Today I would like to share a particularly phenomenal cruise that I had the chance to take. Arriving at our first observation site, we saw a large spout six metres high. No doubt about it! It was indeed a blue whale. With my eye glued to my lens, I watched for the arrival of the next big column of condensation with one question in mind: who was this whale?

Another blast! I watched the giant powder blue, gray-mottled back glide by. Finally, the dorsal fin appeared. Rather broad and curved, with a distinctive white reflection… it was Jawbreaker, a female who has been visiting the Marine Park since 1990. Jawbreaker arrived in the park a few weeks ago and I’m beginning to recognize her. A favourite amongst captains, Jawbreaker almost always shows her tail when she dives. Under her tail is another one of Jawbreaker’s distinctive features: a large white spot. I had barely obtained the photos I was looking for when we heard a second blast behind us.

Whirling around, I was surprised to see that a second blue whale had arrived on the site. There was no mistaking this whale… It was Crinkle, a female that we have observed since 1982. Crinkle has a unique appearance: her skin is wrinkled and covered with small bumps, giving her the appearance of suffering from particularly severe acne. I knew Crinkle from the catalogue, but had never seen her in the flesh! Despite all the excitement, I managed to capture the series of shots I needed to confirm her presence in the park.

Crinkle, rorqual bleu © GREMM
Crinkle, blue whale © GREMM

Back on the docks, I was still smiling from ear to ear. What luck to see two famous blue whales in a single day!

Jaclyn G. Fl.Jaclyn Aubin joined the GREMM team this year as a volunteer research assistant. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. As part of the photo-census program of large rorquals in the Marine Park, she collects photos and data on board tour boats. She also shares this information with the editorial team of Whales Online.

Field Notes - 9/9/2016

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