Tuesday, December 31, 2013

{flight} Aborted flight

Well, we tried to survey Jeffreys Ledge and then we tried to survey Howell Swell, and then we conceded defeat to the snowstorm and headed back to the barn...

Jeremy Point on Cape Cod covered in snow

Monday, December 30, 2013

{update} Missing right whales start to appear!

It has been a very unusual year for right whale distribution, and they have been absent from their usual feeding grounds in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine for much of the year.  Even though it's only been a few whales so far, I am excited to see them starting to show up in Cape Cod Bay where they typically feed from December to April each year! We saw two right whales feeding in Cape Cod Bay on our way in from a right whale aerial survey with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center yesterday, and soon the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies will begin their fine-scale right whale surveys in the Bay.
http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/
The right whales are also starting to be spotted by the aerial survey teams from Sea to Shore Alliance and Florida Fish and Wildlife Institute in the southeastern breeding grounds off the coast of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.  So far there has only been one new calf seen, but hopefully 2014 will bring many more.

You can track the latest trends in right whale distribution on our interactive Google map at http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/


Sunday, December 29, 2013

{flight) 29 December 2013 Cashes Ledge



We did not find any right whales out on Cashes Ledge today, but we did find two right whales feeding in Cape Cod Bay as we transited across it on our way home!
Photo taken by Christin Khan in the NOAA Twin Otter of Cape Cod National Seashore in North Truro, Massachusetts

Photo taken by Christin Khan in the NOAA Twin Otter as we flew over the tip of Sandy Neck beach on Cape Cod

DATE: 12/29/2013
PLATFORM:   Twin Otter NOAA 57
HOURS FLOWN: 5:18
AREA SURVEYED: Cashes Ledge
PURPOSE OF FLIGHT:   Sawtooth
TRACKLINE BOUNDS:
W line 6940
E line 6850
N line 4306
S line 4230
BEAUFORT RANGE:   2-4
OTHER SPECIES OF NOTE:   2 Humpback whales, 1 Fin whales, 1 Sei
whales, 180 Common dolphins, and 30 Atlantic white-sided dolphins
COMMENTS:   Survey completed in good to excellent conditions. Circled
over whales in CCB on return transit.
RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS (# of Eg and Location):
1 13:06 -- 41 57.1 N 70 07.3 W transit sighting, feeding
1 13:15 -- 41 56.6 N 70 07.1 W transit sighting, feeding


DETAILS OF RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS CAN BE VIEWED AT:
http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/

Friday, December 27, 2013

{update} First right whale calf of the season!

The first right whale calf of the 2013/2014 calving season has been spotted off the coast of Georgia!  With only around 500 individuals in the entire species, each new baby is a cause for celebration!

Seasons first whale calf sighting off Sapelo Island

Saturday, December 14, 2013

{Flight} 14 Dec 2013 Jeffreys Ledge

View of snow showers obscures our ability to survey for whales

Crackly snow and ice over Cape Cod as seen from the NOAA Twin Otter

The edges of Cape Cod Bay frozen over, view from the Twin Otter
DATE: 14 DEC 2013
PLATFORM:   Twin Otter NOAA57
HOURS FLOWN:
 1:21
AREA SURVEYED: Jeffreys Ledge & Wildcat Knoll
PURPOSE OF FLIGHT:   Sawtooth
TRACKLINE BOUNDS:
W line 7030
E line 6936
N line 4315
S line 4230
BEAUFORT RANGE:   4
OTHER SPECIES OF NOTE:   no animals sighted
COMMENTS:   Only completed one line in moderate conditions before
aborting due to snow showers.
RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS (# of Eg and Location):
no right whales sighted


DETAILS OF RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS CAN BE VIEWED AT:
http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/

Friday, November 22, 2013

{press} AOPA video footage of the NOAA Twin Otter!

Fast forward to 10:45 to see the NOAA Twin Otter with me observing!

{Flight} 21 November 2013 Stellwagen Bank





DATE: 11/21/2013
PLATFORM:   Twin Otter NOAA57
HOURS FLOWN: 4:58
AREA SURVEYED: Stellwagen Bank & Wilkinson Basin
PURPOSE OF FLIGHT:   Sawtooth
TRACKLINE BOUNDS:
W line 7030
E line 6924
N line 4230
S line 4154
BEAUFORT RANGE:   2-3
OTHER SPECIES OF NOTE:   1 Humpback whale, 1 Fin whale, 11 Pilot
whales, 612 Common dolphins, 8 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 33
Harbor porpoise, and 1 Basking shark
COMMENTS:   Survey completed in good to excellent conditions;
Investigated report of large whales off Truro in CCB - nothing sighted
RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS (# of Eg and Location):  no right whales sighted

DETAILS OF RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS CAN BE VIEWED AT:
http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

{Flight} 17 November 2013 Great South Channel and Franklin Basin

Third flight in a row! What a busy weekend!


DATE: 11/17/2013

PLATFORM:   Twin Otter NOAA57
HOURS FLOWN: 5:00
AREA SURVEYED: Great South Channel & Franklin Basin
PURPOSE OF FLIGHT:   SCOPEX; Sawtooth
TRACKLINE BOUNDS:
W line 6957
E line 6714
N line 4224
S line 4124
BEAUFORT RANGE:   2-4
OTHER SPECIES OF NOTE:   2 Humpback whales, 2 Fin whales, 16 Pilot
whales, 210 Common dolphins, 30 Bottlenose dolphins, 3 Harbor
porpoise, and 1 Basking shark
COMMENTS:   Surveyed 1 line of SCOPEX-North, then Franklin Basin, then
1 line of SCOPEX-North in excellent conditions
RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS (# of Eg and Location):  no right whales sighted