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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Month: July 2008

Birds, Whales and Fog…

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link writing to you on my day off. The past few days we have seen more fog but with some localized clearing and patience and persistence we have found whales on all of our departures. Yesterday we had a bit more visibility and we able to find finback whales on all 3 trips. Below is a photo of one of the 3 finback whales we saw yesterday.

The bird life has really picked up over the last week. We have seen more Bonaparte’s gulls, kittiwakes, gannets and we are also starting to see large groups of young red-necked phalaropes.

On Sunday we saw some of the largest numbers of grey seals hauled out on Casco Bay Island of the summer. I counted more than 40 grey seals, below is one of the photos I took….the seal in the middle looks quite relaxed!
Thanks for checking in and keep checking back for more sightings with Quoddy! Don’t forget to make a reservation if you want to join us for our first North Atlantic right whale cruise of 2008 on August 30th! Call our office at 1-877-688-2600 for info and reservations.

Rain and fog but still great whales

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy. Well, the past few days have brought a lot of rain and fog to our little part of the Bay of Fundy but we have managed to get most of our trips out. We are still seeing both minke and finback whales, on some departures just one species and on others, like this afternoon, we get the chance to see both species. Due to the fog we have been unable to search further offshore. I was very excited yesterday to see a large colony of black-legged kittiwakes (photo on left) on Whitehorse Island. These small, gull-like birds usually show up much earlier to nest but I haven’t seen any until this week.

Below are 2 photos I took this morning off bald eagles on Black Rock in Head Harbour Passage. The eagle on the left is obviously an adult with it’s noticeable white head while the bald eagle on the right is a juvenile.

Below are 2 of the whales we saw today. The top photo is a fin whale seen on our 2pm departure and the bottom, a minke, seen on our 10am trip. This afternoon we had 2 minkes surface side-by-side! Not a common sight as minkes, like a baleen whales, usually travel alone.

I thought I would leave you with a picture of a harbour porpoise I took this afternoon. There was a large bait ball (ball of herring) in the Passage today and tonnes of porpoise all around feeding. It was a great opportunity to snap a picture!

Thanks for checking in today and check back often for more sightings with Quoddy Link Marine.

What a gorgeous day!

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy back from an absolutely gorgeous day on the water. Today the Bay of Fundy looked like a pond the water was so still. We had finback and minke whales on all 3 departures today. The photo on the left is a harbour porpoise. These little cetaceans are often mistaken for dolphins but they are quite a bit smaller than the dolphins we get in our area and their dorsal fin is triangular in shape versus the sickle shape dorsal of an Atlantic white-sided dolphin. Below are 2 pics from today, the top is a fin whale and the bottom, a minke.

Thanks for checking in today! Cheers.

Some rain…some fog….some wind…but great whales

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Hey all, it’s Danielle with Quoddy. We have had a bit of everything when it comes to weather the past few days but we are still seeing both minke and finback whales. Below are the 2 finback whales we saw today (top fin whale see on our 2:00 pm departure and the bottom on the 5:30 pm trip). The porpoise and the seal numbers are still great and tonight we saw 2 mature northern gannets

I did want to mention that we have scheduled one of our trips to see the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale for Saturday, August 30th at 7:30 am. For information and reservations (space is limited) please contact the office at 1-877-688-2600. Below are 2 photos from one of our 2006 trips.

I am keeping this short and sweet tonight, Cheers and thanks for checking in.

Bay of Fundy Fog!

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Hello everyone, Danielle with Quoddy Link back from a foggy day on the Bay of Fundy. The weather hasn’t been the greatest the past few days but we have managed to get a few trips in. We are still seeing both minke and finback whales (some departures we get to see both species). We are still seeing young bald eagles on Whitehorse Island (pictured on the left). Below are two photos from yesterdays’ evening departure, the top is a minke whale and the bottom, a finback whale. Both whales we sighted off Campobello Island.

We had some wild weather here in St. Andrews yesterday evening but our folks on the 5:30 trip missed it all (we were spending time with a finback whale but we could see the lightening towards home). Below is a shot after we got home of St. Andrews….the calm after the storm!
Thanks for checking in, the weather doesn’t sound the greatest for the next few days but I will keep my fingers crossed that the forecast is incorrect!

Minke and Finback Whales

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Hi everyone, it’s Danielle back from a long day on the water so I am going to keep this short tonight. We have been having some great sightings of both minke (photos below) and finback whales. I do want to mention that we have taken 2 runs out to the offshore area on clear and calm days but there is nothing to be found……yet. The harbour porpoise sightings have been fantastic the past 2 days and I had my first sighting this year of a northern gannet, our largest native seabird and my personal favorite.

Well, that’s all for tonight thanks for checking in and visit often for more sightings from Quoddy Link Marine.

Warm weather…on shore anyways!

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Good Evening all, it’s Danielle back from another day out on a hazy Bay of Fundy. We have been having some great sightings the past few days with finback and minke whales. At times it can be challenging but patience usually pays off! It just reminds us that nature does her own thing and the whales are on nobodies schedules but their own.

Below are the 2 finback whales we saw today, note the difference in the shape of their dorsal fins.
This is a video I shot on our 10:00 am departure of a finback whale off Bliss Island. You can see the blaze (white, brush-like mark coming up from the lower right jaw and extending behind the blowhole) and the chevrons (V-shaped markings behind the blaze). Researchers use these markings to help ID the individual whales as they are as unique as our fingerprints.

Thanks for checking in today and check back often for more Bay of Fundy sightings with Quoddy Link Marine!

Bay of Fundy fog and a curious minke whale

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Well, we woke up this morning to some thick Bay of Fundy fog and due to the lack of visibility we decided to cancel our 10:00 am departure but we did make it our for our afternoon and evening trips. On our 2:00 pm trip we had a very curious minke whale who was spyhopping (bringing his rostrum vertically out of the water). It was really amazing to see as this is not a common behaviour for minke whales. I wish I was able to get some video or photos to share with you. We had a minke whale on our evening departure as well, this time further up Head Harbour Passage. The fog was too thick in afternoon to look in the area where we have been seeing the finback whales the past 3 days but we did search on our 5:30 departure as the fog pushed back for a little but with no luck.

I wanted to share this photo with you I took today of a young bald eagle on Whitehorse Island, have a close look at those talons!

These are a some grey seals hauled out on the reefs surrounding Casco Bay Island. The smaller seal is a grey seal, most likely a young of the year born last January or February on Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia.

That’s all for today, Cheers from St. Andrews!

3 days with fins

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Hello, it’s Danielle with Quoddy again. We have had 3 great days now seeing finback whales on each and every trip out! On some departures it does take some patience, but patience and the willingness to keep your eyes on the water are 2 of the most important things you can bring whale watching (and warm clothes!). Not only have we been seeing finbacks but also minke whales, LOTS of seals and harbour porpoise and some more bird life is starting to show up in our part of the Bay of Fundy. We have identified arctic terns and Bonaparte’s Gulls as well we saw a juvenile great cormorant on Whitehorse a few days ago. We did take a long run offshore yesterday to make sure we weren’t missing out on any other whales out there. Keep checking as I am eagerly awaiting to see who will be our first humpback whale of the season (humpbacks typically show up in our part of the Bay of Fundy by mid to late August but each season is different and when the weather is good we often go searching ’cause you never know what’s out there unless you look!).
Thanks for checking in today. Cheers!

Finback whales on all 3 trips!

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link back from a gorgeous day out on the Bay of Fundy….and by gorgeous I mean no fog! We were so happy to be able to pass Parker Island and see the open Bay of Fundy ahead of us, and with unlimited visibility we were hoping for a great day of whale watching.
On our 10:00 am departure we found a finback whale not far from Bliss Island, we spent some time with “him” but “he” wasn’t the easiest whale to watch, staying down a long time and making some big moves. We also found a more cooperative minke whale among the islands.

Our 2:00 pm departure took us back to the same finback whale, passed on from Fundy Tide Runners, another whale watching company out of St. Andrews. The whale was being even more difficult to watch and with a few other boats around we decided to head out further. We made our way to Southern Wolf Island were we found 2 finback whales! They were both staying down for 8 minutes between dives but they would surface very close to where they went down so they were great to watch.

On 5:30 departure we found a nice size minke whale off Whitehead Island then we made our way back to Southern Wolf to search for the pair of finback whales. We found them and it was well worth the trip! They were still staying down for about 6 minutes between dives but they were not moving very far at all and when they did come up we could follow them just under the surface of the water by watching their footprints (flat circular patches on the surface of the water caused by the fluke moving up and down).

Below is a video taken on our 5:30 trip.

Right after I shot the video above Matt, our captain, pointed out that we could see the pair of finback whales on our fish finder (they are the red and yellow long skinny objects in the middle)! They went right under the boat and I wanted to share that with you.

I have also included photos of all 3 finback whales we saw today. The top photo was the finback we saw on our morning and afternoon trip. The bottom 2 are from our afternoon and evening departures.

Thanks for checking in today. Hopefully the nice weather will hang around for a while! Cheers.