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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Sightings and Updates

Welcome back Parachute!

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Hello, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine. There won’t be any pictures with this post but I thought I would still update you on what we have been seeing in the past few days.
Yesterday, September 11th we spent some time and has some great looks at a finback whale off of Blacks Harbour then we headed offshore in search of humpbacks. Again, close to the same spot, we found Cork. She was staying under for a while and making some big moves but we still got a few great looks at her. We also saw another humpback as we were leaving but we never got a look at it’s tail…..maybe another day. As we arrived in St. Andrews we got a call about an entangled humpback whale. Unfortunately entanglements with fishing gear happens quite a bit with humpbacks (they estimate that around 80% of North Atlantic humpbacks have entanglement scars). Large whale rescue was called and we got word this morning that the whale was successfully disentangled. We are not sure on the identity of the whale but as I find more out I will keep you posted.

Today was my day off but speaking with the office they had a great afternoon whale watch, seeing Parachute, a favorite humpback with Quoddy Link and “he” hasn’t been seen since September 6th. Parachute is popular for a reason, and today was no different as he breached and lobtailed for our guests.

I’m back to work tomorrow, thanks for checking in and I’ll keep the updates coming!

What a Girl!

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Hello, it’s Danielle from Quoddy Link Marine. Here are some updates for the past 3 days!

September 8th came with fog and our 10:00 am departure was cancelled. Our 2:00 pm trip took us a few miles south of Bliss Island where we found a finback whale (We watched the same whale off Nancy’s Head, Campobello Island about 90 minutes later in the trip). There was still a heavy haze/fog in the offshore but with a little visibility we headed off to the Grand Manan Channel where we found Cork, a 4 year-old female humpback (seen here).

September 9th brought more fog and another am trip cancelled. Our afternoon trip the fog persisted and confined us to the inner islands where we spent our time with a minke whale. We got some great close encounters.

September 10th, the fog has lifted!! Unable to find whales in the offshore (NOT for lack of trying, we covered a lot of ground looking for finbacks and humpbacks) we continued to Head Harbour Passage where we spent some time with 2 minke whales. On our 2:00 pm trip, with the change of tide and much calmer seas than our morning trip we headed off to the Grand Manan Channel to look for humpbacks. We found Cork again, in what seems to be her preferred spot on the ebb tide. A great trip!

Below you can see 3 grey seals, a fairly common sight in the our part of the Bay of Fundy (picture taken on September 8th). The seal on the left is a female, on the right is an adult male and the seal in the middle is a young of the year, most likely born in early February. This is not a family, even though it makes a nice picture, they are just 3 seals who are hauled out on the same rock. Grey seals are much larger than the more common harbour seal (about 200 lbs) and the males can reach a weight of almost 900 lbs.

A few great days with whales!

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Hello there, it’s Danielle, senior naturalist and photographer with Quoddy Link Marine. The last 2 days have been great. On September 6th, 10:00 am, we spent some time with a finback whale off Bliss Island and then went in search of humpback whales. With some help from the Grand Manan Ferry (letting us know that the patchy fog stopped, and it was clear over by Grand Manan) we headed over to northern tip of Grand Manan and found both Parachute and Hobo (not seen since August 24th) close to Long Eddy Light. On the 2:00 pm departure we had Repeat and Parachute, 2 familiar humpback whales, and a finback whale in the Grand Manan channel.

Today, with a lot of searching on our 10:00 am trip we finally found Repeat about 1.5 miles NW of the Wolves Bank. It was a great sighting with a full breach very close to the boat (breaching is a common behaviour with humpbacks but certainly isn’t seen on every trip). On the 2:00 pm trip they found Cork, a 4 year old female humpback, in the Grand Manan channel. We also had a few minke whales on each trip today.

Thanks for checking out our sightings and we hope to see you in St. Andrews soon!

Welcome back Cork!!

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Sorry for the lack of posts for the past few days. Here are some updates! The picture of the fin whale seen here was taken on September 3rd in Head Harbour Passage. These large whales are not usually seen this close to shore, a very special treat for many of the boaters, pleasure crafts and whale watching boats alike. Yesterday brought rain, fog and wind but we were able to get in a successful morning trip. With the weather we were confined inshore but we had the pleasure of watching “Breadknife” (named for the notches in his dorsal fin), a minke whale we have come to know and adore. “He” usually shows up at just the right time and almost always makes very close passes to our boat. I didn’t take any pictures because of the weather.

Today brought sun, calm seas and humpback whales! On our morning trip we spent some time with Quarternote and a finback whale, about 1.5 miles east of Whale Cove, Grand Manan. And on our trip back to St. Andrews we came across Repeat about 4 miles west of Southern Wolf. Our 2:00 pm departure we headed back out in the same area, ended up on the SW corner of the Owen Basin with Parachute, Repeat and Cork as well as 2 finback whales. What a great day!

Quarternote, seen on our 10:00 am trip.

Repeat, seen on both our 10:00 am and 2:00 pm trips.

Cork, a 4 year old female seen on our 2:00 pm trip. We hadn’t seen cork since July 20th!!

Parachute, a favorite with Quoddy Link

Gorgeous weather and whales!

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The past 2 days have been great. On 3 of our 4 trips we have spent time with

both finbacks and humpback whales. Parachute, one of our favorite humpbacks is still hanging around Eastern Wolf and “he” continues to delight our passengers with many close encounters. Here you can see Parachutes’ tubercles, the bumps on his rostrum. There is a single, coarse hair growing out of every single tubercle which are believed to have a sensory function similar to that of whiskers.

This is a young harbour seal, a common sight in the Bay of Fundy. Harbour seals are members of the family Phocidae, the true seals. They have short hind and fore flippers and cannot walk around on all fours. Instead, they pull themselves along using their front flippers and undulate their torsos.

Stayed tuned for some more sightings and updates!

Nice to spend some time with finbacks

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Today was a great day with finback whales. On both our 10:00 am and 2:00 pm departure we spent time with finback whales, the second largest animal in the world. On our morning departure we also had a pair of minke whales traveling together, a rare sight. Below you can see the Island Link, our power cruiser out on a chartered whale watch, with a finback whale.

While on a chartered trip over to Campobello Island we were treated to a rare sight of a breaching minke whale. You can clearly see the white bands on the pectoral flippers.
I will keep you posted on our sightings tomorrow, thanks for checking in.

A day with Repeat

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Despite the forecast of strong winds and fog we had a good with great sightings of both a finback and a humpback whale. We spent our 2 trips today with Repeat, a humpback whale. Also on our 10:00 am trip we saw a minke whale in Head Harbour Passage and on our 2:00 pm departure we had a finback whale off Bliss.

Here you can see Repeat’s dorsal fin. Notice the white “rake” marks. Speaking with humpback researchers at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) they believe these marks are from an orca attack during the calf year. We have been seeing Repeat for the past week now and PCCS told us that Repeat hasn’t been seen since 2004 off Massachusetts. These pictures were taken yesterday, when the sun was shining. With the mist and weather today I didn’t take out my camera and just enjoyed with my eyes. Keep watching for more updates.

An experience of a life time!

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This evening’s trip was an experience of a life time. We arrived just NE of Eastern Wolf and got some nice looks and spent some time with Quarternote and Parachute. After about 40 minutes both whales were traveling together and they came towards the boat, making close passes, circling us and spyhopping (taking their heads out of the water). I spend my days from June-October watching whales and being curious about them and tonight, to have that curiosity obviously returned was absolutely incredible. I want to mention that close encounters like this is rare. Below you can see some photographs from our 5:30 trip.

Above you can see Parachute closer to the boat. Note the long, white pectoral flippers and you can also see barnacles around the chin of Parachute.

Here you can see a spyhop. Note the barnacles and the ventral grooves (pleats than run down the belly side in rorqual whales to allow expansion while feeding).

Above Quarternote is closer to the boat (notice the square dorsal fin).
A very close encounter with Parachute. Quarternote is on the other side of “him”.I always say my job is a privledge, to be able to spend the amount of time I do with whales, and tonight was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

Quarternote, Parachute and Repeat…a great day.

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Hello there, it’s Danielle, senior naturalist and photographer with Quoddy Link Marine. We had 3 great trips today, barely a breath of wind and blue skies. Our morning and afternoon we were west of Southern Wolf with Repeat, a humpback whale we have been seeing for the past week. On both trips we were able to stop and spend some time with a finback whale just south of Blacks Harbour. On our evening trip we traveled out to Eastern Wolf in search of humpbacks. We saw a finback on our way, a nice surprise, and we continued to the east and found both Parachute and Quarternote (below). It was 3 great trips and with a good forecast for Sunday, tomorrow should be another great day for whale watching out of St. Andrews.

Another day with great weather and humpback whales

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Hello, it’s Danielle, senior naturalist and photographer with Quoddy Link Marine. We had another great day with humpback whales. We spent all 3 trips with Parachute (left) and Quarternote (below, can you guess how Quarternote got his named by looking at his fluke?). Parachute was active again today on our 5:30 trip, I don’t have any pictures from that trip, I was in the office. They are calling for light winds for the next 2 days so I will keep you posted on our sightings. Thanks for checking in.