Friday, August 28, 2009

Just when we thought it couldn't get any better....

WOW....hello everyone, what an incredible day!!

Let's start with the 10:00 am departure. We began our trip in shore with a young humpback that we have seen over the past few days. The whale was resting at the surface and we didn't want to disturb "him" or wake him up. We did get some great looks when he surfaced and I've included a few pictures below. In the top photo you can even see the eye of the humpback whale!

We made our way offshore towards the Wolves and wound up about 17 miles from St. Andrews...surrounded by North Atlantic right whales. The field team from the New England Aquarium was there and they conservatively estimated the number of right whales to be 40 individuals. I want to mention again that the world wide population of the North Atlantic right whale is believed to be 350-400...that means that we had ~10% of the entire population within 1.5 miles of our boat! There were a few surface active groups, or SAG's, in the area. On the summer feeding grounds there is some courtship behaviour that is seen as SAG's and it's awesome to see, the video below is from the 10:00 am trip. It was such an amazing experience and I never thought we would see numbers like this again on another trip....and then when left for the 2:00 pm departure....

On our afternoon trip we made our way directly offshore, this time we were about 20 nm from St. Andrews. With the distance that we knew that we had to go to see the rights John and Lisa (owners of Quoddy Link and husband and wife) decided not to add on an evening departure, there was some interest (officially we have stopped our 5:30 trips) but we knew we had to choose....and they chose to take our 2:00 pm passengers 20 nm miles into the Bay of Fundy. It was almost a 4 hour trip but it was well worth it!! We found the same number of whales around and there were a few small SAG's as well as one right whale breached 5 times! Again it was an incredible trip!

If you know me or have followed this blog over the past few years you could guess that I got a little emotional on the trips say it was an amazing experience does not even begin to cover it. To have 40 North Atlantic right whales around, every where we looked there were blows and tails coming left me speachless.

I do want to make sure that I mention that right whales are not typically found this close to St. Andrews and they can leave and go back into the open Bay of Fundy as quickly as they arrived off the Wolves. Every trip is different, it's such a dynamic environment out there and so many factors affect where the whales are and where we can go. It's just such a privilege to see them while they are here....I LOVE MY JOB!

Thanks so much for checking in today,
We are expecting some wind from hurrican Danny over the next couple of days...we will have to see,

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