Provincetown, MA– Patrick Clarke of Provincetown woke up early Sunday morning to capture video of the sunrise with his drone. He would not have predicted that a North Atlantic right whale would make an appearance in the film.
Clarke is the owner of Cape Clasp, a company that makes bracelets and other products and which donates 15% of its profits to a marine life preservation organization. Clarke went out for a morning walk and sent his drone up into the air. MSN reported on his reaction to seeing the whale.
He said, “The ocean was really dark at first, and then the whale found a sandbar and all of the sudden it was super clear. And then he did that roll… It was really just a chance encounter, I feel very blessed that it happened.”
The rare North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered species, with little more than 400 left. They are known to swim through the waters near Cape Cod during this time of year. Jennifer Goebel, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stated, “Right whales are returning to our waters to feed and mate. They are in northern waters in spring, summer, and fall.” Clarke's right whale was spotted not too far from Provincetown’s Race Point Beach.
Right whales on the Cape are at risk of getting entangled in lobster lines or colliding with boats. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sends out warnings frequently to make sure that locals are aware of the whales' presence.
Back to Clarke’s adventure: Clarke recorded the sighting and shared the video to social media on Sunday evening. By Monday morning, the one-minute video was viewed approximately 20,000 times via Instagram, and about 33,000 times via Facebook.
Clarke concluded, “I was trying to be respectful of the creature and its space, but I also wanted to capture a beautiful moment.” He made sure that his drone kept a safe distance so that it did not disturb the animal.
A mother and calf pair were also spotted off the Cape this weekend – the first known right whale calf of the season.