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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Month: October 2009

Fall Survey on the Quoddy Scout

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Hello everyone!

John, Jolinne and myself headed out this morning on the Quoddy Scout to search for whales as it has been over a week since we have been out and we have 2 trips left in our 2009 season.

We documented 6 humpbacks around the Owen Basin this morning on the flood tide including one that is new to us bringing our total to 34 humpbacks for the 2009 season!

Here are the humpbacks that we saw this morning, we also saw EKG but the fluke shots I got were blurry so I didn’t post them.

This whale is the one I don’t recognize but was seen earlier this season by the folks from Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises. If this whale does not get matched to an individual in the catalog it will be put up for naming next spring!


This is Quarternote, a male and the 2001 calf of Buckshot.


This is Sodapop, an unknown who was just named last spring


This is the 2008 calf of Teather who will be named next spring.


This whale is an unknown who we also saw on September 17th and will be named next spring.

Thanks for checking in today, we have a charter tomorrow with a high school and our last whale watch is scheduled for October 22nd at 2:00 pm (call 1-877-688-2600 for reservations).

Cheers,
Danielle

Join us for our last whale watch of the 2009 season

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Hello everyone, I know that I have been absent for the past week from our blog but we haven’t been on the water in over a week! The fall wind has been kept us in the sheltered waters of Passamaquoddy Bay…where there are no whales…ever! A lot of our guests do not realize that there is a transit time in order to see whales from St. Andrews, we have to cross Passamaquoddy Bay (~5 miles) and then through the Islands and out into the open Bay of Fundy, usually minimum 8-10 miles (20-30 minutes on the Quoddy Link) before we really think about seeing a whale. Usually this time of the season we have to go at least 15 miles out into the open Bay, off between the Wolves and Grand Manan to see whales…and for that we need some good weather (and by good weather I don’t mean sun, I mean good sea condition).

Our last trip is scheduled for this Thursday, October 22nd at 2:00 pm, come and join us and be a part of this unforgettable 2009 season!

A great day with Siphon & her baby girl, Inlet and Quarternote and some LARGE fin whales!

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Hello everyone,

We had another great fall day on the water with fin whales and humpbacks on both our morning charter and our 2:00 pm whale watch.

On both trips we spent time with 3 large fin whales not too far from Whitehorse Island, in the protected waters of the inshore area. After spending some time with the finbacks John decided to run us offshore and search for humpbacks on both trips, the weather was a little breezy in the afternoon but nothing too bad to keep us in the islands.

On our morning trip we made our way to the Wolves Bank and we found 3 humpbacks who we quickly ID’ed as Quarternote and Siphon and her 2009 calf. We also saw these 3 on our 2:00 pm departure further east behind the Wolves.

Below are some photos from today of Siphon and her baby girl…

This is Siphon, first documented in the early 1990’s and this is her 6th known calf.


This is the 2009 calf, a female, of Siphon and she is amazing to watch. She often does “headstands”, raising her tail…and half her body…out of the water.


Mom and calf traveling together


This is Quarternote, a male and the 2001 calf of Buckshot.


On our way out to search for humpbacks on our afternoon trip we stopped with a finback not too far off the bank and then a humpback popped up not far off the boat and it turned out to be Inlet. Inlet is a young whale who we first photographed as an unknown last season and was just named last spring. Today we noticed some new scars, most likely from an entanglement, on Inlet that were not there when we last recorded him on September 24th. Entanglements in fishing gear is one of the greatest threats that face whales today.


Thanks for checking in today!! It was an awesome day!

Cheers,
Danielle

PS the photo below…from left to right is Quarternote, Siphon and her 2009 calf.

A great fall afternoon with fin whales and Spoon!

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Hello everyone,

What a great afternoon we had. The winds were stronger today then yesterday but not strong enough to keep us in the harbour or even in shore. We started our afternoon behind the Wolves, in the same area where we were yesterday in hopes of finding humpbacks. John and Jolinne on the upper deck spotted a few blows and as we made our way closer we noticed they were fin whales. We did manage to get some nice looks but then the whales did long dives and we never saw them again….some days whale watching takes a lot of patience and persistence.

John decided to take us past South Wolf towards the Owen Basin and he spotted a blow ahead of us and a tail come up….we new we found at least one humpback. When we arrived we quickly ID’ed the LARGE humpback as a female we saw for the first time yesterday, Spoon. When we were with Spoon we did see 2 other humpbacks, at a distance in different directions but we were never close enough to get a tail shot….there is always tomorrow morning.

Below are some pictures of Spoon I took today.


Thanks for checking in, we have scheduled whale watches until the 19th of October (always weather dependent) so come and join us!

Cheers,
Danielle

Amazing October day…2 new humpbacks…welcome Blanco and Spoon to our part of the Bay of Fundy

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Hello everyone, what a great day we had!! We made our way offshore and had to search a little but John spotted some blows to the east behind Eastern Wolf and we found 3 humpbacks….and 2 were new! With our sightings today it brings our total to 33 humpbacks for the 2009 season….so far!

I want to share a bunch of photos with you from today…

This is Blanco, one of the new humpbacks from today. We also saw Blanco in 2007.

This is Spoon, a female and BY FAR the largest humpback I have ever seen and the second new humpback of the day. She is known for being very large.


The third humpback today was Quarternote, a male and the 2001 calf of Buckshot.


Quarternote was rolling over a little and slapping his large pectoral flippers on the surface of the water. Below is a series of a pec slap.


I also have some pictures of the whales traveling side-by-side to show size comparison and the difference between the dorsal fins.

This is Quarternote and Spoon


This is Blanco and Spoon

There is something that I want to share, one thing people often ask is, “do they tag whales?” Researchers are tagging humpback whales to gain a clearer picture of their underwater habits and foraging strategies. The data collected is used to redirect water traffic and implement safer fishing practices to keep these whales out of harms’ way.

Thanks SO much for checking in today,

Cheers,
Danielle

Fin whales and EKG…a great Saturday

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Hello everyone, we had 2 trips today…lots of field trips for schools to go whale watching this year. On our 10:00 am trip we found ourselves between South Wolf and Bliss with 4 large finback whales. It was great to spend some time with these powerful whales and we got some amazing looks.


Our afternoon trip took us to the Grand Manan Chanel on the ebb tide in hopes of seeing some humpback whales. When we arrived there were some other whale watching boats with a pair of finbacks so we traveled further into the chanel to looks for humpbacks…..but no luck. We made our way back to the fin whales closer to the Campobello shoreline and the 2 whales were so great to watch and we had some great close looks at the ~50 foot whales. With a tip from the Grand Manan Ferry that there were reports of humpbacks towards South Wolf a few hours ago we decided to take a run over and on our way John picked up a humpback whale (he did a partial breach so made it easy to see!). We quickly ID’ed the humpback as EKG and even though EKG was doing ~10 minute dives we still got some great views.

Here you can see the characteristic upturned fluke tips of EKG.


Thanks for checking in today, there is some not-so-great weather in the forecast for tomorrow…we will have to see what happens.

Cheers,
Danielle

Humpbacks in the Grand Manan Chanel…welcome Sodapop and another new individual

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Hi everyone!

Finally, a day with light winds and calmer seas and we were able to explore the Grand Manan Chanel well this afternoon and we documented 4 humpbacks…and 2 were new to our area! With these 2 new humpbacks that brings our total number of humpbacks for our little part of the Bay of Fundy to 31…and the season isn’t over yet!

This is Sodapop, one of the new humpbacks we saw today. Sodapop was an unknown that was just named this past spring.


This is the other new humpback from today, this is Sonogram, the 2004 calf of PeeDee. Thank YOU Jelly Doughnut for all of your ID’s this season!!


This is Meristem


This is EKG


Thanks for checking in today…..tomorrow should be another good day of whale watching

Cheers,
Danielle

An afternoon with Colorado and her calf….a great way to start off October

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Hello everyone!!

I can not believe that today is the 1st of October! Where has the season gone….every year it seems to go by faster and faster. We had one whale watch this afternoon at 1:00 pm and again we had some autumn breezes to deal with but with people dressed in their warmest clothes they brought with them on vacation we made our way offshore to search for humpbacks. We didn’t have to look very far today as we found Colorado and her 2009 calf about 14 miles from home. They were both staying down quite long this afternoon, at one point for more than 8 minutes which seems impressive for an ~9 month old calf.

Below are some photos I took today of the pair, the calf tail breached and played at the surface a little to the delight of everyone on board the Quoddy Link.








On our way back to St. Andrews we made a dog-leg over towards Nancy’s Head, Campobello Island where we got some GREAT looks at 3 fin whales. One of the three was so big, must have been almost 60 feet!!

Thanks for checking in today!

Cheers,
Danielle