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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

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A wonderful week of whales – August 21-27th, 2017

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Good evening everyone, I am sorry that I have not posted here in the past week (and I will post more later with pictures!) but I just wanted to let you know that we are still seeing humpbacks and finbacks offshore when we are able to travel the distance.  When the weather isn’t so great and keeps us confined to the inner Islands we are spending time with both minke whales and finbacks!

Again, sorry for not posting sooner and I will post more later with lots of pictures.  As always, for the most up-to-date information please follow our Facebook page.

Cheers,

Danielle

An amazing season! – August 23/16-September 14/16

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Hello everyone, Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine here!!  I am so sorry for not posting more often but as always please check our Facebook page for daily posts.

I thought I would share some videos from our past three weeks to get you up to date.  As always, every trip is different and we can never guarantee a specific species for any trip!!

The last week in August we had a small number of right whales (8-10) that moved inshore, quite close to Campobello that we were able to see on many departure.  One of the highlights was a mother and calf pair, Clipper #3450 and her 2016 calf.

We have also been seeing 2 young humpbacks on many departures, one more often which has been IDed as the 2015 calf of Spoon.  Spoon is a very large humpback and her young yearling takes after her.  This young boy also shows a lot of curiosity in boats and has checked out the Quoddy Link on a few occasions.

We have had 2 trips in the past week where we have been able to travel out past the Wolves and spend time with ~ 20 north Atlantic right whales.  The whales have been spread out and deep feeding but they have been amazing trips!!  Again, there is no telling how long these whales will stay within our reach, it all depends on their food source

The finback whale sightings continue to be incredible, this morning we actually had 3 large fins feeding side by side way up off Windmill Point in Head Harbour Passage.  And we have had a few encounters with ocean sunfish too!

Thanks for checking in here and as always LIKE our Facebook page and check in often their for daily updates and pictures.

Cheers,

Danielle

Fin whales and NO FOG!!

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Hello everyone, just a quick post to let you know the past 2 days have been wonderful with fin whales, minkes and even a Mola mola but the best part has been the lack of FOG!!

Here’s a photo of an ocean sunfish or Mola mola that we saw on August 27th on the morning departure.

Ocean sunfish

Ocean sunfish

Here are some fin whale photos from today, August 28th.

Fin whale

Fin whale

Fin whale

Fin whale

Fin whale

Fin whale

Fin whale

Fin whale

Finback in some amazing evening light

Finback in some amazing evening light

And I thought I would share some photos of seals as well.  I do want to mention that I did photograph a young grey seal with a large shark bite on his hind region towards his flippers yesterday.  The attack was almost certainly from a white shark.  The number of seals have been down in the area the past few days but were a bit higher today.

male grey seal

male grey seal

harbour seal and 2 female greys

harbour seal and 2 female greys

Thanks for checking in everyone,

Cheers,

Danielle

CBC Radio Interview

Hey everyone, I did a CBC radio interview for Shift about the disentanglement of the young minke whale.  If you want to have a listen check it out HERE

Thank You to everyone for your kind words since news of the rescue has gotten out, we appreciate the support more than we can say!

Cheers,

Danielle

 

CBC Radio interview

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Hello everyone, I did an interview with CBC radio “Shift New Brunswick” about our recent sighting of Old Thom, the adult male killer whale we sighted on our trip on Saturday, October 11th and I thought I would share it with you all!  Just click on the photo of Old Thom below and you will be taken to the audio clip!

Thank You so much for all of your comments and questions about Old Thom.  I still check chills when I see the video or his photo or when people stop me on the street here.

Cheers,
Danielle

We met Old Thom….a lone sea wolf in the Bay of Fundy!!

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I don’t even know where to begin,,,,,we had the most amazing trip on Saturday, October 11th!!  We saw a killer whale!!

Let me start from the beginning, it was a beautiful October day and our plan was to run out towards our offshore area, off the Wolves Bank, maybe towards Whale Cove, Grand Manan to search for fin whales with hopes of maybe humpbacks.  So we headed out and we didn’t see anything off the Wolves so we headed towards Grand Manan and still didn’t see any whales so we had the option to head back inshore and watch minkes that we knew were in the Islands or head out, past Grand Manan towards Whitehead Island.  So we talked to our passengers, letting them know the options and that if we continued out into the open Bay of Fundy the trip would be longer (5-6 hours in total).  With everyone game and adventurous spirits we headed out, past Swallowtail (we did see a finback and a minke here but we decided not to wait) to search for humpbacks and possibly even North Atlantic right whales.  About 6 miles past North Head Nick saw a blow…and a tail..it was a humpback!  We slowed down and we waited for the humpback to resurface and something caught my eye….my breath caught and I knew John, our captain and the owner of Quoddy Link, saw the same thing….was it what I thought…or maybe it was a fluke of a right whale on it’s side.  I told Nick to watch 10 o’clock position with us and then a 6 foot dorsal fin started breaking the surface and I screamed….an orca!!  It was Old Thom, an adult male orca who has been seen in the Bay of Fundy in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 as well as off Roseway Basin in 2009.  If you follow this blog at all you are aware how emotional I get and this was no exception.   I was shaking and the tears were flowing freely (as they are know as I remember the experience).  A killer whale sighting in the Bay of Fundy is incredibly rare and yes, they are typically seen in family groups, or pods, but Old Thom is somewhat of a loner.  We spent over 30 minutes with Old Thom as well as the humpbacks, IDed as Froth and Lacuna, that we were waiting for originally.

Here are a bunch of photos of Old Thom

 And the humpbacks, Froth and Lacuna….at one point we had the orca on one side of the Quoddy Link and the pair of humpbacks immediately on the other…both at the surface at the same time!

Froth

Lacuna

Also, a video of our killer whale sighting that Nick took

I want to make sure I mention that we ended up 37 miles from St. Andrews, east of the Clarks Ground and way out of our typical range of our average 3-3.5 hour whale watch (it ended up being almost a 6 hour trip).  We took advantage of the calm weather, adventurous passengers and the desire to close out our 2014 season with a bang!  We were searching for humpbacks and right whales but were reminded you never know what you may find in the open Bay of Fundy!

This was my first wild orca sighting and is so incredibly special to me and is something I will never, ever forget!  THANK YOU to everyone who joined us on Saturday, October 11th…thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and this very special experience with us….THANK YOU to captain John for being willing to take us out into the open Bay of Fundy (I probably shouldn’t share how many hundred litres of fuel we burned!!)…and to Nick, my other half on the water,…I still can’t believe it…we met OLD THOM!!!!

And I am still shaking my head in awe and wonder….

Cheers,
Danielle

The First Week of October

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Good afternoon everyone, it’s a rainy and windy day here in St. Andrews and our 1pm departure has been cancelled so I thought I would take the time to share with you some photos from our trips this past week.

We have been spending time with minke whales in amongst the Islands this past week, we have had quite a bit of wind to deal with but on Monday, October 6th the weather was calm and our Scout Boat headed out to cover all of the offshore areas and search for some larger whales but unfortunately John was unable to locate any whales within our reach of a regular whale watch.

Here are some minke whale photos from the past week

Minke whale, Slice

Minke whale off Wilsons Beach, Campobello Island, NB

On October 3rd, on the flood tide we did see a familiar fin whale off the mouth of Head Harbour Passage.  The same whale was in the area on October 2nd as well, we are still hopeful he may show back up

Fin whale at the mouth of Head Harbour Passage

Fin whale (Bliss Island Light in the background)

We have had some great bald eagle sightings as well this past week

There has been lots of feeding activity in Head Harbour Passage from harbour porpoise and gulls (great black back, herring and Bonaparte’s as well as a few kittiwakes) and we have seen a few northern gannets as well in the area.

Harbour porpoise mom and calf pair

Northern gannet

Northern gannet

The sightings of harbour and grey seals continue to be great on many of the ledges and reefs in the area.

Harbour and grey seals on Black Ledge

Female grey seals

Female grey seal 

Female grey seal 

Young grey seal 

We still have departures scheduled on October 9, 10, 11, 13, 18, and 19th but departures will be available throughout the week if we have interest.  Just call 1-877-688-2600 for information and reservations.

Common loon 

Our Annual Coastal and Pelagic Bird Trip

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Good afternoon everyone, I wanted to share a brief update about our Annual Coastal and Pelagic Bird Trip which was on the morning of Saturday, September 27th.  The weather was perfect and the slower speeds due to oue of our engines being down was no issue with a trip like this!  The highlights of the trip were a 1st winter LITTLE GULL, huge rafts of eider ducks, jaegers, multiple great cormorants and 1000’s of Bonaparte’s gulls.  We also saw three minke whales, lots of porpoise and seals but our focus was on birds.   Look for more photos and an in depth description of our trip on Nick’s Quoddy Link Bird Blog 

Here are a few photos that I took yesterday

A raft of eider ducks, there were more here, all I could get in 

Black guillemots in their winter plumage 

Bonaparte’s gull

Bonaparte’s gull showing characteristic white leading edge of the wing 

On the other trip we did yesterday we did was a chartered trip with a group of international students. We spent time off Spruce Island in Head Harbour Passage with a minke whale and we also saw lots of porpoise and both harbour and grey seals.

One harbour porpoise, the one on the bottom is a reflection 

Check out the characteristic surfacing of the minke whale!

minke

Now for an update on the Quoddy Link herself, we have a mechanic coming down tomorrow (with the parts) and hopefully the boat will be up and running with TWO engines by tomorrow or Tuesday at the very latest!

Thanks you everyone for checking in and thanks to everyone for your patience over the last week with our boat troubles,

Cheers,
Danielle

Still whales around!

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Good afternoon everyone, well, we have had quite a frustrating week dealing with some engine issues.  We do have 2 engines, as we are a power catamaran, so we have been able to do a few trips on ideal weather days on one engine (longer and slower trips but with ideal weather is has been quite relaxing moving at a slower pace…it is NOT a safety concern).  Now that the issues with the engine have been sorted out and the mechanic will be down to help with repairs on Monday we are hoping to back up and running at full speed by next Tuesday or Wednesday.  We do have scheduled departures this weekend, and they will be on one engine and we will be paying close attention to the weather on Sunday afternoon.

We have done a few trips in the past few days and I wanted to share some photos with you of the life in Head Harbour Passage.

A small sampling of the gulls in Head Harbour Passage on the flood tide 

Minke whale surfacing amongst the gulls

Minke whale 

Minke whale 

We have our annual bird cruise this Saturday morning so I will let you all know how it goes!  I will also let you know when the boat is up and running at full speed!

Cheers,
Danielle

Still fin whales and a young humpback!

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Good afternoon everyone, the whale watching continues to be wonderful out of St. Andrews.  On Monday, September 15th we found a young humpback whale off South Wolf, the first humpback sighting in our area of the 2014 season!  We also saw this whale on Tuesday, September 16th and we were treated to some incredible surface activity including tail breaching and tail lobbing (our Scout Boat found the humpback and this young whale was breaching fully for over an hour before we got there and we were so happy the surface activity continued for over 20 minutes when we got there).  The photos are currently at Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies in hopes of matching this young whale to the catalogue.

Here are some photos of the humpback we saw

Humpback tail breaching and passenger photographing from the upper deck

Check out those pectoral flippers

We were not able to locate the humpback on Wednesday, September 17th but we found fin whales and got some incredible views.

Fin whale just about to surface

Fin whale calf 

Fin whale calf just under the water, you can see the markings right under the water 

Fin whale approaching the Quoddy, you can see the asymmetrical colouring of the lower jaw 

We are still seeing lots of porpoise and seals as well.

Grey seals 

Harbour seals 

Thanks so much for checking in today!  There is still time to join us on the Bay before our 2014 season comes to a close, call 1-877-688-2600 for reservations.

Cheers,
Danielle