#3: Still in fog!!

We have been here for 4 or 5 days now and the weather has been uncooperative. First thick fog, then rain, then rain and fog. We need good visibility to find the whales and dry conditions and relatively calm seas to use the equipment we need to work (cameras, video, computers).

So we have been spending our time setting up the office, reviewing research protocols, and remembering how to live cooperatively in a large house with 10 to 15 people. Although there is plenty to do to set up and plenty more to do to process back-logged data, we are all growing antsy--a feeling which is magnified by the knowledge that right whales have been seen in the Bay of Fundy.

Laurie Murison, our colleague from the Grand Manan Whale and Research Station, made several trips into the Bay before the weather turned bad and reported 20 to 30 right whales. Knowing of our particular interest in mothers with calves of the year, she forwarded some excellent photographs she took. Low and behold, she had documented a new mother for the year! Most of the mothers and calves are first seen off the coast of the southeast U.S., but a few are first seen further north. This whale, #3115, is a 7-year-old female that gave birth to her first calf this year.

Photo of #3115 from Laurie Murison's July 28th sighting in the Bay of Fundy.
See more pictures and sighting history on the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog web site.

This brings the calf total for the year up to at least 21. The weather does not look good for the next few days (in fact, we just had torrential rains and lightening that knocked out the power twice), but we will keep our fingers crossed for a change so we can see some of these youngsters for ourselves.

And for those of you in the sweltering summer heat, you may be surprised to hear that it is cold in Lubec. All of us already bundled in our sweaters and wondering if it is too early to turn on the heat!


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