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.