This morning, I received a call from Julie Albert, who is in charge of the local Right Whale Monitoring Program. They spotted a Right Whale swimming south of Melbourne Beach. This specific Right Whale was tangled with commercial fishing lines, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation people were trying to remove them from her. They connected a couple of buoys to the Whale to try to slow it down, but that didn't seem to work, at least for the time we were observing it. They also had a spotter plane keeping track of the whale. I was able photograph this Right Whale with one buoy connected to it and a V-shape Blow. This whale was swimming about 3 MPH in a south east direction. Their normal speed is usually 1 mph. As you can see from my pictures, this whale was pretty far from the shore line. (See Reference Links below for link to Arnold's web site with photos of Right Whale rescue event.)
Earlier this month, I had received a notice from the aforementioned Julie Albert, Right Whale Program Coordinator for the Marine Resources Council, describing their new blog (see Reference Links below), upcoming classes, and the first Right Whale sighting of 2011 on January 4. For those readers local to Brevard County, there are classes and opportunities to help in the monitoring program. (I don't yet know what happened to the Right Whale in jeopardy, but I expect it will be discussed in the MRC blog and I'll update this post then.)
My thanks to Arnold for sharing his experience and his photos with us. Be sure to read the "About Me" section of Arnold's web site. He describes trying to improve his photos via PhotoShop, but finally decided he just needed to take better pictures to start with! He's an officer in the Camera Club of Brevard and has won numerous prizes and awards in recent years.