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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Sightings and Updates

Minkes, fins, eagles and a basking shark – August 2, 2017

Good evening all, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine bringing you another update from the water thanks to Jolinne.

August 2nd, 2017
The morning departure we made our way straight offshore to the Wolves Bank. Once we slowed down we quickly got a look at a huge, at least 20ft, basking shark! This would be the first real sighting of a basking shark this season. The shark didn’t come too close to the surface before it sank and disappeared out of sight. We then continued to the two fin whales that were traveling slowly together. After some great looks at these whales we made our way into the islands and quickly got a look to a minke whale before we continued back to Saint Andrews.

The afternoon’s departure we stayed in the islands and got some amazing looks at two minke whales. The first minke kept surfacing near the catamaran. Every time we would turn around, it would once again surface near us! That’s not a problem we complain about, not being able to leave a whale. We eventually were able to make our way towards Slice, another minke whale. While doing so we quickly noticed that behind this minke whale we had at least 13 bald eagles on a rock ledge! There was a mixture of both adult and juvenile eagles.

On the evening departure we once again made our way to the Wolves Bank and watched the same two fin whales, which have been in that area for the past few days. There were also lots of seals and harbour porpoises nearby. With the departures that have been going offshore we are seeing lots of bird species also. There’s been more and more greater shearwaters, few sooty shearwaters, storm petrels, phalaropes and today we had a good group of diving northern gannets!

greater shearwater

large finback whale

seals

minke whale, Slice

fin whale

greater shearwater

sooty shearwater

juvenile northern gannet

minke whale

basking shark

pair of fin whales

harbour seal

red-necked phalaropes

LOOK at all of those bald eagles!

fin whales

fin whales

grey seals (in front)

Thanks to everyone that joined us today of these departures and thank you for checking in today!

East Quoddy Head Light

 

Fin whales and a humpback on the Bank – August 1, 2017

Good morning everyone, it’s Danielle again bringing you an update from the Quoddy Link thanks to Jolinne!

August 1st, 2017
The morning departure we made our way straight to the Wolves Bank and spent time with two feeding fin whales. They never surfaced too far from the catamaran or dove for very long. At times they would surface together and other times they were separated. There were also harbour and grey seals and harbour porpoises all within the area.

On the afternoon departure they once again made their way out to the Wolves Bank and watched 2-3 fin whales.

The evening trip they once again made their way out to the Wolves Bank, sounds like there were still a few fin whales out there. They also had a humpback in the area. This may be a 2nd individual and not the same one from the weekend. The whale did fluke up, so once we get an ID we’ll let you guys know.

Thanks again to everyone that joined us today on these departures!

Fin whale

Watching fin whales from the foredeck of the catamaran, Quoddy Link

Finback whale

Finback whale

Fin whale, you can see the fluke prints from the whale (flat patches) that show the direction of travel. Fin whales often turn in tight circles at the surface.

Fin whale showing blaze and chevrons, unique markings from whale to whale

Thank You for checking in!  And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for up to date sighting information and lots of great whale news

Cheers,
Danielle

4 fins traveling side-by-side – July 31, 2017

Hello everyone, Danielle here again bring you another update from the Bay thanks to Jolinne!

July 31st, 2017
The morning departure we had received word that there were fin whales further offshore and we made our way towards the Wolves Bank. While making our way out there we saw greater shearwaters and phalaropes. Once we got there we found not one but 4 fin whales traveling side by side! Between dives they were moving around some, however, at one point all four surfaced with 100ft from the catamaran. Before we left a 5th fin whale came into the area.

The afternoon departure we stayed inshore due to the winds. There was a fin whale near by which was surrounded by a lot of boat traffic so we decided to continue on and see if we could find a minke whale. We quickly did, however, this young minke whale was being its elusive self. It wasn’t easy to watch as it was diving for long times, spending very little time at the surface and constantly changing directing. Once the boat traffic disappeared around the fin whale we made our way over however we were unable to find it. So we continued to search amongst the island for another minke whale, while doing so we had a great looks at multiple harbour porpoises surfacing all around the catamaran. We did find another minke whale, it was quite possibly the original one, as it still wasn’t easy to watch. We did extend the trip to try to accommodate this whale and get better sightings.

The evening departure we made our way towards a fin whale that was being watched, eventually the boat traffic cleared up and we had some great looks. We then made our way towards East Quoddy Head Light and there were a few harbour porpoises and we also found two soaring bald eagles above Spruce Island.

Thanks to everyone that joined us on these departures today

Harbour seals

Three finback whales

Pair of fin whales

Harbour and grey seals

Three finbacks

Greater shearwater

Fin whale

Fins, minkes and the first humpback of the 2017 season – July 29, 2017

Good evening everyone, Danielle once again bringing you an update thanks to Jolinne,

July 29th, 2017
The morning departure started off with a fin whale, however with all the boat traffic around the whale, the Catamaran moved inside the islands and got some great look at two minke whales that were charging around and feeding.

On the afternoon departure they made their way offshore towards Southern Wolf where they had two fin whales. They then ended up off East Quoddy Head Light with the first humpback whale of the season. This younger whale wasn’t very active and stayed very close to the Island. There is no ID for this humpback as it never raised its tail.

The evening departure they made their way once again off Bliss Island and found a fin whale.

Thanks again to everyone that joined us today!

Thank You for checking in with us today and don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook page for more images and fun whale information all year long.

Cheers,

Danielle

Cold, rain and Slice – July 27, 2017

Good evening everyone, Danielle here with Quoddy Link Marine bring you another update from the water thanks to Jolinne!

“The morning’s departure we stopped and spent some time with seals before making our way towards Bliss Island/ Blacks Harbour. We found two fin whales that weren’t traveling together, but it seemed like they kept moving somewhat together as they were feeding. From there we made our way to Whitehorse Island; the black-legged kittiwakes are still on the island, however they are no longer sitting on their nests. While making our way back home in the Islands we found and spend time with a young minke whale and found two bald eagles.

The afternoon’s departure we stayed in the islands. We started off with seals and then found a minke whale near Head Harbour Light. This minke whale wasn’t the easiest whale to watch so we left it and continued our way down Head Harbour Passage. It wasn’t long before we found a second minke whale, Slice! Slice was quite easy to watch and was traveling at a pretty good speed for a minke whale.

The evening’s departure was cancelled due to a lack of interest.

Slice, a favourite minke whale

Slice, minke whale

Slice, a minke whale

Bald eagle

I do want to thank all the hardy passengers we had today, as it wasn’t the warmest or the driest day out on the water today!”

Thank You for checking in with us!  And if you haven’t already, make sure you LIKE our Facebook Page to keep up to date on all things Fundy and whales!

Cheers,

Danielle

RIGHT amazing – July 26, 2017

Hello everyone!  It’s Danielle back to share some sighting from Jolinne (THANK YOU Jolinne!!)

“On the morning departure we started off with some seals that were on the exposed ledges. From there we continued on towards Southern Wolf where there were reports of a few species on whales. We spent some time with two large fin whales which were surfacing and traveling at high speeds. Earlier another tour boat had a North Atlantic right whale in the area but it hadn’t been spotted for some time, so we continued past Southern Wolf and in no time Mat, our captain, re-located the right! We stayed with this whale for some time as it was traveling very slowly near the surface. We were able to get some great looks at it as it never really dove. This is our first sighting of the season of a North Atlantic right whale, it’s incredibly special as there are only ~520 individuals in the world!  

Fin whale (Head Harbour Light in the background)

Fin whale off South Wolf

North Atlantic right whale

North Atlantic right whale

North Atlantic right whale

Our afternoon departure had to be cancelled due to engine issues (so sorry to everyone we disappointed!) but our evening departure was able to head out at 6pm (I have not heard back about the sightings).”

Thanks again to everyone that joined us today!

Fins, minkes and a bait ball – July 24-25, 2017

Good evening everyone, thank you so much for checking in!  Here is an update from Jolinne for the past few day.

July 24th, 2017
I was told that on the morning departure they went off the Wolves and had a fin whale and 3 minkes.

On both the afternoon and evening departures they had two fin whales near Bliss Island.

July 25th, 2017
The morning departure we started off with seals on the reef and then quickly made our way over to Bliss Island to watch a fin whale. From there we went to see the nesting black-legged kittiwakes on White Horse Island and did a drive by of East Quoddy Head Light on Campobello Island. We did end up finding a minke whale before spending time in the Old Sow (the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere).

The afternoon departure we made our way towards Black Harbour where other tour boats were watching a fin whale. With a bit of time we did end up watching two fin whales. These whales were slow-moving and not diving for very long and therefore pretty easy to watch. From there we once again visited White Horse Island to see some nesting seabirds. On our way home, we came across a bit of a feeding frenzy; there were 2-3 bald eagles, lots of gulls and many harbour porpoises. The porpoises were the driving force that kept the herring in a nice tight “bait ball” that the passengers were able to see from the boat.

On the evening departure we started off with seals and made our way towards a fin whale. We spent a bit of time to get some good looks before leaving to see if we could find other wildlife. We did find a bald eagle and ended up returning to the fin whale to get a few more good looks.

Herring weir not in use on Sandy Island

Molting harbour seals

Nesting black-legged kittiwakes

Big blow from a finback

Head Harbour Light on the northern tip of Campobello Island. She is getting a little make-over

L’etete Light

Harbour and grey seals

Fin whale and black guillemots (if you can see them!!)

The Old Sow off Deer Island Point

Adult bald eagle and harbour and grey seals

Fin whale

Fin whale off the fairway buoy off Bliss

Minke whale off Indian Island

Thanks again to everyone that joined us these past few days!  And thank you to Jolinne for keeping us all updated until I can be back on the water!

Cheers,

Danielle

Late-July bird report – July 23, 2017

I have a quick bird update from Todd and some images from Jolinne.

“Yesterday afternoon, we went through Western Passage and there were hundreds of Bonaparte’s Gulls in or near the Old Sow. Black heads were numerous as is usually the case during the month of July. There were good numbers of larger gulls in Head Harbour Passage. It would have been nice to sort through these birds looking for something uncommon or rare.

During the morning, we motored around the Wolves (a groups of islands) and observed decent sized rafts of Greater Shearwater with a few Sooty. Also present were many Wilson’s Storm Petrel. Rafts containing over 100 Red-necked Phalaropes were also observed. These birds were mostly on the outside of the islands which is typical. ”

Red-necked phalaropes

Razorbill father with chick

Black-legged kittiwakes. Their mouths are open to help control boy temperature.

Black guillemots on Whitehorse

Thanks for checking in,

Danielle

Fin whales and a Mola mola – July 23, 2017

Good evening all!  I am back again with another update from Jolinne!

“This morning’s departure we went straight off to Southern Wolf, were there were reports of a few fin whales. Once we arrived the fin whales were no longer there, however we did spend time with a minke whale. We then made our way around to the backside of the Wolves to see what was back there. We then found another minke whale and while watching it one of the fin whales surfaced near the boat. We got great looks of both the minke and fin whale. To finish off the trip Fundy Tide Runners spotted a Mola mola (ocean sunfish) just behind the boat! This is the first one of the summer. Sightings of a sunfish are rare and a great treat, especially considering it stayed near the surface and swam around both boats!

The afternoon’s departure we made our way to Eastern Wolf. We quickly spotted a minke whale and then a fin whale. By the end of the trip there were three fin whales feeding in the area. They were spread out some, however there always seemed to be one near us.”

Finback whale

Common loon

Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) off the Quoddy

Finback whale

Ocean sunfish off the Quoddy Link

Fin whale, you can see the asymmetrical colouring in the lower jaw

Fin whale

Mola mola, ocean sunfish

Ocean sunfish

Fin whale

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us today!

Cheers,

Danielle

Minkes – July 22, 2017

Good evening everyone, here is another update from Jolinne:

July 22

“This morning we made our way straight off to the Wolves Bank, however the fin whales that were there yesterday seemed to have moved on. We did end up spending time with a few feeding minke whales near Eastern Wolf.

On the afternoon departure we stayed in the Islands. We started off with a few minkes whales near Wilson’s Beach, Campobello Island, however, with all the boat traffic we kept moving on in order to keep the boat numbers to a minimum. We ended up going to see East Quoddy Head Light and doing a tour around the Owen Basin, in case the fin whales had moved into that area. There were no whales sighted, however on our way home we ended up finding a single minke and had it to ourselves. We had some great and close up looks (including seeing the minke’s mittens).

I was told that the evening departure had a few minke whales and had some great looks.”

Curious female grey seal

Fluke prints of a minke whale

Red-necked phalaropes

Minke whale approaching the Quoddy Link

minke whale

Harbour and grey seals

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

Cheers,

Danielle