“Rosita” – Voyage of Discovery
Where are we going?
“The first thing we learnt in looking at the whale literature for old right whaling grounds and seasons and at the pilot charts for sailable weather zones was that right whales never read the pilot charts. Cape Farewell off Greenland and Iceland are not places to cut your teeth in a sailboat. So we tried to compromise between likely weather and potential for right whale encounters. What resulted was plan for a mad dash to Ireland in May. Survey there in June and off the Hebrides in July. A bolt to the Azores before the Autumn gales take hold in Western Europe, then some island hopping: Madiera, Canaries, Cape Verdes by Christmas. Ideally we would visit Cintra Bay in the Western Sahara, a known old wintering grouind, but the liklihood of returning from there unscathed is low. So then we had a choice of back to the Azores or on around the circle. A further look at the pilot charts convinced us that people go to the Caribbean in the winter for good reasons, so we will too, and then on up to Bermuda in the Spring, where there are hopes for more right whales. If we are still in one piece by then we’ll then head for Newfoundland and Labrador for the second summer before home and school and work. in the Fall of 2001.”
“A couple of years ago Hannah and I realized that if we were ever to spend a chunk of time in a boat with our children, the time was nigh. Oliver is now 14, Sam 13, Chris 10 and Tom 8. Any later and wings will be sprouting. The buds of revolt are already evident.”
“Neither of us have much time for cruising for cruising’s sake. We have to have a mission. Over the past 8 years or so I have become increasingly involved in northern right whale conservation issues. The known habitats of Georgia and Florida in the winter, Massachusetts in the Spring and Nova Scotia/ New Brunswick in the summer, do not account for all the whales all of the time, by any means. Where are the others is the question? Essentially we are looking for a few remaining right whale needles in the North Atlantic haystack. Needle isn’t exactly a good descriptor for these rotund leviathans, but you get the idea.” – Michael Moore
Michael Moore (WHOI), the “Crew”, his family, and the “Rosita” explored the North Atlantic Ocean in search of the Northern Right Whale. This was a long term, 15 month, voyage with data, personal communications and high interest information.
Plot their positions and their sightings. Where were the cetaceans? Is there a pattern to the distribution?