Another stormy week, with several cancellations. However, the days we did get out were very, very good. AND interesting! Some excellent surprises were in store for us on Friday afternoon – a rainy, rocky day – but well worth it as we observed on our whale watching trip three Northern Right Whales, the most endangered whale in the world. Their numbers have steadily remained at around 300 animals for the past 75 years.
To see three in one whale watching trip is 1% of the entire right whale population! Compare that to 1% of the Fin Whale population in the North Atlantic? You’d see up to 500 on one whale watching trip (don’t we wish)!
We also were surprised to see a Sei Whale on the same whale watching trip! Both Sei Whales and Right Whales feed on microscopic animals called copepods. Apparently the storm had driven the copepods and the whales inshore. We also saw several Humpback Whales on another whale watching trip earlier in the week, as well as a baby Harbor Seal.
This past Sunday was also the start of the annual sailboat race to Halifax – starting in Marblehead, MA. We saw many beautiful sailing vessels, including this replica of the famous Canadian racing boat, The Bluenose II.
Bird sightings from our whale watching vessels were good as well!
Sooty Shearwaters and Greater Shearwaters were observed each whale watching trip, as well as many Wilson’s Storm-petrels. There were also some juvenile Northern Gannets in the area. Inshore, the “regulars” like the Greater Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants and Egrets were observed on a daily basis. Additionally, Bonaparte’s Gulls and a resident flock of Common Eiders were seen in Gloucester Harbor.