Right whale with mouth open, showing its baleen
We ended up having an amazing day on the water. We headed to the middle of the Bay of Fundy survey area and weren't having any luck spotting right whales when we got a report that the R/V Shearwater, a research vessel from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies doing humpback whale surveys, had seen 3 - 4 right whales skim feeding as well as a mother/calf pair southeast of Grand Manan Island. Even though the position was about 26 miles away, we took a chance and steamed to that spot. On our way we spotted TONS of humpbacks and then about a mile from the reported spot, we found our first right whale for the day! We ended up seeing 3 right whales, all skim feeding. While this behavior is common in other habitats, like the Cape Cod Bay, it is not commonly seen in the Bay of Fundy. Right whales in the Bay of Fundy feed at depth, using their baleen to filter the water for mostly copepods, a small zooplankton (animal plankton) that is very abundant in cold North Atlantic waters. It was incredible to not only see this behavior but also to see the incredible baleen that these whales have.