Friday, November 27, 2009

Gift Ideas

Hello everyone and Happy Holidays!

It's that time of year when we are trying to think of some unique gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises has whale watching gift certificates available. Or why not support humpback whale research in the Bay of Fundy by adopting a humpback whale. You receive a certificate with a photograph of "your" whale, biography, sighting history and information about humpback whales and our research. Now that's a unique gift idea. Please visit our website for more information.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The whale watch season has come to a close



The season has come to an end for another year, and it went by so quickly. It was a very good year for sightings. We documented 119 individual humpback whales and thee are still some yet to be identified. Our calf numbers were down from last year with 5 new calves to the Bay of Fundy as compared to 2008 when we sighted 23!
Our last cruise was on October 11th and we saw my favourite humpback whale, Foggy. She was born in 1987 to Bermuda (Who we haven't seen since 1995, sadly) and we have watched Foggy grow to the adult she is today. She has had 3 calves of her own, one of which, Motley, was seen on several occasions during the 2009 season. Luna was with Foggy that day. Luna is an adult male that we have been seeing in the Bay of Fundy since 1986.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October is still a Good Time for Whales!

Hi Everyone!
Just wanted to let you know that we will be whale watching up to October 12th ! Whale watching is still excellent as we are seeing humpbacks on every cruise,. The latest individuals have been Clamp, and Grand Manan who was born in 2002 to Fundy, a humpback that we have been sighting here since 1988. Also sighted was Gondolier who has a reputation for close approaches and this last sighting of him was no different!
There is still time to experience some of the best whale watching in the world!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last Year's Calves are Returning!

Teather's 08 calf

Haze's 08 calf

Peedee's 08 calf

Hello Everyone and thanks for checking in! As the season slows down, we have a the opportunity to sift through our photographs and try to match the unknowns with the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue. During the month of September we conducted some research cruises in which we photographs some very young whales in the Bay of Fundy and we are gradually finding out who they are. Last season, we saw a total of 23 calves return with their mothers to the Bay of Fundy to learn how to feed on the abundance of herring and krill that can be found here. The mothers always bring their calves back to the same area that they were brought to as calves and so these feeding ares are passed on from generation to generation. So far, we have documented three of those so far with many more photos yet to be matched. The ones that have returned are calves of; Teather, Peedee and Haze.

Other new whales this year are: Godzilla, Egret (Siphon's 07 calf) and Cord (Bungee's 02 calf)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Perfect day!


Fin Whales at the Bulkhead Rip.

Hello everyone!

We decided to take advantage of the great weather and conducted a full day research cruise. We left bright and early and headed across the Bay to an area called the Bulkhead Rip whics is not far from Grand Manan Island. We had been getting reports of humpback whales and fin whales and we went to investifgate to see if any of "our" whales had gone over there. Once we arrived it wasn't long until we started to see spouts in the distance. Most of them were fin whales and we counted over forty at that area. We did see three humpbacks and was able to identify one as Bottleneck.
The other two were unknown an need to be matched to the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog. A North Atlantic Right Whale was sighted as well.

North Atlantic Right Whale

We left that area and headed back across to another area where smaller humpbacks were being sighted. We counted over 20 of that species there. Only one of those were known and it was Viper, a whale we haven't sighted here since 2007. We continued toward Northwest Ledge off Brier Island and more humpbacks were there including; Lace, Haze, Lacuna, Flame, Squiggle and calf, Foggy and Highlighter.

All in all, it was a very productive day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another good day on the water!

Hi everyone! The Bay of Fundy continues to abound with sightings of whales and seabirds. On today's cruise we saw three humpback whales that were identified as Orion, Froth and Teather. Orion and Teather were very active, flipper slapping, tail lobbing and Orion even approached the boat at one point!

Orion flipper slapping

On September 12th, our cruise watched a minke whale continuously breach by the boat for half an hour.

New whales to the Bay of Fundy have been: Sigma, Lace and Orion.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What a week!

One of the unidentified juveniles sighted on a research cruise.

Squiggle's calf plays around the Mega Nova

Sperm whale spout is at an angle due to the single
blow hole being directed to the left

Hi everyone! Summer has seemed to arrived ......well, summer weather. But actually, the weather plays no role in the whale watching. We have had some pretty good trips even in inclement weather.
But that's beside the point. This past week has been amazing with different humpback whales being sighted everyday! We never know who might show up. Or what species! We conducted a short research cruise yesterday in the afternoon. We spent some time photographing some whales such as Touchdown, Bungee, Kalimba, Froth, Squiggle and calf, Teather, and Gremlin. We thought we may try to go further offshore. We spotted a single whale and approached it, hoping to obtain some photos but it disappeared as soon as we got there. We waited 25 minutes for it to reappear and it did about a mile to the southwest! Then we noticed the spout, it was low and angled to the left. We approached and got a photo from a distance just in case it disappeared again...and it did for 18 minutes and when it surfaced it was too far for us to work with but we could definitely identify it as a sperm whale. We haven't seen that species here since 2001! It was certainly a nice surprise!
On September 4th, we took advantage of the weather and went to an area where some younger humpbacks have been hanging out. In that area we photographed 17 different juvenile humpbacks and were only able to identify three of them. They were Clutter, Magma, and Shot Put.
Some other new individuals sighted have been: Meteor, Slumber, and Egreque.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Do the "Right" Thing!

On August 31st, we had the priveledge of witnessing the rarest large whale on earth engaged in Surface Active Group behaviour. There were 12 - 15 right whales but only one of those was a female. She calls the males and rolls on her back, making herself unavailable to the males who are jostling for position. Imagine up to 14 males at about 50 tonnes each competing for that. It dos indeed cause quite a stir!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Humpbacks are close to Brier Island!

Whale watching continues to be at its best ! No two cruises are the same as we tell everyone who steps aboard our boats. This proved to be true on August 25th when we watched several whale surface feeding on herring only a quarter mile from shore!! It all strated when we spotted Baton (one of our adopt a whales) who was kick feeding. He would use his tail to create a bubble cloud which would corral the herring and concentrate it so that he could get more fish with one gulp. We also noticed more spouts southwest of us and when we approashed, they were feeding as well. One of them was identified as Triton, an adult male that we haven't sighted here since 2004.

Other whales that have been sighted in the past week are: Kalimba, Scythe, Partition, Capella, Salvo, Quote, Raindrop, Grommet, Baton, Vector,Hopper, Calanus, Wigwam, and Southpaw.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Bill

All cruises today were cancelled because of hurricane Bill so I took advantage of the photo opportunity of the wave action at Pond Cove. Oh the power of the sea!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Great Day with Lacuna!

Lacuna continues to be the star of the show!
This humpback whale was first sighted in the Bay of Fundy in 2003 but didn't really exhibit any curious behaviour until recent years, and now he just won't stop, and we're not complaining. We're not sure what makes him so friendly but he tends to do so when he is alone. When he is with other whales he couldn't be bothered with the boat.
On the latest occasion, he approached from the stern and then go under the boat only to reappear at the side, spyhopping to have a look at everyone on board. He made sure that the people on the other side saw him as well as he swam under the boat. He then went to the back of the boat and flipper slapped very close as if trying to get everyone wet and he did indeed! Humpback whales are the gentle giants.
We are sighting new individuals daily such as: Blanco, Sockeye, Quarternote, Maelstrom and Prongs.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bay of FUNday!

Spy hopping Gremlin

Hi everyone! What a great day to be on the Bay of Fundy! Our cruises have been excellent with sightings of humpbacks on every cruise! On our most recent cruises, we have seen lots of activity including groups of active humpback whales. Gremlin, Flame, and Luna joined up with Flash and Rooftop and seemed to be causing quite a stir! Gremlin woften spy hop as if looking at the boat or the other whales. During the evening cruise, Patchwork entertained us by coming quite close to the boat where he would flipper slap and tail lob.

We were glad to see some favourites return in the last few days such as: Rooftop, Istar, Jurassic, Squiggle and her 2009 calf, Willow, Mallard and Flame.
Juvenile Northern Gannet

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lacuna is back!

Hi everyone! Whale watching continues to be spectacular especiall with the arrival of one of our all-time favourite humpback whales, Lacuna! He is known to be a very friendly whale and last evening he lived up to our expectations. We were about to go by him without seeing him when beside us we saw a huge whale breach! We waited for the whale to surface and he did, right beside the boat. He entertained everyone by rolling next to the boat and showing us his massive tail.
Lacuna beside the whale watch boat!
The night before was exceptional as well! We had watched NAHWC# 0034 (She has no name) on both cruises and we headed to the same place on the sunset cruise to relocate her. We did find her, but she had joined up with several other whales in the area! In total, we counted 22 humpback whales, some travelling in groups as many as 8! Humpbacks are usually solitary by nature so this was extraordinary in itself!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunny days are here again!

The sun finally broke through and awarded us once again with some amzing whale watching! We were so pleased to see a humpback named Tab return to Brier Island as he is one of our favourites and the most frequently sighted since we started keeping track of the indiviuals in 1984. He has been sighted every year since that time having only missed 2 years including 2008 so we were very happy with his return!
Yesterday we sighted three humpbacks together; Badge, Littlespot and Mocha. Badge was quite active, flipper slapping next to the boat.
Some of the others that we have identified are: Yurt, Jigger, and Fist.
Bird sightings are outstanding! In the last few days we have seen hundreds of sooty shearwaters! There have also been Northern Fulmars, Greater Shearwaters, Northern Gannet, a Razorbill and Red Phalaropes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whale watching at its finest!

Lunge feeding on krill

Whale watching off Brier Island continues to be amazing! The humpbacks have moved in closer to Brier Island and every day we are seeing and recording new individuals. To date we have sighted three new calves in the Bay of Fundy. The mothers are Shark, Photon and Colorado. For the last two evenings we have been going out on sunset cruises and they have proven to be quite eventful. We witnessed lunge feeding, breaching, flipper slapping and tail lobbing, although this can certainly happen at any time of day.
Close approach by a humpback named Collision

Some new whales that we have identified are: Chorni (who we haven't seen since 2006), Collision, Flash, Cirrus, Lagoon, Flamingo and Half Moon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Best trip of 2009! (So far....)

The humpbacks have arrived to Brier Island and we couldn't be happier! Especially after our cruise on July 16th when we experienced humpback behaviour at its very best! The whales announced their presence to us by breaching, not just one whale, but 4, who very breaching simultaneously! We didn't know where to look! Two of the whales who were active for us were Foggy and Peajack. Foggy has been sighted every year since 1987 when she was brought to the Bay of Fundy as a calf by her mom, Bermuda. Peajack has been sighted here since 1995.
We also witnessed a very curious humpback named, I-Beam. He approached the boat and spyhopped, having a look at everyone within!
Also sighted was a North Atlantic Right Whale, Minke whales, Fin whales and Harbor Porpoise.