Saturday, July 31, 2010

Photos to share

Hey everyone, what a great day we had today, fin whales on all 3 trips....lunge feeding and some amazing looks....I do have some photos from today but I will post those tomorrow.....right now I want to share some photos. These are all taken by Nick, one of our naturalists/marine biologist/photographer. This is his first season with Quoddy Link, he is a recent graduate from UNB and is a great addition and Jolinne and I are happy to have him.

These shots are of fin whales, the top 2 are lunge feeding, look at all of the gulls in the whales mouth!

Nick did a chartered trip with Grand Circle on the Island Link and the passengers were lucky enough to see a breaching minke whale

Thanks so much for sharing Nick.

I will post the pics I took today, tomorrow...thanks for checking in,


Friday, July 30, 2010

Amazing Fin Whales off Bliss

Hello everyone, I have some great sightings to share from today but I also have 2 pieces of very sad news to share....first, the good news.

I was on 2 great trips today, and they were both spectacular, with 6-7 fin whales feeding on the flood tide off Bliss and Blacks.

I took this picture of a pair of fin whales and I managed to get a passenger in who was also taking a picture of the pair.

I also wanted to share this video I took today, ENJOY.

OK, now for the sad news, first, there was a dead right whale calf found on July 2/10 in the Bay of Fundy, this is from the Adopt Right Whale News Blog from the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station.

On July 2 a right whale calf was found dead 23 nautical miles from Southern Head, Grand Manan. Allied Whale from the College of the Atlantic photographed and took some samples but the badly decomposed calf was not recovered. The carcass had propeller cuts but without a full necropsy it is not known if this was pre- or post-mortem. It is also not known at this time whose calf this is but everyone will be keeping a lookout for a mother without a calf.

Not many right whales have been seen yet in the Bay of Fundy. The New England Aquarium team will begin surveys August 3 or so depending on weather and a better picture of where and how many right whales are in the Bay will be available.

And the second piece of sad news, Sodapop. a juvenile humpback we spent time with last season has been reported entangled on Stellwagen Bank. Below are some photos showing the entanglement and I will post more as I hear.

Thanks for checking in today,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fin Whales and Beautiful Weather

Hello everyone, what a gorgeous day on the water. Today was unusually warm out on the Bay because of the wind coming off of the land and we had some fantastic sightings of fin whales (had NOTHING to do with the warm weather....the whales do not care about the sun or the light NW wind...but made it more comfortable for our passengers).

We spent time with fin whales on all 3 departures today, and at one point we had at least 7 fin whales within a mile radius including the mom and calf pair.

I wanted to share this sequence of a large fin whale diving close to the boat, it was take on our 2pm departure.

One of the fin whales we saw today has one of the strongest blows (exhales) I have ever seen, he may be starting to exhale before he completely breaks the surface....I wanted to share this picture.

Thanks so much for checking in today, we did send out Scout Boat way around the offshore area to search for humpbacks today but no luck, we will keep looking and I will keep you posted.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Breaching fin whale calf

Hey everyone,I just wanted to do a quick post to let you know this evening we had an incredible trip....we got to see a young fin whale calf breach 3 times!! Fin whales are not known for breaching, they can certainly do it but it's not seen that often. A few passengers got video and a photo so if I get them I will be sure to share. The photo below was taken by Jolinne, one of our 3 guides/photographers/marine biologists. Nice one Jolinne

The fin whales continue to be amazing, mom and calf, lots of lunge feeding and lots of bird activity.

Thanks for checking in today, I will let you know how tomorrow goes,


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lunge Feeding Fin Whales

Hello there, well, with the afternoon off I decided to look at some of the fin whale video that I have taken over the past few days and I wanted to share this video with all of you.

On almost every one of our departures we have had the privilege of seeing fin whales lunge feed. This happens when whales feed at the surface, lunging through a large school of prey, mouth wide open, right at the surface. It is so powerful and awesome to see....I wish the video did it more justice. We have also been spending a lot of time with the mom and calf fin whale pair, the "little one" is growing quite a bit.

I hope you enjoy the video,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lunge feeding fin whale

Good Evening everyone

Just a short post tonight, it's late and past my bedtime but I wanted to share todays' sightings. We spent time on all 3 trips today with the mom and calf fin whale pair, and we also saw minke whales on all 3 departures too.

This evening there was a lot of activity off the entrance to Head Harbour Passage, a lot of bird groups forming and many "bait balls" (which are balls of herring that the birds, porpoise, tuna and whales feed on). We had a few great looks at mom as she lunge fed through the herring, the photo below is from tonight and the second photo is a close-up of the first one showing the birds actually in the mouth of the fin whale. Note the ventral pleats and that mom lunge fed with her right side down (the right side of her lower jaw is white and fin whales will often feed with that side down as it will act as counter-shading).

I also got some video that I will share in a few days when I get a chance to upload it.

Thanks for checking in,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cork, fin whales and gannets...another great day

Hello everyone,

We had another great day on the water, was a little breezy this afternoon but everyone had a great time.

On both trips we spent time with the mom and calf fin whale, this morning we got some great looks at mom as she lunge fed right at the surface.

There has been lots of great bird sightings as well and I wanted to share a few pictures of northern gannets from today.

This afternoon John decided to take us offshore to search for humpbacks (we didn't go this morning due to offshore fog). And....right where we found her a few days ago well into the ebb tide we found Cork, an 8 year old female humpback.

Here you can see Corks long, white pectoral flippers just before she brought her tail out of the water.

Thanks for checking in today,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Video of our first sighting of Cork

Hey everyone, I wanted to share some video I took of Cork yesterday....hope you like it.

Also, today we had 3 trips (the 5:30pm departure is still on the water....I had half of the day off) and we had fin whales on all 3 departures. We did take a run into the Grand Manan Channel to look for Cork this morning but we didn't find her....some Bay of Fundy fog got in the way a little bit today.

Thanks for checking in today and I hope you enjoyed the video,


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our first humpback sighting of the season...WELCOME BACK CORK!

Hello everyone, I have some great news.....we had our first humpback sighting of the season and it was Cork, an 8 year old female. Cork was first brought to the Bay of Fundy by her mom, Mica, in 2002 and we have been watching her every season since 2004.

Our morning started with fin whales, the mother and calf pair we have been spending time with and then John decided to take a run off shore and search for the humpback that was reported yesterday, we took a run up the shoreline of Campobello yesterday as well but it was a bit rough and we had no luck. This morning, right in the Grand Manan Channel we found our first humpback whale of the 2010 season and we were SO happy when we saw it was Cork.

Not only did we see Cork on our morning departure but we saw her on all 3 trips today, and we saw the mom and calf fin whale on all 3 trips as well. This afternoon we even had a "hat trick", seeing fin whales, a humpback and a minke....all 3 species of whales we commonly see in our part of the Bay of Fundy.

Below are some pictures of Cork I took today, I also took some video that I will make sure to post tomorrow.

Humpbacks are IDed by the pigmentation on the underside of their tails and Cork got her name from the cork-shape on the right hand side of her fluke.

Check out her nostrils, called blowholes

Here you can see her unique dorsal fin

The bird sightings were fantastic today as well....northern gannets, storm petrels, greater shearwaters, razorbills.....was so great.

Oh, I also wanted to mention that we picked up a special "stowaway" on our AM departure....a little brown bat joined the boat in the Grand Manan Channel.....and not all of our passengers were thrilled.

Thanks so much for checking in today, check back tomorrow for some video of Cork and more sightings,


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Minkes, Finbacks and Fog

Good evening everyone. I am going to keep this short and sweet, it's late and it was a very busy day, our first day with 3 full trips.

We had minke whales on all 3 departures today and on our 5:30 pm trip, as the fog finally pushed back enough we found 2 fin whales off the entrance to Head Harbour Passage.

Today, with the fog and everything, all of the whale watching companies from St. Andrews and Campobello really worked together to help locate and keep an eye on the whales....all about team work today.

Here is a picture from the minke whale we saw this afternoon. This is "Slice", as you can probably see this minke has no dorsal fin, most likely caused by a sip strike of some sort but he is all healed and seems to be doing great.

I also wanted to share this photo of the dorsal fin of the basking shark from the other day.

Thanks for checking in today, looks like it will be a busy day tomorrow as well


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fog, minke whales....and a basking shark!

Hello everyone, I just wanted to do a quick post tonight to keep you updated on our sightings. We have had some serious fog to contend with over the past few days but we have seen whales on all of our departures (there was one trip that the sighting was very poor and we gave all of our passengers a free trip to come again, and we are now starting our 50% back policy if whales are not sighted).

Yesterday morning we had an extra special surprise in the islands, a basking shark! I have never seen a basking shark in the Islands in my 9 years. We usually see basking sharks further out into the open Bay of Fundy and usually in the fall. I have some pictures but they are on the boat right now, I will try and post them tomorrow.

I also wanted share this short video of the cow and calf finback whale pair we have been spending some time with, here you can see them both doing a terminal dive in Head Harbour Passage

Thanks for checking in today, check back soon for more updates and please keep your fingers crossed that the fog will leave soon!


Friday, July 09, 2010

Some fog and fin whales

Hello everyone, sorry it has been a few days since my last post. We have had some fog to deal with over the past few days but we have still been having some great trips. The mom and calf fin whale we have been seeing are still hanging around off the entrance to Head Harbour and luckily the fog is pushed back just enough during the day time.

The other day the calf was barrel rolling quite a bit, here you can see mom surfacing and the calf has his or her tail half out of the water.

We are also seeing minke whales on every trip, I took this picture this AM.

The bald eagle sightings have been incredible the past few day, with sometimes 6 or 7 individuals on a small island. Here are 2 adult on Hospital Island.

And what blog post would be complete without sharing some seal pictures with you. Seals have such a special place in my heart, I spent about a year after I graduated from university helping out 4 masters students with their harbour seal projects in the St. Lawrence.

Thanks for checking in today, they are calling some weather this weekend so I am not sure how many trips we will be able to get in but I will keep you posted,


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Another great day on the Bay

Hello everyone, I am back from another great day on the Bay of Fundy. We had 3 departures today and each one was special in it's own way.

On our 10 am departure we got some amazing looks at the finback mom and calf pair we have been seeing. We also spent time with a few minke whales as well.

On our 2pm departure we got some great looks at a minke whale in Little Letete Passage of all places! The photo below was taken today and that is Parker Island in the background. We also were patient and got some great looks at an adult fin whale in Head Harbour Passage, that is the second photo below.

On our evening trip we spent time again in Head Harbour with an adult fin whale and we did see the mom and calf finback pair at a distance but they were staying down for a while and making some big moves. One of the best parts of the evening trip we stopped at White Island because John spotted an adult bald eagle on top of a tree but then we looked about 6 feet below and saw a HUGE nest with 2 young eaglets. These young ones still have about a month of growing left to do before they start to fly. This nest is really only visible at high tide because of where it is in the tree.

I also wanted to share some pictures of harbour seals I took today.

Thanks for checking in today, I also wanted to mention that our Scout Boat is going out almost everyday to check the offshore areas to search for humpbacks but as of right now they are still about 35 miles from us, a bit too far for regular trip.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Another great day with fin whales

Good evening all, we had 2 great trips today with some fantastic fin and minke whale sightings. I was not on the 10am trip but Nick let me know they had the mom and calf fin whale and another large adult and a number of minke whales as well.

I was on the 2pm trip and we got to spend time with a few minke whales at first and then show our passengers the size difference between a minke and a finback. There was some boat traffic today around the fin whale in the afternoon and again John was fantastic and our customers were great and so aware of all the boats. John went no where near the boat traffic and we searched first for our own finback (with no luck) so we went to Head Harbour Passage and spent time with 2 minke whales until all but 2 of the pleasure boats had left and then we made our way over to the fin whale. For 9 years I have really respected the way that John watches and drives his boat around whales and I was so happy the passengers were so aware of that today!

This is a photo of the fin whale from the 2 pm trip.

We have alse been seeing a number of razorbills this season and today we had 2 razorbills sitting on the water with a common murre

Thanks for checking in,


Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fin whales on all 3 departures

Hey everyone, what a great day we had on the water. We had 3 departures today, which means we had our first evening trip of the 2010 season and it was a gorgeous night on the water. On all 3 departures we got to see finback whales and on the both the 10am and 2pm trip we saw the mom and calf pair that was seen yesterday.

The photo below is the mom and calf pair and I know it's not the best shot but mom is on our side closer to the boat and her "little" calf is on the far side.

Thanks for checking in today, more to come tomorrow,


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Mom and calf fin whale!

Hey everyone, just a quick note to let you know that on our 2pm trip today our passengers were delighted to see a mom and calf fin whale pair off the entrance to Head Harbour Passage. I was not on the trip but Jolinne let me know it was fantastic and great to see the mom/calf pair.

Thanks for checking in and check back often for more updates from Quoddy Link


Friday, July 02, 2010

Happy Canada Day

Hello all, I hope everyone had a great Canada Day and those in the US, hope your July 4th will be great as well.

We have had 2 great days on the water, the weather is amazing here, still a little cool on the water so please dress warmly.

Yesterday we had a fin whale and both of our trips and this morning we had a fin whale on our aftenoon trip. Our AM trip today took a little patience, we searched out past South Wolf and around the Owen Basin but no luck with a fin whale and then we made our way into Head Harbour Passage. We did find a very small minke whale but John wanted to show our guests a little bigger minke and with some patience we found one and got some great looks in the end. I say this a lot on the boat, one of the best things you can bring with you whale watching is your patience!

Here are some pics from today...

This is the minke whale from our AM trip we spent some time with.

This is a fin whale we saw off Bliss Island on our 2pm departure today. I wanted to share the second photo to show you the blow....I have missed that sight so much this past winter.

Thanks for checking in today, and I also wanted to mention if you like motocycles come on down to St. Andrews this weekend for Atlanticade and why not come whale watching with Quoddy Link Marine.