Smooth and Successful

Tuesday, February 18:

As if all of that wasn’t exciting enough, the next day we had glassy smooth seas and spent the morning helping our friends on the R/V Selkie track down an overnight acoustic tag that had been deployed the afternoon before.  Soon after, a survey plane had a sighting of a mom/calf pair (#3157) that was so close we could already see the plane circling to take photos.  We went to that sighting, where the mom was logging at the surface for long intervals—a great opportunity for tagging!  We puttered in for an approach and tagged her.  She barely seemed to notice, and after a few minutes’ dive she resumed her previous behavior of logging and resting at the surface.

whale at calf at surface of water
#3157 and her calf
tag on back of mother whale with calf next to her
DTAG attached to #3157 while her calf surfaces next to her

The tag was programmed to stay on overnight, and I hopped on the Stellwagen to help track the whale.  Luckily, she didn’t really seem to have intentions of going anywhere quickly.  In fact, she only moved a couple of miles and essentially made a big circle before the tag came off around 11pm.  The next morning, we woke up and met the R/V Richard Barber.


–Jess McCordic