#6: Close Encounters of the "Wrong" Kind

Our two research teams were able to make it out into the Bay on Friday due to clearing of (most of) the fog.

17 August, 2012

Unfortunately, it was a bit of a frustrating day for both teams. Around 8:45 AM, we did sight a fluking right whale, so we stopped to wait for the next surfacing. However, after waiting and scanning for 25 minutes, we did not see it again and so were unable to obtain photographs. We decided to move on with our survey to see if there were other right whales in the area.

As we continued, we hit a large, dense area of fog and lost our visibility. We changed directions and were able to gain visibility after a while, and around 11:30 AM we sighted another fluking right whale. It was behaving similarly to the first whale that we saw, so it could have been the same individual, but either way, it was impossible to stick with. We were unable to witness the surfacings and only saw distant flukes every 20-25 minutes. Determined to get photographs of this elusive whale, we stayed in the area as long as we could but had to eventually move on.

Realizing that the wind was picking up and our sea state was worsening, we decided to head to Eastport to refuel the boat so we'd be prepared for our next survey. As we were heading west, Amy pointed out a particularly small minke whale. We stopped the boat to get a better look, and in turn, the young minke came to get a better look at us as well. The white bands on the flippers were very visible, and we got some great looks of the head as the whale came up to breathe. 

Close encounter with a minke whale

Refueling in Eastport during a low tide is always a cool experience. Since the Bay of Fundy is home to the largest tides in the world, the marine world has adapted to its extremes:

Fueling up at low tide

While fueling, Meagan found a Lion's Mane jellyfish between a boat and the dock. This jelly had a bell of about one foot in diameter, but this species can grow even bigger- they're the largest known species of jellyfish, with a record of a 7 foot, 6 inch diameter bell!

Close encounter with a Lion's Mane jellyfish. Photo: Marianna Hagbloom

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