Mar 14th 08 Print
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

  

  

Set out at 8.00 from Ely's Harbour on the sailboat Windrush with Geoff and Helen Gardner, Judie Clee and Marnie, Laura Daikin from the Farley Mowat, Kevin Horsefield and myself. Wind variable, high tide about 14.00. At 8.30 am we had a called in sighting of a whale just off the breakers at Spittal Pond. At 9.45 Laura went up the mast. At about 10.00 Laura spotted a whale dead ahead on the deep water channel between Sally Tuckers and Challenger Banks. The whale was definitely not a humpback and could have been a dolphin judging by size. I had the impression of a blunt, very pale, almost pink head. Dark dorsal fin. 10.09 the whale is resighted and breathes several times on the surface before disappearing. Sighted again at 10.30. At 11.10 we sighted the whale again. All sightings were roughly in the same area. At 11.30 we have a radioed in call with a fisherman's whale sighting on Challenger. Several false alarms. Laura down from rigging at 14.10. Around 15.00 Micheal Heslop on Fantasy reports humpbacks off Sonesta and Fairmont Princess.

After some days Judie Clee and I surmise the whale we saw that day was a northern bottlenose. This matches the blunt head I had an impression of, and the pale whitish-pink colour behind the head. The diagram above is of a northern bottlenose whale. It could also be a Cuvier beaked whale.

March 13th

Diana Martin phones from Marley Beach with a humpback or two offshore. Too rough to go out so drive to Marley Beach and spot two humpbacks one of which breaches. Michael Heslop reports from the Fantasea that he finds whales near Chubb Heads. And Debbie Pitt phones in saying she saw whales off the Sonesta yesterday. She also informs me that she is called the "Whale Lady" because she always sees whales. Her birthday is March 26th and as a child she always knew when her birthday was coming up because she would start to see whales offshore.