#18: A Feeling of Emptiness

We had a stretch of good weather forecast for last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  We were all excited for multiple boats on the water, good weather, long days, and lots of whales.  On Sunday we surveyed the western side of  the Grand Manan Basin with the  R/V Nereid.  On Monday, both the R/V Nereid and the R/V Selkie were on the water and completed an extensive survey of the basin in excellent sighting conditions.  Teams on both boats did get the opportunity to see a sperm whale  and a large (200 plus) pod of Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins. On Tuesday the R/V Callisto joined the survey effort and between all three teams we searched far and wide for right whales.  The Callisto crew and Selkie  crew went south of Grand Manan to an area called Grand Manan Banks. The Nereid surveyed far north and east (beyond the Bay of Fundy shipping lanes).  While the two boat teams on Grand Manan Banks sighted great numbers of humpback whales (30+) the Nereid team was faced with an almost empty feeling Bay of Fundy.  However, the crew was treated to an exciting sighting of approximately 30 white-beaked dolphins.

White-Beaked Dolphins swimming of the bow of the R/V Nereid were the highlight of our survey effort last week.
 Photo: Monica Zani/New England Aquarium

Update on our offshore team: The Shelagh and the offshore crew were tied up for a couple of days in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia  but departed Yarmouth in the early morning hours of Wednesday.  They surveyed Roseway in a 3-6 foot rolling ground swell and reported no large whales of any kind.  They will continue survey effort through Thursday (I will report details of that survey soon) and then head to Cape Sable Island for fuel and rest.  The weekend looks unfavorable for any survey effort both in the Bay of Fundy and offshore on Roseway Basin.


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