Friday, January 18, 2008

Have Right Whales, Arpeggio And Her Baby Returned?

Up until now, our whale sighting reports have been zero since January 1st.

Nothing, nada, zilch...

I went in search of our famous mother/baby duo on Saturday, January 5th and found nothing.

I even called Jim Hain, Scientist from The Associated Scientists At Woods Hole in Woods Hole, Massachusetts to see if they (him and Joy Hampp, Project Coordinator for The Marineland Right Whale Project) were out watching the whales anywhere.

Jim told me no, that no whales had been sighted, but if I made it as far north as Marineland to please stop and say hi.

I did make it that far and stopped to see Jim. I was treated to photographs that Joy had taken from the Projects spotter plane of Arpeggio and her baby.

The one photo I will never forget was of Arpeggio laying on her back in the ocean, showing her white belly with her calf resting its head on Arpeggios chest area with the rest of the calf's body resting in the ocean. Joy takes the most beautiful whale photos I have ever seen. In this particular photo, you could see the love the two share for each other.

As I left, Jim said he would call if any whales were sighted. Since the The Marineland Right Whale Project's office is across A1A from Marineland, I went over to Marineland and spent a couple hours watching the dolphins play and talking with the volunteers there who were all abuzz about Arpeggio and constantly scanning the ocean for her and her baby.

After 2 weeks of no emails updates, I awoke to an update from Joy yesterday morning with a possible sighting of Arpeggio and her calf in St. Augustine Beach!

One of the Project's volunteer team leaders was just getting ready to leave his condo (I think to go to his sector to watch for the whales) when he spotted a mother and her calf in the churning seas. (not a easy thing to do!) He immediately called it in and the "response team" rushed to his condo to attempt to make a positive ID. (Our weather hasn't been ideal for whale watching the last two days, overcast and very windy, making it hard to get a good look at the animals) Joy reports they are sure that this pair was Arpeggio and her baby! They are "waiting for tentative ID"

Yesterday was once again windy along with rainy conditions but, a resident was able to spot a mother and her calf. She called the Reponse Team, who within a half hour had confirmed the pair, but due to the poor conditions only got one good look at their heads. They did however get a good look at one of their bellies and it was white! Joy thinks this pair could have been the pair from the day before, AKA Arpeggio and her baby!

I hope this means we will be seeing a lot more of them and maybe even I will get to see them in person too!

(There is another sighting of a single whale I want to tell you about, however I am waiting for permission to use a photo to go with the sighting. As soon as I obtain permission I will post that sighting as well.)

Remember, if you spot a whale off shore,
Please call The Marineland Right Whale Project at
You can find contact info for Joy Hammp or Jim Hain here

Also, if you are in a boat, it is illegal to come within
500 yds of Northern Right Whales.

Photo used above is a photo I took in 2006 in Ormond By The Sea of a Mother Calf pair. It could be a Right Whale known as Piper with her calf. She was in the area that day along with another Right whale and her baby.

I do not have persmission to use anyone else's photo's of the whales at this time, and will not take anyone's photos without their permission. This is why I keep using photos from the 2006 Right Whale season for my blog. For those of you that aren't aware~it is illegal to use other people's photos without their permission unless otherwise stated from the photographer.

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