Thursday, April 10, 2008

Aerial Survey- 10 April 2008

After seeing so many whales in Cape Cod Bay yesterday, we were anxious to go have a look up further north to see what we missed. Unfortunately, the fog dampened our enthusiasm for an early morning takeoff, and we spent much of the day pacing around the airport anxiously waiting for the sky to clear. Finally we got off the ground at 2 pm and headed up the backside to begin our survey in the northern part of Cape Cod Bay. We were rewarded with an amazing abundance of wildlife off of Race Point and Wood End… we documented 56 right whales in addition to humpback whales, fin whales, and dolphins! We also had our first sighting of a right whale mother and calf in Cape Cod Bay this season. The mother, known as EGNO 2790, was first seen with her newborn calf by the FWRI aerial survey team off the coast of Florida on February 3rd. Just as the daylight was beginning to fade and we were about ready to head back in, we came across EGNO 3530 (severely injured) and EGNO 2645 (entangled) very close to Provincetown harbor. We contacted the PCCS disentanglement team who raced to the scene and we were able to stand by and assist just long enough to help them locate the whales before we had to return to the airport.

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