Monday, July 30, 2007
Hello everyone, it's Danielle with Quoddy Link back after a great day on the water, even with the crazy Fundy Fog! Today we saw the fog move in and out so many times, on some parts of our trips we had no more 200 feet of visibility and then 5 minutes later we could see 2 miles in every direction. It really proves how quickly the weather can change on the Bay of Fundy.
We were able to see Finback whales on all 3 departures today, and great sightings on each and every one. Our 10:00 am trip was a foggy one but, with exceptionally calm seas, we were able to stop, shut our engines down and listen for the whales and we got many close encounters.
On both our 2:00 and 5:30 departures we were able to find some nice holes in the fog to view finback whales. The photo below is from our afternoon trip.
I also wanted to share this photo of a whale "footprint". This smooth, circular patch of water is caused by a whales' fluke (or tail) moving up and down just under the surface of the water. This "footprint" shows us where the whale was last, just as your footprints would in the sand or snow. These footprints can be very useful when looking for whales in the fog.
Thank You for checking in today. Tomorrow is another day...we can only hope for less fog and more great whale sightings. I'll keep you all posted.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The bird sightings continue to be great, the offshore fog usually brings in some of the offshore avian life to the excitement of our bird fanatics. Our regular inshore seabird sightings are great as well. Today we saw greater shearwaters, northern gannets, Bonaparte's gulls, an Atlantic puffin (everyones favorite), bald eagles and black guillemots.
The weather isn't looking very promising for tomorrow but you never know what Mother Nature has in store. I'll keep you all posted and thanks for checking in.
Friday, July 27, 2007
The past 2 days have been great with finback and minke whale sightings. We still have 4-5 finback whales hanging off the entrance to Head Harbour Passage. The move a little to the East sometimes but overall have been very co-operative. Below is a terminal dive of a finback, note the tall, columnar blow and high arch of the back, both characteristic of fin whales.
Not sure about the weather tomorrow, maybe some rain but that doesn't stop us. I will keep you posted on all of our sightings.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Thanks for checking in with us today, I hope tomorrow is just as good.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Hello everyone, it's Danielle back from a day of rest (and grocery shopping). The whales in our part of the Bay of Fundy continue to be fantastic. Both yesterday and today we saw finback whales on all 3 trips! They are still found consistently off the entrance to Head Harbour Passage and yesterday they were right up inside the passage off Casco Bay Island.
Below is a photo of 2 finback whales directly off East Quoddy Head Light on the northern tip of Campobello Island, NB. This is the entrance to Head Harbour Passage, a waterway that is at the heart of the fight to stop LNG tankards from entering Passamaquoddy Bay. We do what we can by documenting all of our whale sightings with photographs as well as recording lat/long data.
Here you can see 2 finback whales travelling together (there we 5 travelling in a herd). In the background is Deer Island, NB.
This is a bald eagles nest that we have the opportunity to visit on some of our departures. Here you can see 2 immature eagles in the nest, one silhouetted against the sky, the other is to the right, hunched over.
Harbour porpoise are a common sighting on all of our departures. You have to keep your eyes on the water to see them and don't get to frustrated if you can't manage to capture them on camera cause they are quite quick and unpredictable.
Yesterday we also had the chance to spend some time with both Hobo (pictured below) and
For those of you who follow the blog on a regular basis I wanted to share that I got the grey seal identified that we saw on July 22nd with a brand mark on his back. He was born on Sable Island (160 km southeast of Canso, Nova Scotia) on December 30, 1997 and weaned on January 19, 1998 at 63.5 kg and 120cm. Also, he has been sighted in the breeding colony on Sable Island on January 26, 2005. Thanks to Mike Hammill (IML) and Don Bowen and Jim McMillan (BIO) for their help in identifying this seal.
Thanks for checking in, they weather man is calling for fog tomorrow.....I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Our afternoon and evening trip took us offshore in search of humpback whales. With the help of Matt on our Scout Boat we found 2 humpbacks, Hobo and Cork (a 5 year old female). On both departures we were able to spend some time with finback whales as well.
This is Cork, a 5 year old female humpback whale we have been watching sine 2003.
This is Hobo, a humpback we have been seeing since 2004.
Thanks for taking the time to check in with us, we can only hope Mother Nature is good to us again tomorrow with both the whales and the weather.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Below is a photo I took of some seals on our afternoon trip. The large, dark coloured seals are grey seals where as the smaller, light ones are harbour seals. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is to look at the shape of their heads, harbour seals have heads the shape of a dog while grey seals have heads the shape of a horse. The grey seals seen here are males. The reason I can tell is due to the colouration of their coats, male grey seals have a dark coat with small, light spots where as females have the exact opposite, a light coat with large dark spots. It's much more difficult to distinguish between male and female harbour seals as the coats are the same for both sexes.
That's all for today, thanks for checking in and I'm on the water tomorrow so I will keep you posted.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Hello everyone, it's Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine with some sightings to report from the past 2 days. The fog is still hanging around but our success rate with whales is still 100%, mostly because of a lot of patience, persistence and with the help of our Scout Boat. Yesterday and today we saw finback whales on all of our departures, and yesterday morning we also saw 2 minke whales. The photos below are of 2 different finback whales that we saw yesterday and today. We can tell one finback from another by the shape of their dorsal fin but this is just the quick and dirty way and isn't completely accurate. The way that researchers tell the difference is by unique markings called chevrons and the blaze, both of which are white, swirl-like markings on the back of the finback whale. They also look for unique scaring on the dorsal fin, flanks and the caudal peduncle (where the body meets the tail). To have a 100% positive ID a researcher usually needs 8 photographs of the whale, 4 from the left and 4 from the right hand side and all must be taken on a terminal dive (a dive where the whale arches it's back higher). The photos below are both showing terminal dives.
Thanks for checking in, I'm hoping the fog will go away very soon but I will make sure to keep you posted on all our sightings.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Hello everyone, it's Danielle with your Quoddy Link Marine update. Today was a great day with finback and minke whales. On our 10:00 am departure we got to spend some time with Breadknife (left), a mike whale who has come to mean a lot to the seasoned crew of Quoddy Link. It was a pleasure to see "her" today, and Breadknife was travelling with another minke whale, side-by-side....something we don't get to see very often. After spending some time with the minke whales we made our way over to Head Harbour Light where we had 2 finback whales together. On our way home we got to see seals (both grey and harbour), a bald eagle, and stop at both a salmon farm and a herring weir. It was a fantastic trip.
Our afternoon trip had some of the best finback sightings of our season. We were back out off Campobello Island with a finback whale when we saw another finback charging our way. "He" was moving so fast "he" was almost porpoising out of the water. The 2 finback whales came together and made several close passes of the boat, allowing our passengers a clear view of their white, lower right jaw and their blazes and chevrons (both are unique, swirl-like markings on their back). Below are the 2 finbacks we spent some time with today.
Below you can clearly see the blowhole, or nostril of a finback whale. Finbacks are baleen whales, and all baleen whales have a double blowhole.
Thanks for checking in with us, and I am on the water all day tomorrow so I will keep you posted on all things Quoddy.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Thanks for checking in today, the weather forecast is for the fog to lift by morning....I work tomorrow and I will keep you posted.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Cork, a 5 year-old female humpback whale.
Our afternoon trip took us all the way out to Whale Cove, Grand Manan where our passengers were delighted to see 5 finback whales. Below you can see a photo I took today of 2 travelling side-by-side. We had some very close encounters that really gave our guests an idea of how large these amazing animals really are.
On our way back to St. Andrews we had the most amazing bald eagle viewing I have seen in my 6 years with the company. Below you can see an adult bald eagle (top) and a juvenile flying (below). It looked like this was a very early flight, if not possibly the first flight for this youngster. The adult, what we guessed to be either the Mother or Father, was consistently chirping and screeching at the young bald eagle (or at us!). It was obvious that the immature eagle was still learning how to use his wings, the flying would not have been described as "graceful". It was absolutely amazing to see.
Our 5:30 departure took us back offshore (for the third time today) where we spent about an hour with Cork, one of our humpback whales from our morning trip. It may have been a little rough (our passengers were great) and the Fundy fog was rolling in but the sightings were incredible. She continued to surface very close, giving our guests clear views of her long, white pectoral flippers and even though she never raised her tail this evening it was still a fantastic sighting.
Well, it's time for me to sign off for tonight. Thanks for checking in with Quoddy Link and thanks to John on our Scout Boat, our sightings today wouldn't have possible without his help. Check back soon for more updates.