Whales spotted from shore! Jeanne Blake photographs moments between Long Beach and Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester Mass.

photos from Jeanne Blake July 10, 2019 – whale(s) passing back and forth

 

 

Video from Cliff- whale blows (look at left of frame at 30 sec mark in the distance) and bubbles or whale footprint at center. Ten minutes prior, observers describe seeing a dramatic whale breach. They could see the whale from its back and it was so far out of the water both fins visible.

 

slick after breach or bubbles_whale blow distant right side frame_Gloucester MA.jpg

Perhaps these are the same minke whales spotted off Halibut Point July 9, 2019 mentioned in  today’s GDT here:  “On Monday, Rockport native John Parisi spotted two whales off the coast of Halibut Point on Monday while fishing with his son and his son’s friend. “We were fishing for stripers,” said Parisi. “There were a lot of porgies jumping out of the water. Then there was a huge commotion with the fish. I looked over and saw these two whales breach the ocean with their dorsal fins.” Parisi’s video here 

Watch Ocean Alliance on CBS News…

The last few weeks have been pretty exciting at Ocean Alliance hosting a number of television crews.

Two Saturday’s ago, Ocean Alliance had a CBS News shoot for a national news feature on SnotBot®. Host Tom Hanson interviewed Iain Kerr for the segment and filmed SnotBot® in action on Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. We had really great weather and experienced a feeding frenzy of seabirds, dolphins, finback and humpback whales. Ocean Alliance collected great behavioral footage along with a robust snot sample from a Finback whale that will be analyzed  for hormones, DNA, and microbiomes. The news story is planned to air on CBS News affiliated stations today, reaching a minimum of 5 million viewers!

IMG_5983.jpeg
Tom Hanson, CBS News interviewing Iain Kerr

 Fin whale lunge feeding on Stellwagen Bank

This past weekend actor/comedian Sir Billy Connolly spent three hours at the Paint Factory with Ocean Alliance filming a segment for Billy Connolly’s Great American Trail television show. The show will be broadcast on ITV in September 2019 and then worldwide. The production team was interested in filming in Gloucester because of the whaling history, wildlife, and Ocean Alliance’s new developments in whale research. Billy was able to test out our thermal imaging drone FLIRBot, and even fly a drone himself! It was a lot of fun hosting Billy and the production team at our Paint Factory headquarters. We’ll keep you updated on when the show will air.

Billy Connolly talk
Filming at Ocean Alliance for Billy Connolly’s Great American Trail
DBilly Connoly Thermal.jpg
Iain and Billy using FLIRBot

Last September, while on a Parley SnotBot expedition in Gabon, Africa the Ocean Alliance team filmed an episode of  BBC’s Equator from the Air.  For our UK friends the first episode will air on Sunday 26th May, on BBC Two at 20:00/8pm BST. The series will air at the same time each week for an additional three weeks. Look for it on BBC streaming in the near future.

ChristianMiller_Snotbot_gabon-33
SnotBot® collecting humpback whale blow in Gabon

 

To learn more about Ocean Alliance’s work and what is going on at the Paint Factory visit https://whale.org or follow us on social media.

 

“Prevailing Wind & Whales” special MIT concert Saturday is all Gloucester Ocean Alliance, Parley, MIT Wind Ensemble 20th Anniversary & Humpback Whales

Parley X MIT: Prevailing Wind and Whales Saturday April 27, 2019

Reserve tickets here

From the press release:

7:00pm Parley SnotBot, EarBot & Drones for Whale Research
Parley Pre-Concert Talk Featuring Drs. Iain Kerr & Roger Payne, Ocean Alliance
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley for the Oceans

Join Dr. Roger Payne, Dr. Iain Kerr, and Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch as we dive into the world of whales and the new technologies that are changing the way that we study them.

8:00pm MIT Wind Ensemble 20th Anniversary Concert

Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director
Kenneth Amis, Assistant Conductor
Stephen C. Massey, Guest Conductor
MITWE Alumni
Kathryn Salfelder and Michael Weinstein, Guest Composers
Drs. Roger Payne and Iain Keer, Guest Speakers, Ocean Alliance
Cyrill Gutsch, Guest Speaker, Parley for the Oceans

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, MITWE brings together traditional and new music, works commissioned by the ensemble, special guests, and alumni.  In tribute to its recent tour to the Dominican Republic and collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, the concert features “In Praise Of The Humpback,” prefaced by remarks by legendary biologist-environmentalist and whale song expert, Dr. Roger Payne.

Renowned music educator Stephen C. Massey leads Persichetti Symphony no. 6, and legendary wind ensemble conductor-historian Frank L. Battisti will be honored by performances of three works composed for his 85th birthday in 2016, by Kenneth Amis, Kathryn Salfelder, and Michael Weinstein. MITWE’s percussion ensemble performs a new work in honor of MITWE’s 20th anniversary and “Course Sax” performs Piazzolla’s famed “Cafe, 1930” from Histoire du Tango. MITWE alumni join current MITWE members to close out the program with Gustav Holst’s amiable Second Suite in F. 

MIT Wind Ensemble
https://mta.mit.edu/music/performance/mit-wind-ensemble

Parley For The Oceans
https://www.parley.tv/#fortheoceans

Ocean Alliance
https://whale.org/

Center for Coastal Studies (informational materials available at the concert)
http://coastalstudies.org/

A message from our friend Iain Kerr from Ocean Alliance

Dear Friends,

Chris, Andy and I have just arrived in Loreto. As advised previously we are pretty damn excited to be taking part in the BBC Blue Planet Live Series. You can find more information on the show here: BBC Blue Planet Live. As I understand it the first show went live today, with Chris Packham and the crew in San Ignacio Lagoon. I have it on good faith that Chris was downwind of a grey whale and he got Snotted!

I made a mistake in my last e mail, I thought that there were three shows but it turns out there are four.

I am also excited but terrified to report that they have asked me to take part in the 4th live show on Sunday. So you can catch us on live TV on Wednesday the 27th (SnotBot with blue whales….🤞🤞) and Sunday 31st of March, EarBot and Humpback whales (🤞🤞).  Right now my biggest concern is finding whales and good weather, preferably both at the same time, then of course not making a fool of myself on live TV.

For those of you not in England, there is a way to watch the show live on your computer, Chris says you have to get a VPN, which before last week I had never heard of.  In short if the BBC website thinks that your computer is in England it will let you watch the show.

Clearly if you can’t watch the show live I am sure BBC will put it up on their website so I will send that information out next week.

So here we go – Get a VPN

  1. Download NordVPN 7 day free trial (https://free.nordvpn.com/trial/)
    1. Make sure to remember to cancel before the 7th day to avoid being charged $100+ for the 3 year subscription
    2. Alternatively, you can buy one month for $11.99
  2. After you’ve signed up for the trial, download and install the VPN app on your computer https://ucp.nordvpn.com/downloads
  3. Open the VPN app, log into your account
  4. Search for “United Kingdom” server in the country list
    1. Once connected to a server, now the internet thinks you are in the UK

Create BBC account

  1. Go to BBC iPlayer (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer)
  2. Register for an account (https://account.bbc.com/signin)
  3. Choose United Kingdom as your country, and put in a UK postal code, this one should work: SW191AA
  4. Verify your email address with the email sent to you after registering

Watch BBC ONE

  1. Log back into BBC iPlayer and search for Blue Planet Live if it already aired, or if you’re trying to watch live go to channels and click on BBC ONE, then click “watch live”
  2. When asked if you have a TV License, click YES
  3. Press play
    1. If you get a message that says “This content doesn’t seem to be working” – go back to your VPN app and click United Kingdom again, it will give you a new server number, refresh BBC iPlayer and try again. You might need to try a few different UK servers before you get one that works.

I will try to send out a few blogs from our time here, until then….

Best Fishes from Loreto.

Iain

Iain Kerr

Cell: 978 760 1784

http://www.whale.org

OCEAN ALLIANCE’S IAIN KERR TO APPEAR ON BBC BLUE PLANET LIVE!


Amy Kerr writes the following:

Below is a message from Iain, who is in the Sea of Cortez preparing for the BBC’s “Blue Planet Live” for this Wednesday and Sunday. He said he’d never do a live show with whales again, but here we are! The following are his instructions on how to watch outside of the UK (4:00 EST?), and if you can figure them out and DO you are a good good friend. At the very least, send him your positive whale-y, snotty thoughts!

Dear Friends,

Chris, Andy and I have just arrived in Loreto. We are pretty damn excited to be taking part in the BBC Blue Planet Live Series. You can find more information on the show here: BBC Blue Planet Live. As I understand it the first show went live today, with Chris Packham and the crew in San Ignacio Lagoon. I have it on good faith that Chris was downwind of a grey whale and he got Snotted!

I am also excited but terrified to report that they have asked me to take part in the additional 4th live show on Sunday. So you can catch us on live TV on Wednesday the 27th (SnotBot with blue whales….🤞🤞) and Sunday 31st of March, EarBot and Humpback whales (🤞🤞).  Right now my biggest concern is finding whales and good weather, preferably both at the same time, then of course not making a fool of myself on live TV.

For those of you not in England, there is a way to watch the show live on your computer, Chris says you have to get a VPN, which before last week I had never heard of.  In short if the BBC website thinks that your computer is in England it will let you watch the show.  

Clearly if you can’t watch the show live I am sure BBC will put it up on their website so I will send that information out next week.

So here we go – Get a VPN

  1. Download NordVPN 7 day free trial (https://free.nordvpn.com/trial/)
    1. Make sure to remember to cancel before the 7th day to avoid being charged $100+ for the 3 year subscription
    2. Alternatively, you can buy one month for $11.99
  2. After you’ve signed up for the trial, download and install the VPN app on your computer https://ucp.nordvpn.com/downloads
  3. Open the VPN app, log into your account
  4. Search for “United Kingdom” server in the country list
    1. Once connected to a server, now the internet thinks you are in the UK

Create BBC account

  1. Go to BBC iPlayer (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer)
  2. Register for an account (https://account.bbc.com/signin)
  3. Choose United Kingdom as your country, and put in a UK postal code, this one should work: SW191AA
  4. Verify your email address with the email sent to you after registering

Watch BBC ONE

  1. Log back into BBC iPlayer and search for Blue Planet Live if it already aired, or if you’re trying to watch live go to channels and click on BBC ONE, then click “watch live”
  2. When asked if you have a TV License, click YES
  3. Press play
    1. If you get a message that says “This content doesn’t seem to be working” – go back to your VPN app and click United Kingdom again, it will give you a new server number, refresh BBC iPlayer and try again. You might need to try a few different UK servers before you get one that works.

I will try to send out a few blogs from our time here, until then….

Best Fishes from Loreto.

Iain

Great info from Iain Kerr from Ocean Alliance

Take a look at these awesome photos of the humpback whales ..  amazing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SnotBot DR Blog 3 – Everything we had hoped for!

 It gives me great pleasure to advise you that our last 3 days on the water have been fantastic, each day better than the previous. The weather has fallen into a typical trade wind scenario, calm in the early morning and picking up as the day goes on. We were on the boat this morning by 6:15 and had the pleasure of watching a sunrise at sea (with a whale of course).

 Today we had our 1st sample by 7:15 am and had our 9th sample by 9:00 am, by 12:30 (when the winds picked up) we had collected a total of 14 samples bringing our expedition total to 54. Our goal was 50 samples, so we are now ahead of the game with 3 days to go. As the sun rose we were with a mother, calf and escort, we collected two Snot samples from each whale so we could have comparable samples, then we collected another sample from each whale flying at a higher altitude than the first set so that we can try to determine what effect height might have on the success/productivity of the biological data (snot) that gets onto the dish.

Angie Sremba is here from Dr. Scott Bakers lab at Oregon State, Angie has been focusing on the DNA analysis. She brought us some exciting information with regards to how our biological data capabilities have (successfully) evolved over time. It is important to remember here that part of this whole process is developing the collection tools and protocols and while Dr. Bakers lab is developing the preservation and analysis protocols. In summary 2016 we had a 39% success rate with regards to sexing the animals from the DNA and a 55% success rate on the mitochondrial DNA. In 2018 we had a 92% success rate with regards to sexing the animals from the DNA and a 96% success rate with the mitochondrial DNA. This is clearly exciting as it demonstrates that we are learning and getting better on all fronts.

 Another exciting data point today was the collection of some whale feces, the whales here are not feeding so it is unusual to find feces in this location. I think this is another amazing benefit of using drones for whale research, the drone saw the whale defecation (look very carefully for the brown stain in the last photo) and Britta and Andy were ready to collect it. This will prove invaluable in trying to put into context the hormone levels that we collect in the blow.   We had a number of fun whale moments today but one of the best ones was a mother and calf lob tailing together (lifting their tails up and crashing them down onto the water). The mother would throw her tail down with an enormous crash and then the baby would do the same hardly making a splash. Andy caught one of these moments on camera (see attached photo).

Today we also did some sea trials with EarBot, after this expedition I will have four days at home and then Chris and I go to Cabo San Lucas with EarBot to work on a BBC special, so we need to make sure that EarBot is in tip top shape.

 Last but not least I am happy to report that this blog is supported by some amazing photos from Christian Miller and Andy Rogan.

  Best Fishes from the DR.

 Iain

 Iain Kerr

Cell: 978 760 1784

http://www.whale.org

 

 

GO! Whale sightings NOW off the shores of Magnolia #GloucesterMA

Right whales gloucester MA _20180504 visible from shore_074320 ©c ryan.jpg
MAY 4th- Right Whales visible to the naked eye from shore near Gloucester MA end of Long Beach. May 6th and 7th they’re still off shore. Go- see them!

David Vanderhooft writes about his whale sightings May 6 & 7,  2018

He’s counted five total today.

“The whales are around this morning; I saw the spouts around 9:00, relatively farther offshore. Yesterday they were in the vicinity all day, with one cruising between Magnolia and Kettle Island around noon, and all within view of the naked eye. Lots of people with binoculars, telescopes, cameras. As I mentioned in my post, at least one whale has a dorsal fin, which right whales apparently do not.”

Keep to shore!

“Please do remind everyone that it’s a stiff fine if one approaches them. Yesterday there were several kayakers and at least one paddle boarder who went out, and one sailboat too. The lobstermen seem to be observing the rule with care, as I haven’t seen very many.”

I look forward to seeing the Magnolia photographs and hearing more spectator reactions. What a gift this spring. Thanks so much for writing, David.

 

People watching whales from Cape Ann Motor Inn, Long Beach, Rocks

Cape Ann Marina guests can see whales from their rooms! Back home from work and spotted three whales immediately which means that some of the six right whales have been feeding more than ten hours HERE. It’s thrilling! I even saw one head to Salt Island and back. They check in and circle together. Two are lingering off Long Beach on the Gloucester side. When two and three are gliding along, stepped back one by one nearly together in a line, and moving fast, the legendary sea serpent stories did come to mind.

Nearly as much fun are the clusters of whale watchers at the waters edge like schooner race photos of yore. I added a short video with Long Beach cottages and the stretch of sand in the background to give another relational vantage.

Right whale watching from shores Gloucester MA_20180504_102716 ©c ryan (7)

Long Beach video to show relation to sand and seawall–they’re further out now with tide coming in

early morning post began 6:30am

Right whale watching from shores Gloucester MA©c ryan_20180504_103632.jpg

What a show! Whales so close you can hear the blows Gloucester, MA

five right whales visible from shore Gloucester MA©c ryan they are so close you can hear the blows_20180504_084448

 

They’re making a bunch of noise!

2 min video below *apologies for the hand held zoom–trying to share some of this natural wonder

4 whales in this one

Prior post– WHALES 5+ feeding between Salt Island & Long Beach visible from shore now! #GloucesterMA

WHALES 5+ feeding between Salt Island & Long Beach visible from shore now! #GloucesterMA

Update: we spotted five or six right whales at 6:30AM just off the shore between Salt Island and Thacher. They remained feeding in the area for 11+ hours. Two crossed past the Rockport side of Long Beach, and back again. They were surprisingly fast at times! Post was updated during the day with more photos and videos. I hope some photogs with professional lens will be sharing soon.

five right whales visible from shore Gloucester MA May 4 2018©c ryan still from short video.png

30 seconds 4 right whales out of 6 off Gloucester Ma, Long Beach, Twin Lights in backgrounds

 

 

1 min video tracking 1 of 6 right whales

 

 

 

 

How close? This close: here’s another image from an FOB whales out her window!

FOB sent photo in to Good morning gloucester  whales out window IMG_8894.JPG

Is this Atlantic right whale detection app active?

Second post- close up

Third post after work– 3 whales still feeding here 11+ hours later!

https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/people-watching-whales-from-cape-ann-motor-inn-long-beach-rocks/

REMINDER: SNOTBOT LIVE ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SUNDAY!

Iain writes, “Wednesday morning three Gloucester residents left for SE Alaska to conduct research on Humpback whales. Our work is going to be covered live Sunday the 9th. SnotBot is going to be featured in a National Geographic Live TV event called ‘Earth Live’ this Sunday July 9th 8:00 til 10:00 east coast time.

The Gloucester residents are: John Graham, Andy Rogan, and myself. The Paint Factory Robotics lab has been very busy with interns helping us prepare for this expedition. Interns are: Lydia Zuehsow, from Olin College of Engineering, Sam Vinson from Rockport, and Austin Monell from Gloucester all helping out.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/earth-live/videos/earth-live-extended-sneak-peek/

The show will be broadcast in 171 countries and 48 languages. It’s been an exciting year for Ocean Alliance and our Gloucester team, taking the story of innovation and persistence (a historic strength of Gloucester) around the world.”

 

Global local: Adidas consults Ocean Alliance! Can New Balance be next?

From ocean trash to fashion smash.

Ocean Alliance CEO Ian Kerr writes: “I am working on a project with Adidas who are making shoes out of recycled plastic.  I am off to the Maldives Islands where we are intercepting plastic before it reaches the oceans (principally plastic bottles) with a team from Adidas. Ill be sending back posts to the Ocean Alliance website so please check it out.”

For more than four decades, Ocean Alliance has been a global leader dedicated to whale research and ocean health. In 2008 the organization moved its headquarters to one of Gloucester’s landmarks, the Paint Factory (built ca.1880s).  Ocean Alliance http://www.whale.org/

By 2017, Adidas will produce 1 million UltraBOOST sneakers with material made from trash grabbed from the ocean. “Meanwhile, soccer jerseys that use the plastic will be worn by the Real Madrid squad when it plays Real Sporting de Gijón later this month. Eric Liedtke, responsible for global brands at Adidas, claims that the jerseys will be the first to be made completely from materials found in oceans.” Read more Fortune magazine

adidas-fortune-ocean-aliance
Ocean Alliance Gloucester MA helping Adidas Fortune magazine 

 

One hour at a time gang — imagine all those plastic bottle trash pick ups they’ve done! See Donna’s post for details about meeting at Dogtown this week.  Maybe New Balance is working on something similar and a Neptunes Harvest like model.

GMG 2013 post Charting the paths for plastic soup patches of our oceans 

 

Discovery Channel at Ocean Alliance


Ian Kerr Discovery Channel interview ©kim Smith 2014 copyIain Kerr Interview with Discovery

Sunday morning Discovery Channel News was at Ocean Alliance filming a story about SnotBot, the organization’s new drone. The drone was created by a group of Olin College of Engineering students, under the direction of Professor Drew Bennet, in the College’s robotics lab.

Drew Bennet Olin College studentys Snot Bot ©Kim Smith 2014. JPG

“SnotBot will be used to collect DNA, bacteria, viruses and stress hormones from whale blows. The team also tested SnotShot, a machine that makes a simulated whale blow (with the capacity to simulate different blow types) on demand—a testing tool that will actually help the scientists in the field collect a control sample.

Olin College students Snot Bot ©kim Smith 2014

The SnotBot drone works something like this: “as SnotBot flies out to a whale that is approximately 300m from the research vessel, it hovers over a whale and the whale repeatedly blows onto a collection device. After the sample is collected and brought back to the RV Odyssey, the data is used to help interpret an animal’s state of heath through the analysis of bacteria, viruses, DNA, and stress hormones recovered from the whale’s blow.”

Read More from the Olin College of Engineering Website Here

Snot Bot Ocean Alliance Archives Here

Captain Dominic ©Kim Smith 2014Gorgeous View from the Paint Factory of the Captain Dominic Fishing Boat

See More Photos Here

Continue reading “Discovery Channel at Ocean Alliance”

What the Fluke

I will swim with a humpback whale some day.

It’s at the top of my bucket list for sure.

I actually planned a vacation to Costa Rica several years ago for the opportunity to swim with the whales in Drake Bay, but sadly, no whales were in the area during my stay.

I have, however, had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, rays, black tip reef sharks, and manatees.  Each of those experiences are kind of sacred to me.  All are moments that I will never forget.

While swimming with wild marine life may not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you haven’t been on at least one amazing whale watch, you are missing out.  We are incredibly fortunate to have whales not far off our coast for a good part of the year.  I, all kidding aside, sometimes find myself laying awake at night thinking, “I wonder what the whales are doing right now?” Freak meter rating high, I realize, but true nonetheless.

So, today, knowing that the whales have been plentiful for the past several days, we went for a trip with Cape Ann Whale Watch.  How do I know they’ve been plentiful you may ask?  I follow their blog.

I had the opportunity to speak with both long time owners, Nick Danikas and Jim Douglass, in the parking lot prior to the trip.  Both are great guys who are pretty passionate about offering trips that leave guests with memories to last a lifetime.

Likewise, the crew and the naturalists are phenomenal and beyond highly educated on the matter of whales and sea life indigenous to our waters. Their enthusiasm was contagious.  Even the captain, John Karvelas, was excitedly pointing out bubble clouds as they formed on the surface of the water.  Bubble clouds are a method that whales use to trap krill and sand eels in a tight school so that they can emerge, mouths open, and swallow up a giant meal.

Today’s trip was nothing short of amazing.  To begin, we only had to head 11 miles off the Dog Bar Breakwater, which was a treat in itself.  After a short steam, we were literally surrounded by humpback whales.  I’ve been on many whale watches.  Both on local whale watching boats and on smaller private boats. Today’s trip was one for the record books.

Click Here for more information about Cape Ann Whale Watch

Hear are some of my favorite photos from today’s trip.

 

Pod of Whales Spotted off the Gloucester Coast!

breechsplash mouthandbirdKathleen Erickson writes ~

Hi Kim,

If you can, you may want to post these photos I took yesterday off Tilly’s Bank – 24 miles due east of Gloucester Harbor. Everybody wants to see the whales after a down year last year. But, here they are, playful, engaged, and very lively – back again!divetailsunsetWhalePeriscop