#17: Battling the Weather

The month of September brings a minuscule amount of good weather for vessel surveys, so whenever we are presented with the opportunity to log some hours on the water, we take it! Our teams set out on both Saturday and Sunday for partial survey days, running as long as we could until the winds made the seas unworkable. If the amount of hope and eagerness our teams hold could drive right whales into the Bay, we'd be up to our ears in sightings. Unfortunately, like the good weather days, right whale numbers continue to be minuscule, as we did not have any sightings this weekend to boost our current tally (by our team: seven sightings in the Bay of Fundy, an additional four on Roseway Basin).

We did, however, observe a sperm whale on both Satuday and Sunday, and we listened to its clicking using our hydrophone. This was the first sighting by the team for the season, but we had heard reports of a sperm whale in the Bay earlier this August. This marks the fourth year in a row that at least one sperm whale has been seen in the area.

Odd wounds. Photo: Johanna Anderson

Humpbacks were also spotted this weekend, and we were able to photograph one large humpback with some very peculiar wounds on its body. We'll be sending the images to an expert and the curators of the Humpback Catalog, who may have an idea of who this whale is and how it got these markings.

From Canadaolympic989 at en.wikipedia, released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

On Wednesday, the Shelagh will once again make its way offshore with five researchers and Captain Joe. This trip will take us to the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, Roseway Basin, Browns Bank and perhaps even the Northeast Channel- the survey plans are likely to change with the weather. The Shelagh will probably hove to at sea most nights, but dock in Yarmouth or Cape Sable Island, N.S. when needed, and be away for 6-10 days. Hopefully the weather will cooperate as best as possible- we're all interested to see what's out there!


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