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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Month: June 2008

Minkes whales and a new look

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Hello all, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine. First, for my regular readers, you may notice a different look to the blog. A new blog was started out of St. Andrews using the same template as mine…..so to avoid any confusion I have decided to change and go for a whole new look. It’s still in the process of changing but it will get there!

Now, on to more important information. Yesterday was another great day at the beginning of the season. With some great passengers who had a lot of patience and a great eye for looking for whales we did get to spend some time with 2 minke whales. The two pictures here are from the same whale and that dorsal fin looks very familiar to me (the fin located on the back is called a dorsal fin and they vary in shape and size from one minke whale to the next).

Thanks for checking in today, keep checking for more sightings from Quoddy Link Marine.

First finbacks of the season!

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle back in St. Andrews and back with Quoddy Link Marine. Yesterday was my first day on the water and what a great day it was. On our morning trip we had minke whale, it took a little patience to locate and watch “him” but it was certainly worth it. On the left is a picture of the Island Link (our other vessel used mostly for charters) helping us search for the minke whale. We also had a fantastic bald eagle sighting, 2 mature adults looking as majestic as always.
Our afternoon trip took us a little further from home. With a call from the Grand Manan ferry of a possible whale sighting just off the Wolves (an archipelago of Islands about 15 nm from St. Andrews that I am sure you will hear me talk a lot about this summer) we headed straight out. We looked for about 10 minutes with another boat we work cooperatively with out of Grand Manan and with some very experienced eyes of our captain we located not one but a pair of finback whales! It turned out to be a fantastic sighting. This was our first sighting with passengers but on Wednesday, June 25th our Scout Boat was out and did find a finback whale off Bliss Island but at that point the Quoddy Link was on their way back to port…but not before they spent time with a breaching minke whale!! John, our owner and captain, who was on the Scout Boat made sure that the finback whale sighting didn’t go un-noticed and he called the other boats who were out also looking for whales and Fundy Tide Runners was the first to arrive followed very shortly by the Jolly Breeze (both very friendly competition).

I tried to take some video today of the finbacks but with the 10 knots of SW, well, lets just say I need more practice but here are some pictures of the whales. Note the difference in the dorsal fins. This is one of the ways that researchers can recognize individual whales, but more importantly they use the subtle white markings on their backs called a blaze and chevrons.

Some exciting news on two humpback whales we are familiar with at Quoddy Link Marine. Both Spinnaker (seen in 2007) and Sonogram (seen in 2006) were sighted by Blue Ocean Society on Jeffreys Ledge (Jeffreys Ledge is a long, winding, relatively shallow area which stretches from the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts to just southeast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine). Thanks for checking in and keep in touch for more sightings from Quoddy (and I’ll see what I can do about getting you some video!)

Join Quoddy Link Marine on an Educational Whale Watch During our 2008 Season!

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine back for another season. This will be my 7th season working for Quoddy and I’m so happy to back again!
This year, like in the past, we will be recording data (both photographs and latitude/longitude data) on all of the whales that we see. This data is then shared with a number of different organizations both in Canada and the United States (Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station (Grand Manan, NB), Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (Provincetown, MA), Allied Whale (Bar Harbour, ME) and our friends across the bay at Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises (Brier Island, NS)). By assisting in whale research (most notably humpback photographic identification) we are helping researchers at Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies learn more about the population as a whole. I will be photographing every whale we see on each and every trip (humpbacks are easier to tell apart due to the unique pigmentation on the underside of the fluke, this is Arrowhead seen in 2007 on the left). There are certainly times when I miss a shot and I ask our passengers to email me their digital images to help with the research (also if you would like some tips on photographing whales please feel free to ask).
Come and Quoddy Link Marine during our 2008 season and be a part of our research. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at danielle.m.dion@hotmail.com.

First minke whales sighted among the West Isles

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine. Even though I am still in Gatineau, QC I am getting reports from my Quoddy family. Today, while on a 2 hour Nature Cruise (our whale watching season hasn’t officially started yet), we sighted a couple of minke whales between Hospital and Deer Island in the West Isles. Minke whales are usually the first whales to show up in our area and are the smallest baleen whales that we see in the Bay of Fundy. Please keep in mind that “small” is a relative term as they can reach lengths of 25-30 feet and almost 20,000 lbs!

Well, that’s all for now, I will keep you posted as more news arrive and I will be out on the water myself next Thursday so watch for pictures and video!

Mustache sighted on Stellwagen!!

Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine with some exciting news. Mustache, a humpback whale seen in 2006 and 2007 by Quoddy Link Marine in the Bay of Fundy, was sighted this spring on Stellwagen Bank! This is the first time that a whale that I have spent so much time with has been positively ID’d somewhere else in the Atlantic Ocean. I am SO EXCITED! The Stellwagen Bank, which is the centrepiece of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is located off the coast of Massachusetts. The western boundary line of the sanctuary is approximately 25 miles east of Boston; the southern boundary is three miles from Provincetown while the northwestern boundary is three miles from Gloucester. Below is a map of the Sanctuary. If you want to learn more visit:

http://stellwagen.noaa.gov/welcome.html

I’m excited about our season starting at the end of June and I will keeping you posted on everything Quoddy. Humpback whales have been sighted in the Bay of Fundy, albeit a LONG way from St. Andrews but we all have our fingers crossed that it is a good sign of things to come. Check back often for more updates.