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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Month: July 2014

Finback mother and calf pair!

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Good evening everyone, I just wanted to do a quick post and let you all know that we had the privilege to spend time with a finback mother and calf pair on our afternoon departure today!  It turns out it’s the same pair we saw on July 2 and it’s an adult whale we can easily recognise by the scar on her back.

I wanted to share some photos from today

fin whale calf 

Fin whale mom (back) and calf 

Fin whale mom, note the scar on her back 

Fin whale calf showing off the blaze, used for individual ID 

Fin whale calf 

Fin whale mom

Fin whale mom (right) and calf 

Fin whale calf and you can see the mom on the right just under the water 

Fin whale calf 

Fin whale calf 

Fin whale mom and her injury in 2011 and the healing from 2012

We also had an evening departure and we spent time with a minke whale off Head Harbour Light.  We also saw lots of porpoise and seals on both departures as well as some incredible looks at bald eagles.

Thanks for checking in and thank you to everyone who joined us today!

Cheers,
Danielle

The past week aboard the Quoddy Link

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Good evening everyone, I am sorry about the lack of posts this week, we have been very busy with all of the buzz about our white shark sighting on Monday, July 21.  To read more about that sighting click HERE

The rest of our week has been familiar with daily sightings of minke whales, harbour and grey seals, harbour porpoise, bald eagles and a variety of seabirds.

I want to share some photos from this past week

Some minke whale sightings…

Slice

Check out the scarred leading edge of the dorsal fin 

Eagles and seabirds…we always take some time to visit with them

Father and chick razorbill pair 

And of course…..SEALS

female grey seal

harbour seal pup (left) and female grey seal

female grey seal 

harbour seal (middle) and female grey seals 

Thanks for checking in today, check back often for more sightings from Quoddy Link Marine,

Cheers,
Danielle

White shark sighting in Passamaquoddy Bay from the Quoddy Link

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Hello everyone, well the town has been a buzz with the recent sighting of a great white shark in Passamaquoddy Bay, about 1.5 miles from the entrance to St. Andrews Harbour.  This shark was spotted and photographed by us from the Quoddy Link!!  You may have seen or heard Nick Hawkins, one of our biologists and naturalists on CBC or CTV talking about his experience.

Here is what Nick had to say about it in his own words

Our shark biologist friend Dr. Steve Turnbull has confirmed that the massive shark we encountered off tongue shoal near the mouth of the St. Andrews harbour was as we suspected – a Great White Shark! 

Here is how the sighting went down – While crossing the Passamaquoddy Bay we saw a large shark thrashing at the surface, its tail fin slashing through the water as it seemed to pursue something, most likely a porpoise or a seal. We turned around and approached the area and managed to relocate the shark that was swimming calmly with a small section of its dorsal fin above the surface. The shark allowed us to approach multiple times, putting the huge shark directly beside the boat for all to see.

A conservative estimate of the sharks size would range between 15-20 feet, enough on its own to set it apart from other commonly sighted species of sharks like the mako and porbeagle. In addition, the photographs clearly show the other important ID markers of the white shark – the pointed tip of the dorsal fin and the fact that the trailing edge of the pectoral fins are in line with the leading edge of the dorsal. It was truly amazing to be the in presence of such a creature!

We have had a lot of questions about this experience and YES, there are a lot of sharks in the Bay of Fundy and NO, the water is not too cold (whites belong to a group of sharks who are essentially warm-blooded, being able to maintain their body temperature higher than that of their surroundings to aid in quick movements will pursuing prey).  It’s a good rule of thumb to always keep your eyes on the water, you never know what you may see and while there are a lot of sharks in the Bay the odds of seeing one while on a whale watch are not very high (being fish, they do not need to come to the surface to breath like whales do).  Saying that, in the fall some seasons basking shark sightings can be quite common as they do swim close to the surface for long periods of time  This was a VERY SPECIAL experience that was had by all aboard the Quoddy Link!

Here are some links about the great white sighting

Here’s a CBC TV segment with our biologist and naturalist Nick about the great white shark that we found and photographed in the Passamaquoddy Bay!

Check out this interview that our biologist and naturalist guide Nick had with CBC Radio.

And THANK YOU to our passenger Dave Hannett who took this great video of the Great White Shark!

I want to mention we also had another white shark sighting in the Bay of Fundy on September 9, 2011.  This shark had just attacked and killed a harbour porpoise!  Check it out here

There will be more news to come about this great white sighting.  The individual was not in the catalogue for the North Atlantic and we have had the privilege of naming this beautiful animal!

Thanks for checking in and thanks for all of the support we have received this week!!  We really appreciate everyone!

Cheers,
Danielle

Beautiful Calm Weekend on the Water

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Hello everyone, this is Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine, we have had some beautiful days on the water recently with calm seas, clear skies and unlimited visibility.  We have been spending time with minke whales in the Islands (still no sign of larger whales within our reach but we are hoping the feed in the area will pick up and attract some finners and even humpbacks to our offshore areas)

This is a minke we have seen the past 2 days, note the very unique dorsal fin (the dorsal will differ from whale to whale and can be used for individual ID)

There have been some great bird sightings, and always remember, the more you watch the water and shoreline the more you will see….some birds will fly by very quickly

Black legged kittiwake nesting pair

Black guillemot with a fish

Double crested cormorants 

Seals are always one of the favortie parts of the trip!

Harbour and grey seals 

Harbour seal (back), male (middle) and female (front) grey seal

Thanks for checking in everyone,

Cheers,
Danielle

Frustrating Bay of Fundy FOG

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Good evening everyone, well the past few days have had some very frustrating moments…we have had to cancel some trips due to wind and fog and we have had a few trips where whales were not sighted (we do offer our passengers a voucher for a free trip to come out with us again).  And today was one of those days…the fog just never fully lifted and we did manage to get a few very brief looks at a minke whale but we did not consider it a sighting.

I did manage to take a few photos today, first dat camera has been out in a few days because of the rain.

Even with the foggy conditions we have been able to find schools of feeding porpoise

Bald eagle on Casco Bay Island 

The weather looks like it will be turning around tomorrow and I hope have better whales sightings for you!

Thanks for checking in,

Cheers,
Danielle

Minkes on all three trips

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We had three lovely trips today on the Bay and spent time on all departures with minke whales including Slice on all three trips

We also saw lots of seals and porpoise on every departure and made the time to stop at Whitehorse to visit the nesting colony there.

Harbour seals on the ledges off Casco Bay Island 

Great cormorant on Whitehorse Island 

We found this young bald eagle on our morning trip, a new fledgling of this season.  You can see that the underparts are all wet and this was most likely the first flight of this young bird and he had some difficulty and landed in the water and had to swim to this ledge.  We visited the area again on our evening trip and there were 2 adults in the same spot and they were calling and seem distressed.  Our fear is that the young wasn’t able to make it off the ledge and the parents were looking for him/her.  We can’t know for sure and will keep our fingers crossed for this little one.

Thanks to everyone who joined us today and thank for checking in!

Cheers,
Danielle

Offshore search

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Good evening all,

With incredible weather we decided to start to search the offshore feeding grounds today!  So this morning on the flood tide took us off towards South Wolf and back along the edge of the Owen Basin, unfortunately we were not able to find any whales on our 10am departure (our passengers did receive a free pass to join us again) but we did see lots of puffins, seals, porpoise and a porbeagle shark!

Love the feet of the puffin as he takes off 

This afternoon took us further south towards to the northern tip of Grand Manan off the Whistle where we found a familiar minke whale and got to spend some time with our friends from Grand Manan, Whales n Sails Adventures.  We also saw porpoise and seals and a few puffins offshore.

Whales n Sails Adventures off Grand Manan, NB

Characteristic wave created by the rostrum of the mink whale

The scenery on Grand Manan is breath taking 

Thanks to everyone who joined us today,

Cheers,
Danielle

Finback whale sighted on all three departures!

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Good evening everyone, we had a wonderful day on the water!  We started off in the fog on our morning trip but it lifted fairly quickly in the Islands.  We first spent time with 2 minke whales and after we decided to take a look off Head Harbour Light to see what we could see and we are super happy we did because we found a large finback!  This is only our second fin whale sighting of the season and we spent time an all three departures today with the same fin whale

Slice off the bow of the Quoddy Link

Fin whale we spent time with on all three departures

On our morning departure we saw some puffins right in Head Harbour Passage

The seals were great today, especially on the lower tides.

Thanks to everyone who joined us today aboard the Quoddy Link,

Cheers,
Danielle

Southwest wind, haze and Slice

Good evening everyone, we just had one trip today, an afternoon departure and we spent time with 2 minke whales including Slice.  Today was one of those day where it paid off to have a good sniffer!  Minke whales have a nick name, Stinky Minke because of the strong and unplesant odour their breath has and we were able to smell the minke whales before we could see them.  I am always paying attention to the smells and sounds out on the Bay while we are searching for whales just as much as I am to the sights.

This is a photo of Slice who we saw today

We stopped with seals on Splitting Knife, where we saw both greys and harbours.

We also saw a wonderful group of feeding porpoise in Head Harbour Passage.

Thanks so much to everyone who joined today,

Cheers,
Danielle

Welcome to our 2014 season…Our 20th season at Quoddy Link Marine!

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Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine back for another season.  It is my 13th season with Quoddy and our company’s 20th season in the Bay of Fundy!

We have had a great start to the season with minke whales sighted on every departure, the majority of our time has been spent up off Eastport, ME in the upwelling waters of the Old Sow (the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western hemisphere off the southern tip of Deer Island, NB).

Here are some minke whale photos from June 28-July4

Slice

Slice

There have been lots of harbour porpoise feeding in the turbulent waters of the Old Sow as well.

The nesting seabirds in the area are in full swing and the activity on Whitehorse is ever changing with the black-legged kittiwakes and blackback and herring gulls all nesting with chicks.  Don’t forget to check out Nick’s Bird Blog for more info on everything ornithological in the Bay of Fundy!

3 blackbacks chasing a herring gull

Double crested cormorant 

Atlantic puffin

We are seeing more and more seals everyday on the ledges in the Fundy Isles…both harbour and grey seals.

Thanks so much for checking in and check back daily for updates and special promotions for our 20th season!

Cheers,
Danielle