Journalist Decides To Sing To Beluga Whales While Kayaking And Something Amazing Happens
Beluga whales are a huge attraction of the Churchill River in Manitoba, Canada, and, in fact, thousands of people go kayaking in here in order to see some friendly Belugas swimming nearby. This was no exception to a journalist, Paul English, that was on a travel writing trip to Manitoba, Canada. He read a lot of things about these stunning sea creatures and wanted to make his encounter with beluga whales a really special one.
Since he learned that beluga whales were attracted to high-pitched noises, he decided to sing in order to gather some whales around him. At first, he wasn’t really sure that his trick will work, but he kept on trying. However, at one point something happened that he couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams. Luckily, he filmed everything on camera and his story went viral! Everyone was shocked by how these sea creatures reacted when they heard Paul English sing to them.
1. A Writing Trip
Paul English is a Scottish freelance journalist that writes about different things for a lot of Scottish newspapers and websites. However, being a fan of traveling and adventures, he also does a lot of writing trips that he uses as a huge inspiration for his work.
This time, English decided to visit Manitoba, Canada and to get to meet the wonderful beluga whales that are the location’s main attraction. Although he was quite excited for his trip, he had no idea that he was about to become an online sensation soon after leaving Manitoba.
Kayaking is the best way to meet some belugas. So, Paul English was about to do the same. He found a tour guide at Lazy Bear Expeditions and took a kayaking tour that enabled him to get closer to these amazing sea creatures.
The tour guides confirmed to him that these whales could be drawn with high-pitched noises, and Paul decided to try it out. Since he won’t be traveling to Manitoba again any soon, it would be such a shame not to try this technique out.
3. Beluga Whales
Beluga whales are the only sea creatures that are white and are often confused with beluga fish which are famous for their eggs (beluga caviar). But, there are also other things that make these whales so unique.
Not only are they very intelligent but they are very sociable creatures that like moving around in pods and getting close to people. But, Paul English wanted to see if it’s really true that beluga whales respond to high-pitched voices and music.
4. Getting Ready
Paul was sure he would test out if these whales really gathered around the source of high-pitched noises, and he wanted to be prepared to get it all on camera. So, he used his GoPro camera and recorded his entire kayaking session.
He was quite sure that he was going to catch belugas on camera, but he had no idea that the animals would respond in such an unexpected way. He said, “Forget BBC telly hit Blue Planet II, which features whales this weekend”. As if he knew that he was going to deliver something amazing very soon!
5. His Own Nature Series
English felt as if he was filming his own nature series while kayaking around on the sea. He started his journey and started paddling in the freezing waters. Every now and then he heard people’s reaction when seeing a beluga whale for the first time.
But he wasn’t still getting his own beluga company. So, the Scottish journalist kayaked around some more before finally deciding to act and test the singing technique claimed to be the way to attract these beautiful animals.
6. Singing The Beluga Song
‘As I kayaked, a tour guide at Lazy Bear Expeditions, […] told me to sing and make high-pitched sounds to attract the whales as we kayaked in the Churchill River.’ English said. So, he didn’t want to wait any longer and started singing.
He sang the first song that came into his mind and added Beluga words every now and then. English hoped that a couple of beluga whales would gather around him, but he was going to get something much bigger instead. Something he could have never dreamed of.
But is luring whales a smart thing to do? Apparently, beluga whales are very curious creatures that are very likely to get close to the kayak if they hear appealing sounds. At first, when he started singing nothing happened.
He even thought that the technique simply doesn’t work for him. Or it was a complete non-sense that made people believe and wish they will get to encounter these beautiful, white mammals.
8. Belugas Approaching
However, Paul continued on singing and hoped that the animals will soon answer his call. His intention was to make a couple of belugas get closer to his kayak, but it looks like the whales had something else in mind.
Some time passed already and Paul was curious to see if the sea creatures will finally find their way to him. When he finally saw a beluga approaching, he became so excited he kept pointing his finger to it.
9. Animals Gathered
Finally, his singing in high-pitched voice repaid. The first beluga approached, then he saw another and another and another one! All of a sudden, an entire pad of beluga whales gathered around him!
It seems that English was quite an attractive beluga singer! However, as he kayaked, the beluga whales followed him around the waters. Paul added, “THEY said the whales were inquisitive. They warned they might get close to the kayak. No-one told me I’d be CHASED around the sea by playful beluga whales […] for the best part of AN HOUR.”
10. Unforgettable Experience
But the whales weren’t only gathering around him, it looked like these social creatures also wanted to play with him! So, they came quite close and some of them even got outside of the water in order to show the kayaker that his music was great.
At times, Paul could barely keep his balance in the kayak because of the whales that kept slightly touching it. Although he was aware that there were more than a few beluga whales surrounding him, he had no clue how many of them were actually there!
11. Arcade Fire
It looked like the belugas popping up out of the water really enjoyed Paul’s whale-ish interpretation of Arcade Fire’s Wake up, The Gap Band’s Oops Upside Your Head and Deacon Blue’s The Believers.
The whales kept on showing up on the surface and continued on cruising around the kayak in order to show the kayaker their appreciation. Although Paul didn’t have Radiohead or Hans Zimmer music, his singing still drew the attention of the stunning sea mammals.
12. New Ideas
When the Scottish journalist experienced such a beautiful encounter with the stunning rare animals, he couldn’t accept not seeing these creatures ever again. So, he had a new idea of how to spend some more time with them.
Only this time, he wanted to make their next encounter a much more entertaining one. What Paul thought of is to make another music show for these white sea mammals, only this time he would do it differently.
13. Underwater Whale Concert
Paul wanted to take a boat and dive among the beluga whales. He was so curious to discover what would have happened if he sang to whales while being underwater.
The Scottish man was ready to encounter these elegant sea creatures once again, and he couldn’t wait to get his chance to sing again to them. But will they react the same to his underwater singing as before?
14. Unbelievable Reaction
Was diving among beluga whales a good idea? No matter how risky it might seem, these animals rarely attack or harm anyone that dives among them. And it seems that Paul didn’t regret doing it after he received some glorious reactions from these big sea creatures.
Despite the freezing waters of the Hudson Bay, Paul was more than sure that he won’t let the cold spoil his intentions. He dived in and went ahead in order to look for belugas.
While looking for his underwater audience, Paul was tied to an inflatable boat by a rope so that he wouldn’t get too deep in the sea. This time, however, Paul decided to change the music tone.
Instead of singing the songs that already proved to work, he sang The Flaming Lips’ hit “Do you realize”. But will the new music work the same as the ones before? Apparently yes. The whales came close in order to hear their human friend sing. A lot of them gathered as they kept on dancing around the divers. But that wasn’t everything that the animals were preparing for Paul!
16. White Belugas
As he continued singing, something amazing happened! Not only did Paul gather an audience of a lot of beluga whales around him, but these beautiful creatures started joining in his tunes!
Paul was shocked that now he was underwater seeing such a powerful image of so many belugas swimming around him and singing back to him! He only wanted to get to see them one more time, but instead, he got a much bigger surprise he couldn’t have predicted in his wildest dreams.
17. Sea Canaries
An entire underwater cacophony of squeaks, clicks, and whistles, came from the animal’s melon-like structure on the head. Paul’s song was definitely getting a whole new level now! However, that’s when he learned why these animals were also known as “the sea canaries”.
Despite not having any vocal cords, belugas manage to make sounds thanks to the movement of air between the nasal sacks that are located near the blowhole. The squeaks, clicks and whistles’ they use are not only the response to music produced by humans, but it’s their way of communication.
18. Belugas Held In Aquariums
This incredible and rare experience of the Scottish journalist made him fall in love with beluga whales and inspired him to raise awareness about beluga captivity that is spread around the world.
He recalled seeing belugas in Valencia and said how a lot of these sea creatures are taken from the sub-Arctic and held in aquariums around the world as tourist attractions. Not only, but in some communities, hunting beluga whales is still legal.
19. Once In A Lifetime Experience
Knowing that a lot of belugas are still kept in captivity around the globe, Paul felt both sad and mesmerized after his encounter in the wild. He indeed had a memory he won’t be able to erase from his memory.
But, knowing that these creatures were so happy and sociable thanks to being able to spend their lives in their natural habitat made him wonder how are other sea creatures coping up with conditions they weren’t meant to live in.
20. Unique Ocean
The ocean might be unpredictable, and a bit terrifying, but it has definitely left Paul with an experience that will be stuck in his head forever. Singing along with the belugas must be one of the things that are not really likely to occur to a regular human being.
But no matter how scary all of this could have looked to Paul in the first place, he got really everything he could have imagined. He had the adventure of his life. He described his encounter with belugas “It’s one of the most powerful experiences of my life, an I’m so grateful for it. It was a profound connection with nature, and a memory I’ll treasure forever.”