Discovered a Humpback Whale on the Bold

-- Last Updated: Sep-04-16 9:35 AM EST --

Thursday September 1st, having stayed overnight in the Guest Yurt at Bill Coperthwaite's wonderful sanctuary on Dickerson's Reach near Machaisport, we then head out to Halifax Island, one of the MITA (Maine Island Trail Association) islands, where we enjoyed cranberries, blueberries and wonderful 360 degree views stretching over the Brothers and Libby Islands up past Cutler, Machaisport, and over Roque Island down towards Jonesport. It was a spectacular day with quite benign seas, so we decided to head to the outside of Greater Spruce Island, near Roque Island. There, while photographing a bald eagle, we spotted something else in a very small stretch of cobbled beach between rocks. We went ashore and lo and behold we found a dead male whale. We spent some time with him, took a few pictures, and chanted the Buddhist verses of loving kindness, eventually departing onwards.

That evening, back at our base in Pembroke Maine, we contacted Allied Whale, a whale research unit at College of the Atlantic, to report the sighting of the whale, and learned that they had already heard about this one, as it had been spotted floating in Chandler Bay near Jonesport a few days earlier, and they had also had a later report from a NOAA aerial survey that the whale had landed on the beach. They were pleased to have some pictures, and confirmed that it was a humpback whale, and that they would go out to it in the next few days to get tissue samples to do some DNA analysis, to confirm its identity, as they have a big data base of many whales.

We also sent information to the Marine Mammals of Maine organization, as well as the Downeast Conservancy organisation, local Machais paper, and the Maine Department of Natural Resources, and the Jonesboro offices of Wildlife and Fisheries; and we found out that the Roque Island Gardner Homestead Corporation is the owner of that island and informed them about the whale on their property. We were surprised that there was not much response.

Have pictures if anyone is interested (couldn't figure out how to include them here).