In the past few months, I’ve learned that photo-identification work has nothing to do with artistic photography. Indeed, it is not aesthetics that we’re after, but rather ultra-zoomed and high-contrast photos that meet specific technical criteria. Although the protocol is essential for research and interesting to my scientific mind, sometimes I need to take a step back to truly appreciate the river and the animals that I photograph.

That is why this week I am sharing with you a few somewhat more sentimental shots from one of the most memorable trips offshore I’ve experienced to date. Although we have to wake up early for our 7 a.m. departures, I can assure you that it is well worth the effort. The light is spectacular and the early hour ensures that we are relatively alone on the water. With a few other brave souls, I had the privilege of observing an entire herd of porpoises, their delicate dorsal fins gleaming in the rising sun. In the distance, a minke whale took a few breaths before arching its back as it dove back into the dark waters. Fin whales were also present. In the calm of the new day, their powerful blasts sounded like cannon shots.

Rarely have I been so moved by the river and it will certainly be an experience to repeat. So, what do you think? See you tomorrow morning on the docks?


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 - 2/8/2016

Élodie Lavertu

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