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Notes From the Field - Australia

A Final Mahalo

In only six short hours we will be boarding our final flight back to the United States. Equipment is stored, bags are packed, and the team is ready for a little rest and relaxation!

It has been an incredible season and we have an incredible amount to be thankful for. Our members, supporters, family, and friends have been with us from day one, and we cannot thank you enough.

Bio: 
Annie Macie
Image: 

Comments

Anonymous (visitor) says:

Safe journey home you three and thanks for all the hard work and dedication. I have really enjoyed this blog the past couple of months and learned so much from it. Wish I could be there to greet you home and talk to you!! Hopefully I will get to catch Annie on one of my many whale watch trips in December. Keep up the great work guys. Mahalo Nui.

Brenda in Delaware (visitor) says:

There has been discussion about the shifting of the poles (North and South poles) and their respective magnetic fields. Are you noticing anything to support that or that would alter the whales behavior, particularly during migration??? Thanks in advance for your insight and observations! Brenda

Beth Salles (visitor) says:

Safe journey home you three and thanks for all the hard work and dedication. I have really enjoyed this blog the past couple of months and learned so much from it. Wish I could be there to greet you home and talk to you!! Hopefully I will get to catch Annie on one of my many whale watch trips in December. Keep up the great work guys. Mahalo Nui.

Checking Things Off the List

This season has been a long one, but a great one.  We have seen so many whales and have experienced a few new places along the way.

Bio: 
Amanda Hutsel
Image: 

Comments

Anonymously (visitor) says:

I nice posts as you write hope you had there great time Australia field season

Nearing the End

Today has marked the last day for our research team on the water the 2010 season. After 85 days in the field we sadly have trailered our research vessel for the last time this year, and have begun preparations for our return back home to Maui. The next four days will be spent driving all our gear north to settle into storage where it will sit for only 9 months before the team is back at it again next year, but just like our equipment we admittedly do need a break. Hands and feet are cold, muscles are exhausted, and minds are set on seeing loved ones back home, but no words can explain the significance of these last three months of research.

Bio: 
Annie Macie
Image: 

Comments

Maria Odor (visitor) says:

We visit Maui each February to watch the whales. I sit on the lanai at our condo in Napili and watch the frolicking of the whales. Only swimming with the turtles matches that. Last year I was snorkeling out further than I usually go to see the bat rays, and i heard the whales singing for the first time without any devices. It was so exciting!

Debi C. (visitor) says:

It has been so exciting to read the Pacific Whale Foundation South Pacific research blogs and view the stunning photos/videos. Thank you for sharing your adventure with all of us. It has been a privilege to tag along with you!!

\"B\" is for Barnacle

Each day the team gets a little bit closer to the end of the 2010 Australia field season. With eighty-two days of research down and only eight to go you think we’d have it all figured out by now, yet each day we still wake up to a new sense of adventure and opportunity.

At this point in the season moms and calves have moved into the area and feeding behaviors have come to a near standstill. Minor feeding attempts can be observed only on certain occasions, but for the most part when we roll out of bed we know what social groups we’ll be observing that day (mostly mom and calves). What we can’t tell, however, is just how quirky, bizarre, and outside the norm some of the wildlife we encounter will be.

Bio: 
Annie Macie
Image: 
Video: 

Open For Interpretation

There are only a few scientifically recognized papers in which marine mammals have been identified as “playing” with an object in nature. Animals have often been noted utilizing “tools” supplied by nature for foraging purposes (otters and rocks, dolphins and sea sponges, etc), but how often do they actually just stop and use these objects for play?

Bio: 
Annie Macie
Image: 
Video: 

Comments

Kathy Huish (visitor) says:

I know stingrays love to swim up under your hand so that your hand brushes across their back (Mote marine Research ray tank), maybe the seaweed feels good, or removes stuff from their skin.

Sharan (visitor) says:

Of course it's "play!" What else could it be! Great pics and great video. Thanks!

The Elements of Nature

For the past few days, the research team has been holed up in the safety of the apartment avoiding the high seas at just about any cost. Extreme wind and sea conditions had driven even the most experienced cargo-ship driving mariners into the safety of the bay to avoid ugly situations out on the big blue, and a fair wind/weather warning had put a damper on even local travel.

Bio: 
Annie Macie
Image: 
Video: 

Comments

Mel (visitor) says:

Oh wow you guys really got some good pictures and videos. When I was on my trip I was dieing to have a video camera with me. I had my horrible point and shoot that did some really bad pictures. Next time I go I am for sure going to take some nice camera equipment with me. Mel Madison

Anonymous (visitor) says:

Annie you are such an amazing talent! I hope everyone at Pacific Whale realizes what an incredibly gifted person they are lucky to work with. Looking at your work this season, there is no other conclusion but to know you are headed for big things! Thank you for your dedication to these great animals throughout your long journey!

Beth Salles (visitor) says:

Amazing guys. Put the second one on full screen on your computer and feel the power!!!! Takes your breath away. Love to watch them feed. I miss this in Maui.

A Tangled Web

The wind has dropped a bit today but the seas are still rolling.  We cruise east and then north towards Merimbula (18 miles north of Eden).  After 35 miles of survey we come up empty handed.  Our radio crackles, it is Captain Gordon on ‘Cat Balou’, “Have you heard about an entangled calf near South Head.”

“No," I replied.

Bio: 
Greg Kaufman
Image: 

Comments

Carol MacDonald (visitor) says:

So close and yet so far!! How frustrating to not be able to reach out and help that whale. Thank you for all you do. Keep up the good work. Let's pray this one beat the odds. Please...those of you who "put stuff out there" collect it back up. It only takes a little diligence, a small extra effort to save a lot of pain.

Love The Orginization (visitor) says:

I love you guys! your amazing!

Peggy Tomaszewski (visitor) says:

So sorry to hear of the whale's misfortune on top of your rough seas... I hope everything gets better soon. Even if it doesn't, always remember what a difference you are making for all humpback whales with every piece of research you gather. We are all very proud of you and wish we could be there to help!

Beth Salles (visitor) says:

You are so right Greg. whales, marine life and all gods creatures deserve our respect. Let's hope this little guy can get that rope off of him and live a long and happy life. I hope you got some identification on him so that next year these two will be able to say hello and thanks for trying!!

How We (Rock'n) Roll

Studying humpbacks off Eden is not for fair weather sailors. The seas can be big, dangerous and unpredictable. A relatively calm, flat day on the ocean can quickly change to a roiling, windy mess. The seas can rise quickly, and the winds will howl from any direction on the compass. Imagine early spring off the coast of Washington, Oregon or Maine and that is what the seas are like off Eden right now. Tough sledding.

Bio: 
Greg Kaufman
Image: 
Video: 

Comments

Amanda's mom (visitor) says:

Thanks for sharing the pics. It helps to understand what all of you go through to get the research done. It did make me think of Amanda's safety (and yours too) though. Love following what is going on down under.

Beth Salles (visitor) says:

reminds me of our trip back from Lanai last December!! Annie has the same camera as my husband, she isn't going to let anything happen to it lol. Here's to finding Migaloo in all those waves

Wayne (visitor) says:

Great job guys. But Greg, the dolphins weren't following you for the surf. They just couldn't believe you "were out in this weather in that" little boat.

Keep safe.

Wayne from Honolulu

A Walk Back in Time

Due to high winds, today was a short one on the water.  After a morning whale watch on the Cat Balou, we decided to take a trip to the other side of Twofold Bay to see a bit of history.

 

Bio: 
Amanda Hutsel
Image: 

Feeding Frenzy

Each year September typically marks the beginning of the annual humpback season in Eden, New South Wales. Humpback’s migrating down the coast spend an undefined amount of time grazing through the area, picking up tasty morsels of krill and free floating plankton. Bait balls can be seen at times from miles away, popping at the surface to avoid being consumed by the multiple forms of predation above and below.

Bio: 
Annie Macie
Image: 

Comments

Hanna (visitor) says:

Oh my this is so beautiful! I can almost feel the heat of the sun and the mist of the ocean on my face as you take the pictures. Such a beautiful site, this is a bucket list for me. Golden Rule

Anonymous (visitor) says:

not fair miss seeing all of that well maybe next year.now hows it all going at eden at the moment

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