Each cruise benefits from experienced well trained and friendly personnel with Marine Emergency Duty and First Aid Certificates. The cruises are piloted by professional, licensed captains, including Harold Graham who has over 50 years experience navigating the Bay of Fundy and 30 years experience working with the whales. Professional guides and researchers make each cruise informative and educational.
The cruises are fully narrated by experienced naturalists including Shelley Lonergan who has over 25 years experience researching whales. Also employed are a marine biologist and local naturalists. We also welcome volunteers from around the globe.
Scroll down to meet the crew members. Click their name bars to read about them.
Captain Harold Graham
Harold, founder and president of Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, was born and raised on Brier Island. Having lived by the Bay of Fundy he pursued a career in the fishing industry and has over 50 years experience navigating the Bay of Fundy. He also has over 30 years experience working with the whales. He and other researchers from the Eastern seaboard of the USA realized the importance of the Bay of Fundy to the Gulf of Maine cetaceans and began to monitor their presence here in 1984. Because of public interest in the work that they were doing, Harold decided to start the first whale watch company in southwest Nova Scotia. Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises was formed in 1986 and commenced providing a means to see the whales. The whale watch also provides the funding needed to continue with the ongoing research which is such an important part of Brier Island Cruises.
In 1987, Harold was awarded a Certificate of Merit at the Nova Scotia Environment awards in appreciation of outstanding service in the protection of the environment.
Harold is well qualified and holds all necessary certificates through Transport Canada to ensure your safety on the Bay of Fundy. He is also very knowledgeable of the marine life. When not whale watching, he is still on board the boat, the Mega Nova, as Captain while lobster fishing during the winter months.
Captain Jamie Swift
Jamie has been whale watching on the Bay of Fundy for over ten years and has been a Captain with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises since 2007. Jamie is well acquainted with the Bay of Fundy and its inhabitants, having fished in the scallop and lobster industry for over 30 years. Jamie can be found on our Zodiac™ during the whale watching season. He thoroughly enjoys being out on the Bay with the whales and will share his expertise with you.
Jamie is well qualified and holds all necessary certificates through Transport Canada to ensure your safety on the Bay of Fundy.
Captain Roy Small
Captain Roy joined the Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises’ team in 2016 and has proven to be a great asset. He is not new to the whale watching industry or the Bay of Fundy itself, having lobster fished its waters for 26 years. He has been in the whale watching circuit for over 10 years and possesses a vast knowledge of the whales and pelagic birds that inhabit the Bay of Fundy. Not only that, but he thoroughly enjoys the whales and is just as excited to see them as his passengers. Captain Roy is one of our two Captains of the Mega Nova. He possesses all certificates that are required by Transport Canada to ensure your safety on your whale watching cruise.
Shelley Lonergan - Chief Naturalist
Whales have always been Shelley’s passion since she was a little girl. It was this passion as well as her photography background that led her to the Bay of Fundy for her first whale watch. From the moment she saw her first fin whale on July 7, 1990, she was hooked! She became a volunteer with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, which led to a full time position in 1993. In 1996, she was promoted to Chief Naturalist and Research Coordinator.
The research is what makes her job exciting. Knowing the humpback whales through photo identification is her specialty and she will share that information with you. She states, “Every spring we wait for the first humpback, and like my colleague Rosie says, it’s like waiting for the first robin of spring. I can’t imagine doing anything but this. It continues to be a passion and I foresee that it always will be!”
Cindy Garron - Naturalist
Cindy was brought up in Whale Cove, Digby County, a small fishing hamlet on the Bay of Fundy. Cindy is well acquainted with the Bay of Fundy, having been brought up by a family who has been in the fishing industry for generations. Cindy is well versed in the marine life of the Bay as well as its fishing practices. Cindy holds a certificate in Fishing Masters IV. Cindy has been a naturalist with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises since 2011. She enjoys the work that she does, especially sharing her knowledge with the public.
Alison Conley - Naturalist
Alison has been a naturalist with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises since 2011. Originally from a farming area in rural southeastern New Brunswick, she moved to Nova Scotia to attend Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Throughout the course of her degree various employment and volunteer opportunities led her to work with phytoplankton, ocean profiling, sea floor video analysis, aspects of aquaculture, and marine mammal study. In 2012 she earned her Bachelor of Science degree majoring in combined marine biology and oceanography. With a passion for everything from plankton to whales she will happily discuss any and all marine life as well as various oceanic processes.
Tania Campbell- Naturalist
Bio to come
Camilla Ryther - Naturalist
Camilla is a marine biology student at Dalhousie University. She is working towards her Bachelor of Science honours degree and is doing her co-op placement with Brier Island Cruises as a naturalist for Summer 2017. She grew up on a farm in a town located on Georgian Bay, Ontario and decided that working on the water is what she wanted to do.
Her passions include marine conservation and ecology. Specifically, she is interested in studying shark populations as they are crucial for marine ecosystems as well as educate the public on issues including overfishing. She always has a smile on her face and is eager to share her knowledge and love for whales and other marine life of the Bay of Fundy with you!
Claire Attridge - Naturalist
Claire is a recent addition to Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, joining us this year in 2017. Having grown up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, she moved to Nova Scotia for schooling at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Through her class work, employment, and volunteering, she has experience with outdoor guiding, science education, and marine mammal studies. She is working towards a Bachelor of Science honors degree with a major in marine biology. Planet Earth – Ocean Deep being her movie of choice, Claire will gladly discuss any of the wild and strange creatures you can find in the ocean depths, from coccolithophores to whales and everything in between.