May 2014

May 02, 2014: We were definitely getting the feeling this right whale season was wrapping up and this survey of Cape Cod Bay proved it. We surveyed the entire bay today and didn’t see any right whales. We did, however, sight two fin whales, two minkes, about 11 dolphins, and three seals. Summer is definitely coming as we see the right whales leave and the other species appear.

May 03, 2014: After seeing no whales in Cape Cod Bay the previous day, it was time to check out the eastern outer shore of the Cape. Boy, were we surprised. Not only did we see hundreds of dolphins, but there were a plethora of fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, sei whales, basking sharks, and seals! Best of all, we had three right whales feeding along the southeastern tracks. But wait, there’s more! We also saw two humpback mom/calf pairs and a group of bubble net feeding humpbacks! Not a bad day after all.

May 06, 2014: After seeing a few right whales days before within the Eastern Outer Shore survey, we surveyed this area again to see what was left. We were hoping some right whales were still hanging around in this migration corridor, but it seems they have really packed their bags! Zero right whales were sighting this day, but we did see a slew of other activity from the summer species. Many humpback whales feeding in their impressive bubble clouds, fin whales side lunge feeding together, and about 10 sei whales seen gulping their food right below the surface. Plenty of food out there, but apparently not the kind of food the right whale is after! We have gotten word from our colleagues at New England Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) that many whales are now in the Great South Channel, indicating that the season and the food has shifted. There will no doubt be more surprises from this species as the year unfolds, but we’re definitely seeing the wrap up of their time in our area.

May 08, 2014: One more time around the bay to make sure there were no right whales hanging around. As expected, the right whales have officially exited the bay. This ends our right whale season. Overall, we have had a successful season and look forward to processing all the data accumulated in the field. Thank you to all those who view our blog and we will see you next right whale season!