So much to sea
A large shark and a whale among sea creatures appearing in St. Margarets Bay waters.
Whether dead or alive, the unusual sea creatures making appearances in St. Margarets Bay keep getting bigger.
A month ago, Blois Colpitts shot a video of a large shark slowly gliding by his dock, and on Labour Day morning Colpitts and his friend Ed Backman were on their way back from an early breakfast when they got a call from a neighbour “around the point” who said there was a whale floating toward their shore.
It looked dead because it had a great big oil slick and a big white blob of intestines, according to Colpitts, a Halifax lawyer.
“They had called DFO and DFO said to make sure it doesn’t hit your beach, because once it hits your beach, you own it. Which was surprising,” he said.
The two set out to see the whale, and found it was getting close to a friend’s shore. They gathered a rope and the three went in Backman’s zodiac to see if they could lasso it before it hit the friend’s beach. The men estimated the length of the dead whale at eight to 10 metres, and though nobody there was a marine biologist, determined it was minke.
“You see all these concerns about ship traffic and whales. Well, from the side of it I would say a propeller hit it, and I would say it was alive (Monday) or the day before and got hit by a larger boat,” Colpitts said.
“We tried to hook it and I was leaning over the boat and grabbed the fin and was holding onto the fin so we could pull it back and it didn’t hit the rocks.”
In the process, Colpitts fell in, right into the grease slick of this whale. He managed to get the rope underneath the tail and got a good knot on it. They hooked the whale to the Zodiac and towed it about a kilometre to the back side of Wedge Island, which took half an hour.
After being almost close enough last month to touch the shark he estimated at six metres long and “big in the nose,” and now after the whale encounter, Colpitts is wondering what’s next.
“We used to see a lot of porpoise, a lot of seals and we would see the odd small whale that looks like a porpoise, and we used to see them a lot more regularly in our cove,” he said.
“But this season has been out of the ordinary. Like the other day, we saw 50 porpoises in our cove, a pod of them chasing the mackerel.”
St. Margarets Bay residents look at a dead whale that floated toward the shoreline on Monday.