Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Whale washes ashore

It's been decades since I remember a whale sighting in the upper part of the Bay of Fundy. Whales aren't usually attracted to either the Minas Basin or Chignecto Bay sections of Fundy; the water is too silty up here so no whale food to be found. Unfortunately, we usually only see whales up here when they've washed up dead on the beach.

Such was the case at Slack's Cove near Rockport, New Brunswick, this week. A fin or sei whale (about 50 feet/15 metres long) washed ashore in Cumberland Basin, which feeds into the Chignecto Bay section of the Bay of Fundy. Whale researchers hope to determine the cause of death, gender, age and whether the whale is a fin or sei, (by looking in its mouth) before the carcass is disposed of.

Interestingly, dead whales are usually buried rather than allowed to re-float because the tides will just land it on another Fundy beach. Although I've heard of an alternative method of whale disposal....


Anonymous said...

My family & I decided to drive down last night & see the whale that had washed up near Sackville.

We got there around when they were dragging the whale up & digging the hole.

First off, the smell was making grown men gag.. I had my mouth & nose hidden in my coat.

Also, when they rolled it into the hole (ditch, really, that they had made deeper) it made a crunching noise halfway and then it THUMPed when it hit the bottom.

We decided to leave then, as I was about ready to vomit (lol). The rest of the people around me weren't much better.

-Sasha B, from over the border in NS

Terri said...

Hi Sasha, well, yes I probably should have mentioned that this is not quite the type of whale watching that folks enjoy. Sounds tempting but it has been there for a few days....