Sea Serpent Whale Watch – 9.5.09

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 10th, 2009

The Saturday, September 5, 2009, Sea Serpent & Whale Watch put on by the Bar Harbor Whale Watch company had a huge turnout.

The morning trip involved 149 people, plus crew, and the afternoon saw 359 new folks go out looking for marine animals. People visited my “sea serpent table” to ask questions about cryptids, and I got to talk to people from Maine as well as tourists, from South Korea to Riverside, California. It was heartening to have so many people sincerely care about cryptozoology, including Bigfoot, interestingly, on these watery trips.

Because of the two recent hurricanes (Bill and Danny), the local whales had been pushed out greater distances than usual to sea. Thus both treks went over fifty miles northeast (“downeast,” it’s called around here), up into the Bay of Fundy, beyond Eastport, Maine. We could easily see Nova Scotia from the boat.

I gave talks on both trips about the history of Sea Serpent sightings in the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy. The casual lectures were received well. The afternoon event also had wildlife artist Dick Klyver on board, telling of his interview with a man who encountered a great serpentine cryptid in Frenchman’s Bay in 2003.

Zack Klyver was the main talking host of both zoological tours, and gave good running accounts of all the animal sightings for the entire eight hours I spent on board. Zack knows his species, and the commentary was neither canned nor boring.

During the morning tour, I also got to meet Cryptomundo correspondent MountDesertIslander and his wife, who revealed themselves to be Bill and Rebecca Edmondson. Friendly and good folks with whom to discuss cryptozoological matters, it was wonderful being able to spend time with them.

They have kindly sent along some photos of the morning event for sharing with other Cryptomundians.

Your humble host doing fieldwork at sea, looking for Sea Serpents.

Bill Edmondson considers going undercover with my Cryptomundo hat.

I do my best imitation of a village idiot next to the beautiful Rebecca Edmondson, hoping no one will think less of Cryptomundo for my comedic efforts.

Bill wears the stylish layered Maine look to keep warm, while I honor one of my sons’ baseball teams with fitting outerwear for the whale watch. (Yes, I’m making fun of past Seinfeld-J. Peterman catalogue episodes.)

A break in the action allowed me to autograph a sea serpent field guide.

See the round patch of flat water, slightly to the right of center screen. That’s a whale’s “footprint,” visible when they dive. No joke. The key to seeing the bigger whales, however, is their spray.

See the whale in the photo here? No? Good, this is just birds.

Okay, there is a whale in this photograph and the next one. This is what you see when a single whale is a bit away from the boat (or ship). And we wonder why people don’t report more Sea Serpent sightings?

From the top deck, we were able to see some dolphins, porpoises, sea birds, and tuna during the morning watch. Of course, the highlight was a semi-close encounter with one lone, juvenile, and very shy minke whale.

This is the way the minke looked upon closer inspection. (This is “Minke Whale at the Shiant Islands” by John Maughan.)

In the afternoon, the sightings of the species were closer and more surprisingly.

I’ve been on a dozen whale watching trips, from Hawaii to New England. During this one, there was a species that I (and most of the people on board) had never seen before at sea: the basking shark (which, of course, is the source for many misidentified sea serpent beachings).

During this whale watch, closeup sightings occurred of four 40 ft long basking sharks observed near our boat, all seen individually. Also, one breached, something even the old members of this whale watch crew had not had a chance to ever witness before.

For most people, the whale watch only became a whale watch when we encountered a pod of three friendly humpback whales, who came over to the boat and investigated the craft and people.

Schools of blue tuna, various seabirds, harbor seals, dolphins, and porpoise were viewed too.

Basking shark.

Basking shark.

Basking shark breaching.

The humpbacks were unafraid of the humans. (“Humpback Whales Iceland” by John Maughan.)

Yes, they were this close.

(The afternoon species are represented above by stock photo examples, which will be replaced with images from the actual trip, if they are forwarded. The morning pictures are supplied by the Edmondsons, and thanks to them for their permission to post them here.)


Coming soon – three days away: There will be a major announcement about the future of the International Cryptozoology Museum. Your donations are needed urgently. You can’t imagine how much they are this time! Please, today, donate, by clicking the following button:

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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

6 Responses to “Sea Serpent Whale Watch – 9.5.09”

  1. MountDesertIslander responds:

    It was a great day. The weather was wonderful, the company grand, and the conversation was everything I hoped it would be.

    I can tell you it was worth the price of admission just to meet Mr. Coleman. This is a good thing as the morning trip was a bit thin on whales. We chased that poor lone Minke around Machias Harbor for almost an hour. The picture above shows about as close as we got.

    In case anyone in Crypto-land is wondering; Loren comes just as advertised. He is an elegant man who took the time to visit or involve himself in conversation with anyone who cared to speak with him. How refreshing it was to find someone who actually lived up to expectations. I can’t wait to go to Portland and visit down there with my new friend.

    Perhaps there will be an announcement soon giving me a reason to drive down?

  2. DWA responds:

    You saw four basking sharks.

    And one of them breached.

    OK, that’s it. The sasquatch, the yeti, bigfoot, Mothman and chupacabras all exist. I’m convinced.

    (FOUR of them.)

    Um, I’m gonna be doing some sasquatch huntin’ on the roads before and after Texas Bigfoot. Um, wanna come along…?

    I am trying to figure out how one could get a sea serpent from a shark sighting. Not there yet.

  3. DWA responds:

    And now I know what MountDesertIslander looks like.

    Shoot, when I can identify all of you, what power I will have! “Um hum, I know he works here. Let me tell you what he BELIEVES….”

    Kidding. Actually, not, just making yet another point for scientific light over uninformed ridicule. Believe me, I’d rather say: you swallow assumptions whole, without evidence. And MDI, what, WORKS for you….?

  4. Shelley responds:

    Is that great hat for sale anywhere? My boyfriend, who has to wear hats because of skin cancer problems, loves the beautiful fish logo that you worked into the front. Can’t wait for the new information about the museum coming up soon!

    The only time we each have been whale watching, nothing showed up at all, so your expedition seems very rewarding. A basking shark is more interesting to see than a whale. I didn’t know they breached! They seem so slow and deliberate.

  5. Quakerhead responds:

    Great to see the basking sharks. A rare sight these days.

  6. mystery_man responds:

    Looks like it was a great day! I would have been going gaga over the appearance of the basking sharks. Lovely creatures.

    It’s also good to see another fellow Cryptomundian with their photos up here. It’s good to be able to put a face to the commenter. It makes it seem somehow more personal and less anonymous. For an internet community that I care about, it’s nice to get that personal touch sometimes.

    I really wish I could have been on this tour. Japan is a little far though. Hey, maybe if I set something like that over here. 🙂 You never know.

    Good to see that the weather was nice and you could see some wonderful animals.

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