Adventures - Grand Manan Island
New Brunswick, Canada
2001 SEASON REPORT
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REPORTS ON THIS PAGE BEGAN IN JANUARY 2001 AND PROGRESS THROUGHOUT THE SEASON
News Flash - Great News!!!! As of Jan 29/01 there have been 15 new right whale calves sighted off the coast of Florida (the winter calving area) and some of them are from "Bay of Fundy" mothers, so we can expect to see some of these calves this summer around Grand Manan. This is exciting news because there have been very few calves born in the past few years and none in the Bay of Fundy for 3 years. Things are "looking up"! There should be some great viewing this summer so plan to join us.
REAL BIG NEWS - Fe. 21/01 - There have now been 20 new right whale calves sighted so far this season and THEY ARE ALL FROM MOMS FROM THE BAY OF FUNDY!!!!! Grand Manan is going to be the RIGHT place to see WHALES this summer!
A NEW RECORD!!! - March 1/01 - There have now been 23 babies recorded and maybe 2 more, pending identification. Sadly there has been 1 mortality leaving 22. Lets hope the rest all make it. The old record for births was 22 set in 1996. I have to say it again - Grand Manan is going to be the place to be this summer. Don't miss it!
IT'S GETTING BETTER! - March 12/01 - There have now been 26 baby right whales identified (25 remaining) this calving season. We do not know yet if the last 3 have Bay of Fundy moms or not. Even if not, this summer should be a outstanding year for whales around Grand Manan Island and we are looking forward to having the privilege of showing them to you.
April 3/01 - The calving should be over now for this season and, as you can see from the notes above, what a season it has been. On a sad note, there has been one more fatality reported in late March. We can only hope that this will be the last for a long time to come. We are looking forward to seeing some of these calves ourselves and to showing "our whales" to you this summer.
May 3/01 - There are now 30 baby right whales that have been identified this season and, unfortunately, one more fatality (3 in all now) leaving a grand total of 27. We have confirmed that at least 20 of the mothers are from the Bay of Fundy and have been known to bring their young to the Bay in previous years, so this is good news.
Records of right whale births have been kept for 21 years and this is by far the best year in that time. This is very important to the survival of the species and a much needed and hoped for boost to the world population. An interesting note is that the population is split almost evenly between male and female, so that would mean that 30 out of an approximate 150 females have given birth this year. That is a very significant percent of the total, especially when you consider that some of those 150 females are probably not in the productive phase of their lives.
July 7/01 - We have been making regular whale watching trips since June 20th and have had great success. We saw a right whale mother/calf pair on our first day out and have seen several mother/calf pairs since. This is a real treat after several years without right whale calves in the Bay of Fundy. There are a number of fin back whales, right whales and a few minke whales in the area including the right whale mother/calf pairs mentioned above. We saw our first basking shark of the season last week and there have been lots of sea birds to see including some Atlantic puffins. Seals are a common sighting as are harbour porpoise. So far we have had a great start to what should be a great season of whale watching on Grand Manan.
October 30/01 - Keeping an up to date report on what we saw each week seemed like a good idea, but it didn't get done. Throughout the rest of the summer we saw lots of whales. We ended up with somewhere between 15 to 20 right whale mother/calf pairs in the Bay and they were a very common sighting for us. There were lots of basking sharks around this summer and they were an almost daily sighting. The Atlantic white sided dolphins visited the area 3 or 4 times throughout the season and always put on a good show for us. Harbour porpoise were present in really large numbers. Some days we saw hundreds of these small whales. The fin back whales were abundant early in the summer, but moved out of the area in mid July and were very uncommon after that. We only sighted three or four hump back whales. Over all there were well over 100 individual large whales (other than the porpoise and dolphins) in the area again this summer making for some really great viewing.
Birds- There was an abundance of pelagic sea birds this season. We saw an unusually large number of Manx shearwaters. There were the usual plentiful numbers of greater shearwaters and there seemed to be lots of sooty shearwaters too. One great skua was sighted two days in a row - very uncommon. Later in the season we observed quite a few parasitic jaegers and a few Pomarine jaegers There were lots of Atlantic puffins, storm petrels, razor bills, murres and gannets. Overall it was a real good season for the pelagics.
We saw three ocean sun fish (rare) and lots of blue fin tuna.
We enjoyed sharing "our whales" and other marine creatures with the many people who were kind enough to sail with us in 2001. We look forward to sharing them with our friends, both old and new, again next season.
Allan, Karen, Captain Sarah and Sue
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