We surveyed two more times later in the week on the same charter vessel Fundy Odyssey. Unfortunately, we did not see any more right whales. In fact, we continued to document only small amounts of wildlife out in the Bay. We recorded a single humpback during both surveys, a couple of minkes, some harbor porpoise, and a few seals.
Our lone humpback sighting on June 20 offered a fun respite from staring at empty water all day. Photos courtesy: Celia Jellison.
Even the birds were few and far between; although there was some species diversity. The water column looked pretty clear, so as of our last survey day out, not a lot of food (at least at the surface) to entice the whales and other creatures into the basin … yet.
While we spent our June days surveying a quiet ocean, our colleagues up in the Gulf of St. Lawrence consistently have been documenting at least 30 right whales every survey. So at least someone is finding whales, even if it is in a habitat far from Lubec. We are now on a two-week break and will begin surveys again in mid-July, hopefully on our trusty steed Nereid.
It would have been more exciting for our patient June team to have stumbled upon a Bay of Fundy full of life and natural activity, but it was good to get eyes on the water early in the summer, when we historically don’t have much data to go off of. It is exciting … in an abstract data sort of way. Regardless, nothing beats living on the edge of Maine in June.