30 JULY 1948, Page 17


Sut,—Your correspondent who refers to the roaring of blowing whales is, I'm afraid, a little off the track. When we were coming up from the Horn towards the Channel for orders in the ship ' Grace Harwar ' in 1929, a friendly blue whale played round us for several days. We had no propeller to frighten him, and we had no harpoon guns. He blew alongside frequently, and the only sound I ever heard was a sort of gurgling noise, like the last of the water running out of a bath. This was as he finished his blow. I was particularly interested as a few years before I had been on a whale-hunting expedition in the Ross Sea and had been struck by the same reflections as your earlier contributor. Look-out for whales was always visual, and still is. "Thar she blo-o-ws!" referred to a whale seen, and not heard. If the whale were close enough for one to bear the slight noise made by it, there would be no

need for the look-out to shout.—Yours faithfully, A. j. VLI.LIERS. Leafield, Oxford.