Thursday, July 05, 2007

Whales and Caplin

Update: It seems someone has sent my pics to CBC's weather broadcast. I had sent them in larger format to a few family and friends, and through email got circulated. They looked good on tv.

What a show a couple of whales put on at Middle Cove Wednesday evening. Caplin, a favorite fast food of whales, have been seen out there, ready to spawn as they do each year. But between the gulls, people and whales it's a challenge for them.
Whales follow them, and even in near shore whales will swim through a school of caplin to gulp hundreds at a time.

Timing was crucial yesterday as hundreds of people gathered on the beach and hilltop of Middle Cove to see nature's food chain in action with a front row view. It was dramatic as at least two whales could be seen coming in from further out to sea, their backs periodically rising above the waves, as they approached their prey.
As the whales swam closer to the caplin, and to shore, there were ripples on the surface of the water, that was caplin breaching, seconds before they were literally flipped over by whale flippers. People could see a silvery flash as many caplin flew through the air at that instant. It was interesting to witness for a couple of reasons. The rare opportunity to see whales feeding was exciting, awe-inspiring, sort of suspenseful at times, especially since it was as close as 100 or so feet from shore. People could see the surface water move, then a flourish as whales pounced and fed. Still the sight was graceful before and after the feeding, as these giant living creatures casually made an appearance then smoothly slid beneath the surface.

It was also interesting because it was like a live show, where people could be heard from a hilltop cheering. Finally, in about a half hour the number of people and cars grew to at least double the size. It was probably a telling sign that this is 2007 and many people are passing the word on by cell phone. The traffic jam was bound to happen. But it was worth the show.

To see more beautiful places in Newfoundland and Labrador visit here and here.


Table Mountains said...

nice writeup! i enjoy reading things such as this. the capelin made an appearance here about a week ago but it looks like you got to witness a better show.

kodak said...

Thanks table. I was lucky to be there at that time. No such luck this evening though, whales were out there but too far offshore, but there seemed to be lots of caplin later in the evening.

nadinebc said...

Great shots!

kodak said...

Hi Nadine, thank you.