Friends of Fifty Two!

We are excited to announce the team is back, safe and sound, from their expedition on “The Truth.”

All we can say is WOW! It was even better than we hoped for!

Overall, the expedition was a huge success in breaking scientific ground and moving closer to our goal. Most importantly, your support allowed for some of the most passionate filmmakers and scientists to come together in the same room (boat) in pursuit of a common goal.

You’ll have to wait and watch the documentary to see if 52 was found, or not, but we are thrilled to have had such a successful mission at sea, and are excited to share more news with you soon…

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Here are a few of the highlights:

In the words of one of our lead scientists, John Calambokidis :
“The expedition succeeded in finding a major concentration of blue whales despite the warm el Nino conditions, poor weather, and low sightings overall in the Southern California Bight. Close to 100 blue whales were sighted across the multiple days including blue, fin, and humpback whales!
Some new types of tags were deployed including some components never before deployed on whales.
Data is still coming in from some of the whales encountered.
We were able to photo-ID more than 50 individuals of blue, humpback, and fin whales based on the unique individual markings, these are now being compared to Cascadia’s catalog of over 3,000 blue and over 3,000 humpback whales we can track and recognized based on their individual markings.
DIFAR sonobuoys were successfully used to get good directions to both blue and fin whales to identify the callers.”

Marine Biologist Ana Širović, added:
“Like John said, the area we were in was certainly very attractive for baleen whales. Real-time data collection at sea is always a challenge, but despite some bad luck with the weather (including broken plates and spilled milk), we had good luck with the acoustics and collected hours and hours of recordings. We were able to track many blue whale songs, we recorded a large number of their foraging calls, and we also heard fin whales. Certainly the further out we went, the more acoustic activity was recorded. We are continuing our search of the recordings from the cruise, and otherwise, for unique signals…”

On the filmmaking front, Josh and the video team recorded NON STOP- We have amazing footage that we are just starting to go through! We will be rolling out some sneak peeks in the coming weeks as well as clips from the video logs!

On the science front, our researchers will continue to analyze the data and audio recordings in the coming weeks – they have an arduous job ahead of them.

We would like to thank you, as always, for your amazing support of our project. None of this would have been possible without YOU. And remember, all of this is for our united love for the oceans.

It’s hard to believe that such an exciting expedition was only the beginning. We are excited to continue this amazing journey with you by our side.

The Lonely Whale Team