Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A RIGHT day in October

Hello everyone, what a special day we had on the Bay today. We had one departure at 1:00 and we headed directly offshore in search of humpbacks. We did pass a large finback whale on the the way out but we put our "blinders" on and continued offshore. As we made our way to the Bank John spotted a whale so we slowly made our way over.....well....turned out to be a mother and calf right whale pair!! This is so special for a number of reasons....1st, right whales are not commonly seen whale watching from St. Andrews, you usually have to go at least 30 miles into the deeper, open Bay of Fundy to see rights. 2nd, this number of right whales have been very low this season in the Bay (check out the New England Aquarium's right whale research team's blog for more info on this). And 3rd, the North Atlantic right whale is critically endangered with a world wide population estimate of 415. This was such a special day....

I took these photos of the mom and calf pair today, you can see the callosities (roughened patches of skin on the head of the whales which appear in the same location as male facial hair). The callosity patterns are unique to each whale and these photos have been sent out for identification and if we get a positive ID on them I will let you know. Also note the mud from the seabed on the head of the large female.

The mother did raise her tail, here calf beside her.

To learn more about the North Atlantic right whale check out this fantastic website, rightwhale.ca

We not only saw right whales this afternoon but there were at least 10 humpbacks in the area as well. I was able to get ID shots on 4 whales, 2 of them new for Quoddy Link this season.

The unique dorsal fin of the 2009 calf of Siphon


The 2008 calf of Clamp (waiting for confirmation on this ID)

Sonogram, a 6 year old female and the 2004 calf of Peedee (waiting for confirmation on this ID).

Thanks so much for checking in, the weather looks OK for tomorrow and great for Thursday before another stretch of serious wind comes through.


  1. Hey, great shots! It really was an awesome trip. I got some video of the right mother and her calf, as well as one of the humpbacks (I think). I've included the links below:



  2. Thank YOU Mike so much for sharing. This was a very special trip, one of the best of the season, because of the mom and calf right whale. That is such a special sighting and even more so this year due to the low numbers of right whales in the Bay. There were only 11 mom and calf pairs for the 2010 season and we had one beside the boat....just simply amazing....

    Thanks for joining and thanks again for sharing the video,