Related Areas of Study

Learning to identify whales, you’ll also learn a lot about yourself. The weather can alternate between breezy and freezing, you must eliminate all distractions, and depending on your personality, it’s either lonely or perfect.

Then, movement on the horizon, and we learn that a single whale’s journey could be longer than we thought possible.

Long time no see!

On a nice tropical day in late February, Maurina De Wulf went on a whale watching trip from the town of Samana in the Dominican Republic. As a whale enthusiast, Maurina collected fluke photographs of the whales she saw that day and submitted them to the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog. One of those whales was just identified as na3044. 

Photo: Maurina De WulfPhoto: Maurina De WulfThe last time that whale was seen, Jimmy Carter was president, Mount St. Helens had just erupted, and Abba was jockeying with David Bowie at the top of the music charts. 35 years elapsed in between without the whale being sighted. It would be fascinating to know where it has been.

Photo: Jon Lien, Memorial University of NewfoundlandPhoto: Jon Lien, Memorial University of Newfoundland

This resighting not only covers many years, but also many miles. The 1980 sighting was made in Bonavista Bay, off the east coast of Newfoundland, about 2,000 miles from the Dominican Republic. That photo was taken by Jon Lien, a pioneer of non-lethal whale study and a great friend and mentor to many of us at the NAHWC. He passed away some years ago, and it is wonderful to see his labor still bearing fruit.