Hangin' with Humpbacks

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yesterday was a phenomenal day out whale watching. At O'Brien's, our favourite whales to watch are the humpback whales as they are amongst the most social of the whales. If they are not busy feeding, hunting for feed or migrating, they are more than happy to hang out with a boat load of visitors; but yesterday was truly awesome.

In the video, you can watch a humpback cow with her playful calf, who is only about eight months old. Born last winter on the Silver and Navidad Banks just north of the Dominion Republic, it would have weighed about one ton at birth. Nursing frequently on the mother's rich milk, it is growing at a rate of 100 lbs. a day. Full of energy, it played happily alongside for hours. Almost hunted to extinction by vessels of our size, we were gratified to see the mother completely calm while her own calf frolicked in the water beside us. We were treated to headstands and full belly roles, waves and flippers and tail trusts. The commentary is by our very own "whaleaholic" Justin Hawco.

About the Skipper...
Satisfying her keen interest in natural history, Fraser Carpenter has spent most of her adult life outdoors or on the water. She has run tour boats and sailing charter boats - and even built a sailing boat and spent 13 years sailing around the world, hiking, climbing and photographing nature. Fraser has spent four summers sailing and hiking in the arctic and two years in sub antarctica working as a field scientist. In the summer time she skippers a passenger boat for O'Brien's Whale and Bird Tours in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland.