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.
The water was a little too choppy yet again today, so Elliot didn’t make it over to calibrate. Maybe tomorrow…The tagging team had some success at least. They managed to get a couple of tags on, though I think one of them was breached off fairly quickly. It’s only day one, so there will be (hopefully) plenty more chances.
There is some concern that if the whales stay where they are, they may be too far away for the Auk to be useful. An 8-hour transit time for 4 hours of searching for and following whales is not the most ideal situation. One idea is to dock in Chatham for the night, but I guess it all depends on what the whales do tomorrow. If only they’d cooperate!