2013 05 06- End of the season- the longtails are here, the whales have gone Print
Written by Andrew Stevenson   
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Even if the whales are gone, the tails of the longtails make a nice diversion.

We had 35 days on the water, and on some days we had multiple boats with photographers on board. It's been a long season with whales first sighted in December and our first fluke IDs on January 9th.  We are still processing our fluke IDs but it looks like we have around 200 individual whales that we have identified this year-151 of them ‘new' sightings for Bermuda, 44 of them re-sightings to the previous six seasons. We have also matched many of these whales to other catalogues held in the USA, Canada and other places our whales pass through. Considering the awful weather we had for two months in February and March, achieving this goal under the conditions we faced this year would indicate that with dedicated effort we can continue to identify around 200 individual whales per year. We have now identified over 824 individual whales in Bermuda waters in seven seasons with another 88 re-sightings.


I'd like to thank our boat captains Bob Steinhoff, Charlie Kempe, Roland Lines, David Brown and Michael Smith for helping us get on the water as much as we did. I'd also like to thank James Gibbons and family and Capital G for giving us ‘Magical Whale', our own dedicated research boat which we have been able to rely on when other boats are not available. Thanks to this welcome addition, we haven't missed a single day when we had even the smallest window of good weather to get out and look for our whales. Thanks to Judie Clee for her unmatchable prowess at matching our whales in real time. Thanks to Camilla Stringer for always being there to fill in the numerous gaps and her invaluable contributions. Thanks also to our willing crew for focusing on the job of finding whales. Thanks also for the numerous fluke ID contributions we have had from the public. For some reason these contributions have the most interesting matches!


And finally, perhaps most importantly, thanks to my wife Annabel for assuming more than her share of the family responsibilities when I'm out on the water.