Fin whales | Weighing passengers | Traffic | Quakers | Angela Carter

In the report on the stranding of a fin whale on Holkham Beach (Rare fin whale washed up on Norfolk beach, 22 October), Dr Ben Garrod of Anglia Ruskin University states that “you never get [fin whales] in the North Sea”. I certainly saw one six miles off Hartlepool in about 1978. There was flat calm and hot sun, and there were great rafts of seabirds. The whale jumped clear of the water six or seven times, mostly through the rafts of birds. I estimated the whale to be as long as our 12 metre yacht. Later I mentioned this to a fisherman at Hartlepool, who told me that this only happened on days like I described. He was obviously familiar with the sight.
John Lart
Great Smeaton, North Yorkshire

• Hawaiian Airways’ plan to weigh their passengers (Report, 24 October) is a good idea. Skybus planes from Cornwall to the Scilly Isles have always done so. As you board the eight-seater Islander, they tell each passenger (by name) where to sit so the weight is evenly distributed. The process is very discreet; the check-in desk incorporates scales. On one occasion, our combined weight was so great that the luggage had to travel separately on the next flight. They never divulged who had caused the overload, but we knew!
Melanie White
Reading, Berkshire

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Source: Guardian Environment