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A collaborative study to describe the underwater behavior of humpback whales focused in and around the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

The mother lode by Dana Cusano

June 23, 2012

The past three days we spent out near Chatham, docking there for Thursday and Friday night. When you are out for 12 hour days for many days in a row (I still feel like I am on a rocking boat when I close my eyes), your days tend to mush together…but I will try to sum it up as best as I can.

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Where have all the whales gone? by Dana Cusano

June 20, 2012

Oh that’s right, they are still down south where we left them. So yesterday we stayed around Stellwagen hoping to find some whales, but alas there were only a few loners and a couple mom/calf pairs. One of the goals is to tag a mom, but one of the females we found was very emaciated and her calf didn’t look too great either. Definitely not a candidate for tagging…also definitely not worth the trip up here for the Foster when there are so many whales to choose from where we left her. They even managed to tag a whale with both a DTAG and a Crittercam!

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Let the games begin! by Dana Cusano

June 18, 2012

The Auk left the dock this morning at 0630 to rendezvous with the Foster on Stellwagen Bank. Unfortunately, the whales had other ideas on where they wanted to be today… and apparently we didn’t get the memo. The Foster was unable to move for a bit (a right whale decided now was a good time to snuggle the ship), so we were sent off to find where all the whales had gone. Four hours and many miles later…we found them. We had to go past Cape Cod Bay, around Provincetown, and back south down towards Chatham, but we found them. There were a good 20-25 whales or so feeding in small groups, just the right criteria for tagging. We stayed with the whales until the Foster arrived, but soon after we already had to head home. We had a nice long 4-hour ride back to Scituate to make.

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No calibration today by Dana Cusano

June 16, 2012

Well, because of the wind and the inevitable waves that resulted we couldn’t do any calibration today. Elliot (in charge of this portion of the project) said it will just have to wait until tomorrow. Even though he is staying on the Foster, he will be transported to the Auk daily to do the prey mapping. Hopefully there is better weather on Monday, the first official day of the cruise, and we can get it done before anything too exciting happens.

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Welcome to Scituate, Massachusetts by Dana Cusano

June 15, 2012

I arrived in lovely Scituate, Massachusetts today to work with NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries for a week on their two-week research project.

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