Log for April 30, 2015

On today’s whale watch aboard the Aurora, we headed back to the NW corner where our sei whale action was yesterday. The corner today was a bit more quiet, but I was elated today to spot a sei whale still out there. We also spotted scattered Northern Gannets throughout our trip.

Sei whale

We first spotted the blow in the distance, and each time the individual would also exhale 1-2 times at the surface before taking its dive. This whale continued to keep up with this behavior throughout the trip, often changing direction. We didn’t observe any skim feeding today, so I’m guessing perhaps the prey was deeper in the water column, or this animal was just looking for food.

Sei whale

Sei whales have been observed to take 40-60 second breath intervals, which is what myself and fellow naturalist Heidi also observed today. Later in the trip this whale began not to travel as much, and graced us with some nice looks alongside our boat.

Every day on the water while collecting whale sightings data, we have also been collecting data on the marine debris we see – which is quite a lot throughout an entire season! Today as we spotted some floating plastic in the water while watching our sei whale, it was a grim reminder of a recent article posted by National Geographic, How a DVD Case Killed a Whale, which is about a wei whale that had a piece of a DVD case lodged in its stomach, preventing it to eat. This unfortunate story can hopefully be shared with many as a reminder to be conscious about our plastic consumption, and where our trash ends up.

— Laura Howes

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