Posts Tagged ‘Bay of Fundy



Over the New Year period, being in Tier 4 Norfolk and therefore restricted to home has given me time to think and reminisce.

I have been following the reports of Fin and Humpback Whales around the Isles of Scilly this last week with interest. I would so like to have been there. Sightings of whales were coming in thick and fast. It’s difficult to tell how many of each species were present but on one particular day there appeared to be nine animals around the islands. This is purely speculative on my part of course as some of the sightings may have been double counted and remember I am 400 miles away. In time when records are examined by the more than competent guys on the ground a truer number will be agreed.

The whole event took me back to some occasions in the past when I’ve been surrounded by whales myself. One came to mind. In the bay of Funday 2016 I remember thinking I could have walked out on the Humpbacks that were gathering in the mist around the boat. Later on in the same week a pod of Fin Whales came at the boat. Let’s just think about that for a moment. Each whale around 20 meters long and weighing about 47,000 kg. moving at 20 knots, making a bow wave and coming straight towards where I’m stood on the deck of a 60 foot cruiser one and a half metres above the waterline. There were around ten of them. That’s close to half a million kilograms of flesh coming straight at the boat. You get the picture. As they neared the beam they slipped under the keel and were away. Their wash dragging the boat sideways. A heart stopping moment. Wonderful, wonderful animals.

Some of the Fin Whales in the bay of Fundy – that’s the problem with telephoto lenses … they don’t fit everything in.

Humpbacks in the mist bay of Fundy


For Fun

As we get past mid December it starts to get quiet for me. Or at least it does on the tour front. The days are still busy but on catch-up work; admin that’s been in a state of comatose on the edge of my desk for the past season is now resuscitated and given a sharp fist in the chest. However, no matter how busy I am if I sit down at the laptop I can’t help daydreaming and looking at some of the photos I took during the summer.

I came across this one I took in the Bay of Fundy during August. There’s just something wonderful about seeing a humpback breach; throwing it’s entire bulk from the water. How on earth do they manage to do that. I liked the photo not just for the whale and what it was doing but for the setting; the arching spray, a gently rippling sea, blue sky and white fluffy clouds and Grand Manan Island in the distance. It sort of set the scene. It was a good reminder of a special time.

On a recent talk I did on cetaceans for the North East Norfolk Bird Club I was asked, by the youngest member of the audience, why whales breach. It’s difficult to say with any certainty. It could be to dislodge annoying parasites and barnacles. It could be a way of communication with other whales – after all the sound they make on re-entering the sea is like the report of a cannon. It could be part of their display or it could just be for the sheer hell of it … for fun!



Humpback Days

It was just not possible to be disappointed given our experiences in the Bay of Fundy despite not seeing what we went there to see.

Northern Right Whales are among the rarest animals on the planet; with only some 350 alive finding one was always going to be difficult. It was a long shot and despite spending over 27 hours at sea over six days we didn’t have even have a sniff of one. Global warming has made differences of late. Water temperature increases mean the plankton on which the Northern Rights feed is no longer in abundance within the bay and the whales are having to find sustenance elsewhere… I can feel another trip coming on.

In the meantime here are some photos of a few of the many humpbacks we saw. Further insights into what else we saw I’ll let you know of over the next week or so.

Humpback 1 Humpback 2 Humpback 3 Humpback 4 Humpback 5 Humpback 6 Humpback 7Humpback Whale 8

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Jun 2023


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