2009 March 23 Whales on South Shore all day- start of the migration past Bermuda and the 18th match Print
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

It looks like the migration of whales from the Caribbean past Bermuda to their northern feeding grounds has begun, right on schedule. From before nine this morning to late this afternoon I've had phone calls to 77-SPOUT (777-7688) from people who have seen multiple whales breaching and 'carrying on' from Sonesta to Warwick Long Bay. The first call was from Nick Strong with a whale breaching off Southhampton Princess. Kelly Winter also saw 3-4 humpbacks close to shore, slowly moving away. I cycled over to Astwood Park and looked for whales around lunchtime. Although the winds were strong, they were from the north and the ocean off South Shore was calm. Unfortunately I had to replace my phone today and didn't get these phone messages until three this afternoon. I picked my daughter Elsa up from school, Camilla was already at the cottage waiting for us and Somers, my youngest daughter was having an outing with her girlfriend on the Railway Trail. We set off west on South Shore and when we reached Warwick Long Bay we pulled into the lay by to see if we could spot the whales ourselves. As soon as we had stopped, Gilbert Pitcher drove in behind us. He was one of the spectators who had phoned me earlier that day after seeing several whales just off the Sonesta Beach Hotel. He immediately pointed three whales out to us, a mile or so off shore now to the east, off Coral Beach. We watched them for a while as they progressed east. Looked like two adults and a calf; probably a three-month old calf judging by the baby puffs, with its mother and an escort. We left at almost five and drove home to Grape Bay and climbed the roof and soon spotted the three whales off Grape Bay Beach. The winds were from the north today, too high to go out to Sally Tuckers or Challenger, but in the lee of South Shore the whale watching was perfect.

Here are some photos from the lay by at Warwick Long Bay of Gilbert Pitcher and Camilla Stringer, a photo of me taken by Elsa and of course, the irrepressible Elsa.


For more details about the entangled humpback calf go to 'Andrew's whale diary'

And hats off to Roger Etcheberry in St-Pierre et Miquelon who has found yet another match to our on-line catalogue of fluke ids. Below left was taken by P. Boez on 1st July 2005 in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland. The photo below right was taken by me on Silver Bank, Dominican Republic on the 30th of January 2008. Our catalogue number for this whale is 0023 1 dr 2008 01 30 as. His sharp eyes have also picked out a couple of flukes that are not the same on our catalogue, and two flukes that do belong to the same animal. I thank him for taking the time to go through these photos and letting us know. The appropriate changes have been made.


And this is from someone who has seen my whale videos on YouTube. Thanks for the reminder!

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or villify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, I see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." ~Jack Kerouac