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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Month: August 2012

Fin whales, Mola mola, puffins…great trips on the water

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Hello everyone, I thought I would share some pics from the past few days…

From August 27, here is the curious minke whale we saw that goes with the video I posted.

Today we had some great finback sightings in the morning

You can see the mouth is open, the black is the baleen 

This afternoon we saw a Mola mola, or ocean sunfish!  This is only my 3rd sighting in 11 years and it was a great sighting today. Here is some info on the ocean sunfish

 These bizarre looking fish, from the same family as pufferfish, average about 6 feet long and weigh 2200 lbs! The most obviously strange part is their shape, they look like a fish head without a tail. Through the course of evolution their caudal fin (tail) has disappeared and been replaced by a pseudo-fin called a clavus. Their diet consists mainly of jellyfish and to maintain their bulk they have to consume a very large amount. Ocean sunfish are covered in a slime instead of scales and they swim by a characteristic sculling motion of their dorsal and anal fins. They are the heaviest “bony” fish in the world, but its body is actually comprised of mostly cartilaginous tissues which is lighter than bone and can allow it to grow to such a large size which is uneconomical for other bony fishes.


And of course, some birds too.

Puffins anyone?

I wanted to share some seal pictures from the past few days as well

Pre fight….
Post fight

Harbour and a young grey seal

Look who we saw!!

Thanks so much for checking in today,
Cheers,
Danielle

Curious mink whale

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Hello everyone, we were confined to the protection of the Islands for most of the day yesterday thanks to a strong SW wind (we did sneak off a little in the morning and get some looks at a finback but the wind quickly breezed up).  We did spent time on both trips with Slice, a minke whale as well as 2 other minke whales in the afternoon.  And on our 2pm trip we did have that curiosity returned from a minke whale and Nick managed to get some more underwater video…..check it out

It is not common to have a minke whale be this curious in a boat, he was also incredible curious with the schooner out of Eastport Maine.  It’s so incredible when this happens and everyone on board was as fascinated as we were.

Cheers,
Danielle

Welcome Back CORK

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Hello everyone, well, I had an emotional day today….I got to see Cork, my very favorite humpback whale (I have been watching her every season since 2004)!  She was traveling this morning with a young whale named Labyrinth, the 2008 calf of Baja.

Labyrinth

Cork

Labyrinth

This afternoon the wind picked up and we did take a little run to the east but settled back in the Islands where it was warm and protected where we spent time and got some incredible looks at Slice, a minke whale.

This evening the wind died out some and we headed off Blacks Habour where we saw Cork again and around 4-5 finbacks.

Cork

It was a great day!

Thanks to everyone who joined,
Cheers,
Danielle

Simply FIN-tastic

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Today was FIN-tastic with lunge feeding fin whales on both our afternoon and evening departures.  Even though there was no lunge feeding this morning we did see a number of finbacks as well as a few minke whales and a young humpback was breached once, with zero warning, and was relatively uncooperative the rest of the time (I was not able to get an ID on the humpback).

This is the humpback we saw on our 10am trip

FIN-tastic FIN whales

fin whale tail after a lunge

Fin whale tail after a lunge feed

The seabirds continue to amazing

Northern gannet

sooty shearwater

Of course….SEALS

female grey in front and a rather happy harbour in the back

Female grey seal I adore, look at that red head 

 Cheers,
Danielle 🙂
 

Fierce Fundy Fog!

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Hello everyone, well, that Bay of Fundy fog came back something fierce today but it didn’t stop us.  We spent time on both departures today with finbacks and minke whales.  On our 10am departure we got a very brief look at a humpback tail but the fog settled back in as the tide began to flood and we couldn’t relocate him with the strong SW winds.

Slice, a minke whale 

Hawk we saw on Pendletons Island (Nick IDed as a red-tailed)

harbour seal

a red-headed female grey…..I am in LOVE 

Thanks for checking in today 🙂

Cheers,
Danielle

Full day with Finbacks

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Good evening all, we had another full day with fin whales..and full and wonderful day.

The seabird sightings continue to be incredible this season.  Check out Nicks Bird Blog for more info.

And seals…of course we stopped with seals today.

Thanks for checking in tonight,

Cheers,
Danielle

A reminder of how much I love my job!

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Hello everyone, well, I have the day off today so I thought I would tell you all about our wonderful day on the Bay yesterday….

Let’s start with the morning trip….the finbacks were amazing, and they brought me to tears (and if you know me that doesn’t usually take much but this was the first time this season).  With flat calm conditions and a strong flood tide we were able to just idle and there were 8-10 huge finbacks all around, charging in different directions and then right in the middle of it….and young humpback pops up!  It took a while to get a look a the underside of the fluke (for ID purposes) but we managed with some patience and persistence (Thank You John).  It’s a new individual for us and we will have to wait to hear back from PCCS about an ID.  Here are some photos from this morning

Fundy Tide Runners and a fin whale

Young humpback, yet to be IDed

Our afterenoon started off a little slower, the fin whales were starting to spread out over about 2 miles but with some patience and keen eyes through binoculars we found a trio who were staying in about the same spot and got some amazing looks (one was very large, an estimated 60-65 feet).  We had word that the young humpback was still around but could not get a good look until the end of the trip where we were treated to tail lobbing and tail breaching for about 5 minutes!  Again, the patience paid off!

Characteristic fin whale blow 

Tail breach

Tail lobbing 

Our evening came with more finbacks, some incredible bird life (the inshore shearwaters continue to amaze and delight).  The humpback was still around but were not able to get any great looks on our 5:30 trip.

I want to stress that we have had some humpback sightings now, 4 individuals so far this season, but we can never guarantee any particular species of whale of any departure.  The Bay of Fundy is a dynamic environment and each and every trip is different and special.

Cheers,
Danielle

A beautiful day on the Bay of Fundy

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Hello everyone, we had a wonderful day on the Bay today.  We spent time on both trips with 4-5 finback whales off Blacks Harbout.  We also saw lots of porpoise today (helped that the Bay of Fundy looked and felt like a pond today) as well as everyone’s favorite….puffins!

Fin whale 

Fin whale, some beautiful colouration in the chevrons 

Fin whale off Pea Point Light

Finback off Deadman’s Head

Sooty shearwater taking off

3 greater shearwaters and a manx shearwater, note the size difference 

Female grey seal and some harbours 

part of a large school of harbour porpoise 

Thanks for checking in with us,
Cheers,
Danielle

Lots of Finbacks

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Hello everyone, we had 2 trips today and we spent time with finbacks on both.

Our 10am trip took us off Blacks Harbour where we saw 8-10 fin whales all charging around and feeding on herring (we could see many scales in the water).  We also took a run offshore to see if we could locate any humpbacks but we didn’t have any luck (well worth the try though, it was beautiful out there).

On our afternoon departure the tide had turned so the whales had moved (because their food is greatly affected by the tide) so we needed some patience but with that we got some great looks at 2 finbacks and we also saw a few minke whales.  And, if you were looking in the right place at the right time we did see a breaching basking shark.

Thanks for checking in,
Danielle

Fog free and fin whales

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Good evening everyone, we had a great today, on all 3 departures we were fog free and spent time with finbacks as they were spread out all day from east of Blacks Harbour all the way to Whitehorse.

Thanks to everyone who joined us today!

Cheers,
Danielle