Sunday, June 22, 2008

And the winner is.....

Every year we wait with bated breath as to the arrival of the humpback whales and who the first identified whale will be. Humpback whales are individually identified by the black and white pigmentation patterns on the underside of the tail. No two are the same, much like our own fingernails. Even though we did sight a mother and calf pair previously, her identity remains unknown. On June 14, we travelled 15 miles northwest of Brier Island to an area called the Prong and spotted 3 humpback whales in that area. The first identified humpback for 2008 was none other than Mr. Burns! This adult male was first sighted near Brier Island in 1995 and has been seen here every year since. He was born in 1988 to Petrel. Mr. Burns also has the distinction of being one of the whales that you can adopt in our adopt a whale program, supporting the research that we conduct annually.
Mr Burns and Clutter, two humpback whales sighted on June 14.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The first week of whale watching

Welcome to the 2008 season of whale watching. Our first cruise of the season was on June 1 and like most beginnings our sightings have been mostly of minke whales. Minke whales are the smallest type of baleen whale that we see here in the Bay of Fundy. They measure 15-30 feet in length and weigh about 10 tons. So far the minkes that we have seen have been very curious of the boat much to the delight of our passengers!

On June 6, we sighted our first humpback and it was a mother and calf pair! Humpback calves are born in the Caribbean and are brought here by their mothers to feed in the nutrient rich waters of the Bay of Fundy. We haven't been able to identify the mother yet by the underside of the tail but we will definitely keep you posted as to who was our first humpback of the season!

Humpback mother and calf!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

High tide - Low Tide

The Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world and it is these tides that make the Bay of Fundy one of the best areas in the world for whale watching because of the water rushing over ledges which creates upwellings that bring nutrients to the surface. These nutrients in turn feed larger plankton, whci is food for small schooling fish and all of that is food for the whales, dolphins, porpoises and seabirds.

In the many fishing village that are on the Bay of Fundy, it is not uncommon to see the boats high and dry at low tide but not to worry, the tide always comes back about 6 hours and thirteen minutes!

Our whale watching boat "Mega Nova" at low tide and high tide. At Brier Island the difference between high and low tides is 16 to 20 feet.