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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Month: July 2010

Amazing Fin Whales off Bliss

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Hello everyone, I have some great sightings to share from today but I also have 2 pieces of very sad news to share….first, the good news.

I was on 2 great trips today, and they were both spectacular, with 6-7 fin whales feeding on the flood tide off Bliss and Blacks.

I took this picture of a pair of fin whales and I managed to get a passenger in who was also taking a picture of the pair.


I also wanted to share this video I took today, ENJOY.

OK, now for the sad news, first, there was a dead right whale calf found on July 2/10 in the Bay of Fundy, this is from the Adopt Right Whale News Blog from the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station.

On July 2 a right whale calf was found dead 23 nautical miles from Southern Head, Grand Manan. Allied Whale from the College of the Atlantic photographed and took some samples but the badly decomposed calf was not recovered. The carcass had propeller cuts but without a full necropsy it is not known if this was pre- or post-mortem. It is also not known at this time whose calf this is but everyone will be keeping a lookout for a mother without a calf.

Not many right whales have been seen yet in the Bay of Fundy. The New England Aquarium team will begin surveys August 3 or so depending on weather and a better picture of where and how many right whales are in the Bay will be available.

And the second piece of sad news, Sodapop. a juvenile humpback we spent time with last season has been reported entangled on Stellwagen Bank. Below are some photos showing the entanglement and I will post more as I hear.


Thanks for checking in today,
Cheers,
Danielle

Fin Whales and Beautiful Weather

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Hello everyone, what a gorgeous day on the water. Today was unusually warm out on the Bay because of the wind coming off of the land and we had some fantastic sightings of fin whales (had NOTHING to do with the warm weather….the whales do not care about the sun or the light NW wind…but made it more comfortable for our passengers).

We spent time with fin whales on all 3 departures today, and at one point we had at least 7 fin whales within a mile radius including the mom and calf pair.

I wanted to share this sequence of a large fin whale diving close to the boat, it was take on our 2pm departure.


One of the fin whales we saw today has one of the strongest blows (exhales) I have ever seen, he may be starting to exhale before he completely breaks the surface….I wanted to share this picture.


Thanks so much for checking in today, we did send out Scout Boat way around the offshore area to search for humpbacks today but no luck, we will keep looking and I will keep you posted.

Cheers,
Danielle

Breaching fin whale calf

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Hey everyone,I just wanted to do a quick post to let you know this evening we had an incredible trip….we got to see a young fin whale calf breach 3 times!! Fin whales are not known for breaching, they can certainly do it but it’s not seen that often. A few passengers got video and a photo so if I get them I will be sure to share. The photo below was taken by Jolinne, one of our 3 guides/photographers/marine biologists. Nice one Jolinne


The fin whales continue to be amazing, mom and calf, lots of lunge feeding and lots of bird activity.

Thanks for checking in today, I will let you know how tomorrow goes,

Cheers,
Danielle

Lunge Feeding Fin Whales

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Hello there, well, with the afternoon off I decided to look at some of the fin whale video that I have taken over the past few days and I wanted to share this video with all of you.

On almost every one of our departures we have had the privilege of seeing fin whales lunge feed. This happens when whales feed at the surface, lunging through a large school of prey, mouth wide open, right at the surface. It is so powerful and awesome to see….I wish the video did it more justice. We have also been spending a lot of time with the mom and calf fin whale pair, the “little one” is growing quite a bit.

I hope you enjoy the video,
Cheers,
Danielle

Lunge feeding fin whale

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Good Evening everyone

Just a short post tonight, it’s late and past my bedtime but I wanted to share todays’ sightings. We spent time on all 3 trips today with the mom and calf fin whale pair, and we also saw minke whales on all 3 departures too.

This evening there was a lot of activity off the entrance to Head Harbour Passage, a lot of bird groups forming and many “bait balls” (which are balls of herring that the birds, porpoise, tuna and whales feed on). We had a few great looks at mom as she lunge fed through the herring, the photo below is from tonight and the second photo is a close-up of the first one showing the birds actually in the mouth of the fin whale. Note the ventral pleats and that mom lunge fed with her right side down (the right side of her lower jaw is white and fin whales will often feed with that side down as it will act as counter-shading).


I also got some video that I will share in a few days when I get a chance to upload it.

Thanks for checking in,
Cheers,
Danielle

Cork, fin whales and gannets…another great day

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Hello everyone,

We had another great day on the water, was a little breezy this afternoon but everyone had a great time.

On both trips we spent time with the mom and calf fin whale, this morning we got some great looks at mom as she lunge fed right at the surface.

There has been lots of great bird sightings as well and I wanted to share a few pictures of northern gannets from today.


This afternoon John decided to take us offshore to search for humpbacks (we didn’t go this morning due to offshore fog). And….right where we found her a few days ago well into the ebb tide we found Cork, an 8 year old female humpback.

Here you can see Corks long, white pectoral flippers just before she brought her tail out of the water.


Thanks for checking in today,
Cheers,
Danielle

Video of our first sighting of Cork

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Hey everyone, I wanted to share some video I took of Cork yesterday….hope you like it.

Also, today we had 3 trips (the 5:30pm departure is still on the water….I had half of the day off) and we had fin whales on all 3 departures. We did take a run into the Grand Manan Channel to look for Cork this morning but we didn’t find her….some Bay of Fundy fog got in the way a little bit today.

Thanks for checking in today and I hope you enjoyed the video,

Cheers,
Danielle

Our first humpback sighting of the season…WELCOME BACK CORK!

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Hello everyone, I have some great news…..we had our first humpback sighting of the season and it was Cork, an 8 year old female. Cork was first brought to the Bay of Fundy by her mom, Mica, in 2002 and we have been watching her every season since 2004.

Our morning started with fin whales, the mother and calf pair we have been spending time with and then John decided to take a run off shore and search for the humpback that was reported yesterday, we took a run up the shoreline of Campobello yesterday as well but it was a bit rough and we had no luck. This morning, right in the Grand Manan Channel we found our first humpback whale of the 2010 season and we were SO happy when we saw it was Cork.

Not only did we see Cork on our morning departure but we saw her on all 3 trips today, and we saw the mom and calf fin whale on all 3 trips as well. This afternoon we even had a “hat trick”, seeing fin whales, a humpback and a minke….all 3 species of whales we commonly see in our part of the Bay of Fundy.

Below are some pictures of Cork I took today, I also took some video that I will make sure to post tomorrow.

Humpbacks are IDed by the pigmentation on the underside of their tails and Cork got her name from the cork-shape on the right hand side of her fluke.


Check out her nostrils, called blowholes


Here you can see her unique dorsal fin


The bird sightings were fantastic today as well….northern gannets, storm petrels, greater shearwaters, razorbills…..was so great.

Oh, I also wanted to mention that we picked up a special “stowaway” on our AM departure….a little brown bat joined the boat in the Grand Manan Channel…..and not all of our passengers were thrilled.


Thanks so much for checking in today, check back tomorrow for some video of Cork and more sightings,

Cheers,
Danielle

Minkes, Finbacks and Fog

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Good evening everyone. I am going to keep this short and sweet, it’s late and it was a very busy day, our first day with 3 full trips.

We had minke whales on all 3 departures today and on our 5:30 pm trip, as the fog finally pushed back enough we found 2 fin whales off the entrance to Head Harbour Passage.

Today, with the fog and everything, all of the whale watching companies from St. Andrews and Campobello really worked together to help locate and keep an eye on the whales….all about team work today.

Here is a picture from the minke whale we saw this afternoon. This is “Slice”, as you can probably see this minke has no dorsal fin, most likely caused by a sip strike of some sort but he is all healed and seems to be doing great.


I also wanted to share this photo of the dorsal fin of the basking shark from the other day.


Thanks for checking in today, looks like it will be a busy day tomorrow as well

Cheers,
Danielle

Fog, minke whales….and a basking shark!

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Hello everyone, I just wanted to do a quick post tonight to keep you updated on our sightings. We have had some serious fog to contend with over the past few days but we have seen whales on all of our departures (there was one trip that the sighting was very poor and we gave all of our passengers a free trip to come again, and we are now starting our 50% back policy if whales are not sighted).

Yesterday morning we had an extra special surprise in the islands, a basking shark! I have never seen a basking shark in the Islands in my 9 years. We usually see basking sharks further out into the open Bay of Fundy and usually in the fall. I have some pictures but they are on the boat right now, I will try and post them tomorrow.

I also wanted share this short video of the cow and calf finback whale pair we have been spending some time with, here you can see them both doing a terminal dive in Head Harbour Passage

Thanks for checking in today, check back soon for more updates and please keep your fingers crossed that the fog will leave soon!

Cheers,
Danielle