Saturday, July 26, 2008

Some Friendly Humpback Whales

Nine's 2008 calf coming in for a close look

The last few days have been very interesting on the Bay of Fundy. We have seen a few humpback whales move closer to Brier Island and we are documenting new individuals every day. To date, we have documented 53 individual humpback whales including 8 new calves. The latest to be brought to the Bay was Nine and her calf. Nine has only been sighted here one other year and that was in 2006 and she soon became a favourite among all of the crew because she turned out to be a very friendly whale often approaching the boats in curious behaviour. Her calf has also learned this behaviour from its mother and was very curious of our boats, the Cetacean Search and the Mega Nova. The calf would spyhop and roll and its eye appeared to be on the occupants on the boats. It truly is an amazing experience when a whale chooses to do this and something you'll never forget!

Our anniversary day was very successful. We celebrated our 22nd year of whale watching by offering an amazing discount which will be offered again on August 22 and September 20, 2008. The price per person is $22 + tax, a very good opportunity to see these whales in their own habitat. On July 22nd, it was very windy and choppy but we were able to get all of our cruises out that day. We documented a few new whales such as Littlespot, Lagoon, and Fan. Shark was active much to our delight. She would roll on her side and slap her long pectoral flippers on the surface of the water in a resounding smack. It is not known why these whales do this but there are many theories such as for communication, feeding purposes or to knock parasites off the flippers.
On Wednesday, our cruises were privileged to be visited by Lacuna an adult male who has been coming to the Bay of Fundy since 2003. He treated the Cetacean Search as if it were a bath toy, pushing on it with his nose. We were never in any danger, humpback whales are after all our gentle giants.
The fog still looms over us but our trips have been phenomenal!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Whales in the Fog!

The fog continues to loom over us, however we have ahd a few beautiful sunny days. As I mentioned in a previous post, the fog can hinder us a bit as it takes a bit longer to locate the whales but we are usually successful in finding them. On yesterday's cruise, the fog cleared just enough that we were able to see 4 different humpback whales including a mother and calf and two individuals that were hanging out together. The new mother was identified as Touchdown, and the other two were Flash and Notchy.

The calf was very entertaining as when Touchdown went for a deep dive, the calf would linger at the surface and inspect our boat and its occupants. At at point, the calf breached (jumped) next to the boat much to the excitement of everyone!
Calf rolling next to the boat.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sightings to July 11th

The Bay of Fundy is working its magic. Not only has the fog disappeared but some humpback whales have moved a little bit closer to Brier Island which makes for some fantastic whale watching. Fog did not get the best of us though, as we have had some good sightings. Two days ago, we located one of our adopt a whales, Rooftop with her third calf! Other adopt a whales have been sighted as well are Flash who was seen on July 10 and Shuttle (Shown at left) who
was sighted today, July 11. Other individuals
that have been identified are Parrot, Istar,
Puppet, Highlighter (at right) , Gremlin, Sauron,
and Willow. This makes our total identified humpback whale count at 34 for the 2008 season.
Bird sightings have been of Greater Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters, Northern Fulmars, Northern Gannets, Wilson's Storm Petrels and a few Red Necked Phalaropes have arrived.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The foggy days of summer!

Fin whales

Whale watching has been great even with the ominous fog that seems to be lurking over our island. You may think that you wouldn't see anything in its blanket but thanks to our honed hearing skills, we are ever so tuned to the sound of their blows in the fog! We locate the whales usually by their spouts but due to reduced visibilty we listen for the sound instead. We have mostly been seeing minke whales but lately we have also been sighting fin whales as well. Fin whales are the largest type of baleen whales that come to the Bay of Fundy. They can be up to 80 feet in length and weigh about 70 tons.
The humpbacks are still about 15-18 miles away but there has been singles sighted close to the island. On June 26, we made a survey cruise to that area and documented 17+ humpback whales. We recorded two mother and calf pairs. The moms were identified as Mets and Spar.