May 7th 08 whale sightings off Devonshire Bay Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

Camilla phoned this morning to say she could see two whales off her house heading towards Devonshire Bay. As luck would have it, I was in town having left my car at the garage to get serviced. Nevertheless we managed to get out on the water (thanks to Annabel, my wife, giving me a ride) with Camilla and her father and my sister Jackie. We found the whales almost immediately (after picking up yet another helium filled balloon) but lost them. The whales hadn't moved much in two hours and we should have kept looking in the place where we first saw them. We put the hydrophone over but couldn't hear anything. Eventually we returned only to be told by Jackie's husband Jay that he had seen a whale breach just where we had been. When Camilla arrived home her mother told her she still had the whales in sight. We threatened to go out again if we could see them and Camilla watched for an hour or so before they disappeared.



Wednesday 7th May   


Whales seen spouting off Vicker’s Bay from the balcony of Camilla’s flat.   There are 5 or 6 blows.  I call Andrew.


The whales surface again further along towards Devonshire Bay.  Andrew calls me back and we agree to meet to see if we can find them.


Andrew, Jackie, John and Camilla head out of Devonshire Bay on Phidippides.  We head towards where the whales were last seen from shore and then turn east following the path they appeared to take.


We approach a fishing boat.  There were two boats close to the whales when we were watching from shore.  The fisherman says he has seen no whales since February.


Andrew sees a blow.  There is something shining in the water in our path.


Andrew maneuvers the boat and John pulls a helium balloon from the water.


We see the whales spouting again – 5 or 6 spouts.  There is a splash and another blow.  We are approximately 3 miles off Devonshire Bay, and there are at least two whales in the area.  We head east.


There have been no further sightings.  Perhaps we have overshot the whales’ position. Andrew switches off the engine and puts the hydrophone over.  Track #23.  All is quiet.  We can hear no singing.


We turn around and head back in the direction of Devonshire Bay keeping a look out in all directions.


Approach another fishing vessel – Rigged and Ready – again they have seen nothing.


A smooth return to Devonshire Bay – the winds have dropped and the sea is much calmer than when we left.


Camilla and John arrive back at flat to discover Camilla’s mum watching the whales again.  She had assumed that the boat close to them was us.


This time we see seven or eight spots in exactly the same spot.  Even though they are a long way off shore we clearly see flukes as two whales dive simultaneously.


A further six spouts are seen, again in the same spot.  At least two whales dive.  Andrew is watching from the roof of his cottage in Grape Bay.  We wonder whether to go back out.  However we keep watching for a further hour and see no more.  Trees obscure much of the ocean from our vantage point, and having stayed in the same place for most of the morning the whales seem to have left.



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