Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The amazing 2009 continues to amaze me

I hope this is the right address now :)


From: danielle.m.dion(at)hotmail.com
To: artmackay.ilqw(at)blogger.com
Subject: The amazing 2009 continues to amaze me
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 10:33:51 -0300

Hey all the readers of I Love Quoddy WILD!, it's Danielle from Quoddy Link.  I am sorry for my lack of posts to this blog but I am very happy that Art took it upon himself to share our posts with all of you.  We have had such an amazing season and it's certainly not over yet.

Some highlights that I want to point out....humpbacks, we have documented 29 humpbacks so far in our little part of the Bay of Fundy, which is the most that we have recorded since we have been doing photo-ID in 2005.  Some of the highlights so far have been:

- 2 mother and calf pairs...Colorado and her 2009 calf as well as Siphon and her 2009 calf.
- Tornado, a female first sighted in 1988 is a regular of Stellwagen Bank, even an adopt-a-whale with the Whale Center of New England and we documented her on the Wolves Bank on September 17th.
- right now we have 7 whales that we have seen this season that are going to be put up for naming next spring, I will do a post on the blog when the season end and we'll have to put our thinking caps on!
- return visits of old favorites like Cork, EKG and Quarternote always makes the trips extra special.

Right whales....as I'm sure all of you know we had a number of right whales work their way closer to us for about 2 weeks.  There were about 10 individuals that we recorded between South Wolf and Campobello and there were 40-50 individuals that were behind the Wolves by 1-5 miles depending on the day (the T-J stated they were all between the Wolves and Campobello and that was not accurate).  The rights have moved back into the open Bay of Fundy, in the Grand Manan Basin and on September 13th we did a very special right whale trip that took us 40 miles from St. Andrews where we spent our morning surrounded by an estimated 75-100 North Atlantic right whales.  We encountered 3 SAG's (surface active groups), some mom/calf pairs as Boomerang, Boomerang was born in 1995 and is the calf of 1503 and the grandcalf of Baldy! We saw Baldy earlier this season with her 2009 calf off East Quoddy Head Light! Boomerang is a calving female...we didn't see a calf with her yesterday...but three generations of mom's in the same family...so incredible for a critically endangered population.  What has impacted me most this season is spending time with right whales...and the scarring and injuries that I have seen.  You know, I have read books, seen pictures, read scientific articles but nothing really prepares you....it has deeply effected me, but it was something that I really needed to see to understand even more the fight that these whales face.

I know a lot of the talk this summer has been about the whales so close to home, and for about 3-4 weeks we had fin whales, humpbacks,  minkes and rights (for about 1 week) right close to Campobello Island.  The humpbacks have moved offshore to their more traditional feeding grounds off the Wolves and as I mentioned earlier the rights are in the GM Basin but there are still finbacks (we had 3 off East Quoddy yesterday on both tides but it was the first time we saw them inshore in about 5 days).  If next season proves to be anything like this season I hope all of the boat traffic can be a lot more respectful of the whales, these animals deserve at least that from us.

Sorry again for not checking in with everyone at I Love Quoddy WILD!  The whales have kept me very busy at night with ID and sorting through photos and videos.

Quoddy Link Marine

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