On Friday we were finally able to get out on the water after four long days of bad weather. Only three whales had been sighted on our last cruise, so we were hoping more whales came into the Bay while we were stuck on land. Luckily, that's exactly what happened. The crew aboard the Nereid photographed 10 to 15 right whales and saw many more in the area, and the Callisto had some additional ones...plus one adult sperm whale!! And interestingly enough, this sperm whale whale matched one of the three photographed in mid-August, so at least one of these unusual whales is lingering in the Bay.
Photo 1 Photo 2
The flukes of the sperm whale sighted on August 14 (Photo 1) match those of the whale seen on August 27 (Photo 2). Photos by Candace Borutskie and Roz Rolland, respectively.
Another highlight was the first sighting of Derecha, #2360, and her calf. This mother had gained some fame back in March when the aerial survey team from Univ. of North Carolina-Wilmington and Duke University photographed Derecha giving birth! (For more information and photos of the event, click here.)
Photo by Marianna Hagbloom
Derecha's 5 month old calf in the Bay of Fundy.
We were all thrilled to know that the pair had made it safely up the coast, but quickly realized that the calf needed to be biopsy darted for a DNA sample. Monica's first ever darting attempt was a big success and the calf's skin sample will now be added to the genetics archive for ongoing studies of this endangered population.
Photo by Marilyn Marx
Monica holds the vial containing the small skin sample of Derecha's calf. It was the first time Monica tried biopsy darting!