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Whale Blog

To Be Whaled

Two months on the North Coast seem to have sailed by with these strong northwesterly winds blowing the day by to greet a star filled sky. Peppered throughout my reflections of this summer so far are several truly stirring whale encounters – Bear, the white-fluked humpback that greeted the Picard’s and I as we first pulled into Whale Point; the matriarch orca A30, who so curiously rushed towards Stan, Sophie and I on board the Hawk Bay zodiac; beautiful D13 (orca) who’s interest in our land-based research slowed her travels through the kelp beyond the cabin before joining the rest of her family; or Robust, the young humpback whale who decided the Elemiah and it’s passengers were worthy of her graceful dance.

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Janie Wray
Last Nights

It’s a funny feeling, saying goodbye. 

It washes over you like a big swell in stormy seas; the realisation that this person you’ve spent so many special moments with, is leaving. The white caps foaming as you realise you may never see them again. 

It’s amazing how close you become to one another when living on an island, your tent just metres from theirs. 

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Janie Wray
Rescuing a Stranded Transient Orca

It was 7:30am when we received a call from Eric Keen on his vessel the Bangarang. Eric is conducting a study on fin whales in the area and we work quite closely with him on our research. We had been travelling back from Hartley Bay towards Whale Point when he alerted us that a juvenile transient orca had just beached herself on the shore of Andrew Rocks. From his description it sounded like her family had been cooperating as a team hunting for seals. She had positioned herself near the rocks waiting, almost motionlessly, while her family chased a seal in her direction. It must have been a miscalculation on her part because as the tide went out, she found herself stuck and unable to move.

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Janie Wray