Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Right Whales Spotted Just Before Fog Rolls In

Just as this morning’s 8:00 AM surveys were scheduled to begin, Julie Albert of Marine Resources Council called with a sighting report from Ormond Beach via the Hotline. Becki and Team 5 converged on the Grenada Blvd. lookout and spotted a mother and calf right whale in the gathering fog about ¾ mile offshore, heading north. Becki was able to obtain some photos before the fog thickened and obliterated all trace of them. This is the head of the mother. We are working on the ID.
Jim and Joy joined the group and we leapfrogged north, estimating where the whales might be using past data we have collected on swim speed, hoping that the fog would lift to reacquire them. We hung on until early afternoon, but the fog showed no signs of abating. We called it shortly before 1:30 PM.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is discouraging, but any reasonable effort to look for these two will be well worth it. Although they were heading north this morning, we know from past experience that they could change direction and be anywhere from The Hammock to Ponce Inlet. Let’s give it a good try if the weather will allow!