Christin Khan, at NOAA Fisheries in Woods Hole, keeps a great blog where she posts photos and aerial survey reports. Check out her fantastic photos from a recent flight in the Great South Channel (Gulf of Maine). Besides right and sei whales, who are feeding on plankton, they also saw almost 100 basking sharks. The all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is definitely open!
Photo credits: NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan. Images collected under MMPA Research Permit Number 17355
This interactive Google Map (from colleagues at NOAA Fisheries) will give you sightings from recent aerial, shipboard, and acoustic surveys for right whales. I found it useful this past spring when planning trips to Provincetown to see whales from the beach.
The [beloved] NOAA Ship Albatross IV was decommissioned in 2008, and eventually sold to the Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas in Mexico. Here is a video of the A4 arriving at the CIDIPORT Research Center. I had dreamed of purchasing this vessel, refitting it (Steve Zissou style), and using it as a charter vessel for all of my friends and colleagues. Some dreams are not meant to be…
It’s Day 3 on the hook, and we’re all starting to go a little stir crazy. There was no port call to Provincetown. We’ve been keeping busy by working, reading, shopping (RGT gets a new shirt!!), watching movies and Arrested Development (we’re excited to stream the new season today thanks to Chris’s fancy wireless card), and – of course – playing Peanut. Whitney and Kira are also staffing a friendship bracelet factory of 2 that rivals the production rate of a sweatshop. They are graciously making them for everyone on the team. If nothing else, you get to see pictures today that are NOT in the blue-gray color palate.
I awoke to a view of Provincetown’s Pilgrim Monument out of my port hole. Everyone is glad to be tucked in around Race Point, since the ship recorded 52 mph wind gusts yesterday. We’re going to pull the hook tomorrow to head back out to the Great South Channel.
The “bad water” is back and we’re headed for Provincetown (Cape Cod Bay) to drop the anchor and wait out the weather. Fingers crossed that the captain gives us permission to deploy the small boats and ferry ourselves to shore. It will be a cruel irony to sit at anchor for days, over Memorial Day weekend, while in sight of land (and establishments that serve cold beers).
Whitney Sitzer (Wheaton College ‘15, photo 1)) and Kira Kasper (Wheaton College ’15, photo 2) are joining us on Leg 2 of the cruise. They are graduates of my Marine Mammal Science and Biology of Whales classes at the Marine Studies Consortium. Today they participated in their first marine mammal survey, although foggy conditions made it difficult to locate anything exciting (as of 12:45 pm).