Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Another Humpback: Caught “Napping”

Humpback whales are generally a challenge to photograph, whether from land or air. They tend to move quickly, sometimes erratically, and spend very little time at the surface. On Monday, 28 February, the Air Cam crew spotted a humpback about a mile southeast of Surf Club (condos south of Marineland) that conveniently remained virtually motionless at the surface the entire 15 minutes or so we circled for photos. This behavior is known as logging and is likely how whales rest. 

Once we had our photos, we circled well to the east to report the whale’s position. When we returned to resume our aerial survey, the humpback was gone. They are unpredictable like right whales, and it is good to know that at least a few are out there! 

A 14th right whale calf has been confirmed! Catalog #3101 (Harmonia) was seen with her second calf off Amelia Island on 17 February. We saw Harmonia once before, in December of 2002, when she was two years old. We have also learned that Catalog #3450 (Clipper) and #4094 were sighted off the Georgia coast on 27 and 28 February. They slipped by us going north and we are wondering if this is signaling the end of our season. But, because the whales are unpredictable, we always leave room for surprises. No telling what might happen in the month of March!