Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Orca in the Bay of Fundy!

What an awesome day! On September 14th, 2010 our Zodiac spotted a lone male Orca in the Bay of Fundy, a species that is extrememly rare to these waters! Usually orcas are found farther north in the Atlantic. When we saw this whale, it was chasing a group of dolphins who were obviously in distress. At one point the orca rolled and tail lobbed several times, and then the chase was on again. All of our passngers and crew were thrilled with the sighting, realizing what a priviledge to witness nature at its finest!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The whales are still here!

Hurricane Earl had little effect on the whales of the Bay of Fundy, with sightings of humpbacks close by the island. On a recent cruise, we watched a group of 4 who were identified as Peajack,Froth, Tether and Cowlick. Peajack was her usual self, rolling and flipper slapping next to the boat. Her companions were not so active, just lazily swimming close by. We also watched Tigris and Foggy and her calf.

Bird sightings have been good as well as we are seeing lots of puffins in the area, as well as Greater Shearwaters, Northern Gannets, Red and Red Necked Phalaropes with a few sightings of Northern Fulmars. We have also noticed some laughing gulls in the area after the hurricane.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sperm Whales in the Bay of Fundy!

What next will we see? We were very surprised on August 28th to see a single Sperm whale on our morning cruise. Sperm whales are the largest toothed whale in the world that are usually only found in deep water such as in the mid Atlantic.
Being a toothed whale, they usually travel in groups but aging males will leave the bachelor groups and go off on their own. There have been other reports of this species in the Bay for the last two weeks. We also sighted a small group of Pilot whales a few days ago. What a priviledge to see these whales!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Up Close and Personal!

We are enjoying some great weather and great whale watches in the Bay of Fundy with some close approaches by Knuckles and her calf, Sockeye, Peajack, Pierce, and Picses! These close encounters are not common but when they do happen, it is almost Spiritual. What a priviledge to be observed by the whales!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Our 13th Mother and calf pair!

Hello Everyone!

Whale watching continues to be excellent on the Bay of Fundy at Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises! We are fortunate to be able to observe these whales in their own habitat and see for ourselves the arrival of each new calf as it arrives to learn to feed on the herring and krill that is abundant here. These feeding areas are passed on from generation to generation. The latest calf to arrive was with its mother Knuckles. It seemed that yesterday was a nursery school day as we watched 5 mother and calf pairs, one of which was Flash and her calf, who is very active as the photographs show. can't wait to see who will arrive next!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More New Calves!

Humpback whales continue to arrive in the Bay of Fundy! We have three new mother and calf pairs in the last week and our total is 11 new calves that we have sighted in the Bay of Fundy! The latest to arrive are Lace, Vector and Foggy! We were very excited to see Foggy and her 4th calf as we have followed the entire life of Foggy since she was brought here as a calf by her mother Bermuda in 1987!

Flash's calf breaching next to our boat!

Some other new whales that we have recorded are Badge, Cacophony, Pylon and many more! The total number of individual humpback whales is now at 108! What a great season it has been!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photos from July 26

Flipper Slapping
An adult male named Patches

Tail Lobbing

Flash's 2010 calf

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What a Magnificent Day!

And magnificent it was, especially on the 1:30 pm cruise when a Magnificent Frigatebird was
sighted in the Bay of Fundy. These birds are usually found in tropical oceans, such as off the coast of Florida and south. We're not sure how it ended up in the Bay of Fundy and hope that it makes its way back to its home waters.

Also sighted on our anniversary were several humpback whales who were identified as Flash and her calf, Puppet and Baton. There were also minke whales as well as fin whales. awesome day on the Bay!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Amazing, simply amazing

Photos from our latest cruises! Awesome days on the Bay of Fundy with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Whales in the Fog!

Greetings from the Bay of Fundy! Our cruises continue to be exceptional despite the fog that has been lingering. Many whales seem to be in the area with sightings of different individuals every day! Since the last post, we have had the addition of two more calves in the Bay. The mothers were identified as Mocha and Cirrus, who hasn't had a calf since 2004! The calving interval for humpback whales is usually every two to three years.


We have been seeing lots of activity bythe whales, including Flame, who amused us by playing in a rockweed streak. Flame is an adult male that we have been seeing here since 1986

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another calf for Flash

Flash, one of our adopt-a-whales arrived in the Bay of Fundy with her 7th calf! Flash has been coming here since 1987 and is a favourite with our researchers. She was always one to appoach our whale watch boat and spy hop (Rise vertically out of the water to have a look)

Our Zodiac was the first to find a couple of humpbacks and when we arrived, Flash and her calf soon appeared in the area! While Flash was busy feeding, the calf demonstrated his ability to tail breach and it looked like it was having fun!
We documented our 6th mother and calf pair in the Bay and we were able to identify the mother as Mocha! So exciting to see the calves!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Whole Food Chain in Action!

Lunge Feeding humpback
Shrimp-like crustacean called krill

Side lunging humpback whales

Maelstrom playing with a piece of kelp

What an excellent day! We witnessed the marine food chain in action. Humpback whales were feeding on the smallest, krill! The humpback whales would emerge in unison with their mouths agape, baleen fully visible. Humpback whales are medium size baleen whales, the baleen used to filter the krill from the water. Humpback whales must eat about a ton and a half of food every day in order to build up their blubber layer in order to survive during the winter months, when they don't eat at all. To see this in action is truly amazing!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Surface feeding on the Bay!

Quote's 2010 calf

Surface feeding humpback whales

Quote and Rooftop

Surface feeding! You can see the baleen and the whale's palette. The ventral pleats are expanded to accomodate the mass amount of water that will be expelled as they filter the krill from the seawater.

What a great day on the Bay of Fundy today! we witnessed the very reason why these whales come into our Bay. and that is to feed on the abundance of herring and krill that can be found in these nutrient rich waters. There were many whales in the area, humpbacks, fin whales and minke whales. We watched a mother and calf humpback whale pair and their escort who was identified as Rooftop. The mother was identified as Quote who's last calf was in 2008. Mallard, an adult male was also in the vicinity.

The activity ws non stop as we watched the constant appearance of bubble clouds, a method humpbacks use to corral their prey. It was nice to have a hint as to where these whales were going to surface with their mouths agape to capture a nice big mouthful of krill.

There were lots of birds in the area too. We sighted Razorbills, Puffins, Greater Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters, Northern Gannets, and Wilson's Storm Petrels!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pictures from June 26th

Chablis, 1990 calf of Silver

Fist, 1986 calf of Warrior
Chablis, flipper slapping

Fist came quite close to the Mega Nova so we could have a good look at her tail!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Did I say we see humpbacks?

Humpback whales continue to be sighted daily on our whale watching cruises and our latest cruise on June 25th on the 130pm departure is testimony of that! There was plenty of bait fish such as small herring available for the whales, and it turned out to be quite a gathering! We watched 4 humpback whales to start who were just as curious of us as we were of them. These whales were identified as Peajack, Handstand, Yurt and Patches. Each one had their chance to approach the back of the Mega Nova much to the delight of our guests! As they were "mugging" the boat, we noticed more spouts in the distance and when the whales would allow, we left to investigate and to collect more photographs for identification purposes. And our passengers didn't mind one bit! We witnessed all behaviours that humpback whales demonstrate, such as breaching, tail breaching, spyhopping and etc. It was a day to remember with 37 humpback whales being photographs but there were certainly more than 50 in the vicinity!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Right Whales in Grand Passage

Humpback whale spyhopping next to the boat
Right Whale mother and calf
Right Whale in Harbour

Whale watching continues to amaze us! From the start of the day, to the end, we were witnesses to the greatest mammals on earth. To begin, Owner and Captain of the Mega Nova, Harold Graham spotted two North Atlantic Right whales in Grand Passage. This species is the rarest large whale in the world with just over 400 of them in existence. They were considered the "right" whale to hunt as their blubber layer is very thick, rendering them slow and they were easy prey for the whalers. Because of their blubber, they floated when they were killed and yielded large amounts of oil when that blubber was boiled down. There are records of one right whale yielding 75 barrels of oil!

This calf is one of nineteen that were born in the waters off the coast of Florida and Georgia this past winter.

After we watched the mom and her calf, we continued on until we found some humpback whales. We were treated to two individuals who were very curious of the boat. These whales were identified as Clutter and Mr. Burns. We also spotted Spar's 2008 calf, Downsweep and Grand Manan.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

You want humpbacks, we got humpbacks!

Whale watching on our Zodiac, the Cetacean Adventure!

The season has only just begun and we have already sighted over 30 humpbacks, and that was only on one cruise! For a few days, we had been travelling to an area called the Prong, where the humpback whales tend to congregate to feed on the abundance of herring and krill that is located there. Once that supply has been diminished, they come a little closer which is what they are doing now. On our cruise on June 19th, we sighted 6 humpback whales just 6 miles from Brier Island. We don't mind going anywhere as long as it's reasonable to show our guests humpback whales as it provides us with data for our research. To date, we have identified 34 individual humpback whales, with many photographs of individual humpbacks yet to be matched to the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog. This is a remarkable number so early in the season, and it can only get better!

Some of the whales we have sighted so far are:Baton, Blanco, Haze, Shark, Stalagmite and calf, Quixote and calf, Scream, Clipper, Chorni, Teather 2008 calf, Spar 2008 calf, Haze 2008 calf, Yurt, New Moon.

Stay tuned for more as a complete list will be maintained on our blog throughout the season.

Bird sightings are excellent as well! We have been seeing puffins, Wilson's Storm Petrels, Greater and Sooty Shearwaters, Northern Fulmars and Northern Gannets.

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Humpbacks of the Season


What a great day! Captain Jamie took our Zodiac out on the 1:00pm cruise and spotted the first humpbacks of the season! As part of our research, we require photographs of the underside of the tail to document their sighting in the Bay of Fundy. Our researchers went out on this quest on the Mega Nova and were able to obtain the photogrpahs and also identify the whales. They were Cloud, Gremlin and Luna, all adult males that we have been seeing here since the eighties. Cloud has the distinction of being the oldest whale of known age, having been born in 1977 to Istar. Humpback whales can be individually identified by a black and white pattern on the underside and just like our fingerprints, there are no two the same.