OCTOBER 22, 2009
22 / 10 / 2009
Off of Île Rouge, in the middle of the Estuary, we find Blue in a herd of some 80 individuals. After a half hour of tracking, we attempt a biopsy on one of the individuals in Blue’s herd. The bolt on the arrow hits the animal, but doesn’t penetrate deep enough for us to obtain samples of the skin or subcutaneous blubber. We’re out of luck! A biopsy was taken from Blue in 2001, which is how we determined its sex.
Manoeuvring a boat and collecting a biopsy from a moving target is no small task. With practice, we’ve managed to attain a success rate of over 80%. All the same, when we do miss our target, there’s always a feeling of disappointment on the boat. These data are invaluable and such opportunities don’t happen every day. We head back toward Tadoussac in the snow. This was our last day on the water this year.