Weekly Whale Feature: 'Frosty'

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010

Frosty is named for her light-colored tail, which is white like winter frost.

Courtesy Of Jay Beedle
Courtesy Of Jay Beedle

Name: Frosty / NOAA No. SEAK 1410

Gender: Female.

When to look: It's best to look for this whale on and off in the spring through fall.

Where: This whale can be seen anywhere in the Juneau area during the spring and summer. Frosty seems to like the waters between Aaron Island and Benjamin Island in the fall.

Markings: Frosty's flukes are beautiful, almost all white and have just a few black dots on the body of the tail. Both flukes are rimmed with black around the edges. The best clue to identify Frosty is the "V" shaped notch on the trailing edge near the tip of her left fluke.

Behavior: Frosty is fun to watch. Her dive times are usually from four to 10 minutes long. Many whales are quite social, however Frosty seems to like to be by herself.

Notes: On September 8, 2008, five transient killer whales (a.k.a. the serial killers) made an unsuccessful attack on Frosty. The attack lasted less than 15 minutes as Frosty laid on her back on the surface of the water and thrashed her flukes and pectoral fins back and forth to protect herself. Frosty has a healthy-looking calf with her this year.

• The "Weekly Whale Feature" is compiled by Jay Beedle, a longtime Juneau resident who makes his home on Shelter Island. He is a photographer and co-owns Harv and Marv's Outback Alaska which offers whale watching tours during summer months. For more information about his photography contact Gretchen Pence at gretchenpence@islandimagesalaska.com or at 789-0089.

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