley, buy
4, of Tacoma, son of Rus Higley, a marine scientist and teacher at Highline Commuity College, playfully steps over the giant rib bones of a gray whale that his father is preparing for exhibit at the MaST center in Redondo. DEAN J. KOEPFLER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER]

Marine biologist Rus Higley, his Highline Community College staff and a volunteer team are bleaching and assembling the gray whale skeleton on the 300 block of Puyallup Avenue.

Sometime after July 4, the bones will be moved to the Foss Waterway Seaport to be rearticulated into a lifelike configuration. Later this year the skeleton will be hung in a display area in Des Moines, where Higley works as an instructor and manager at the Marine Science and Technology Center.

The young whale beached itself in April 2010 a half mile south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock in West Seattle. It was alive when found; video shows the whale thrashing in the water. It died soon after.

The whale might have been on its spring migration from Mexico, or could have been a year-round resident of Puget Sound. What caused it to beach itself and die was never determined.

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