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
Shelley Lonergan - Chief Naturalist
Chief Naturalist and Research director, Shelley Lonergan is originally from the small community of West LaHave on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Having grown up near the water, whales and other marine life became Shelley’s obsession from a young age. It was this passion that led her to her first whale watching adventure in 1989 where she encountered her first whale and was “hooked” into a lifetime of research and education. Her photography background and data recording skills led her to a volunteer position which further led her to the full time position she holds today.
Data collected has been used in various cetacean research papers, two of which she was co –author. Shelley’s ability to immediately recognize individual humpback whales makes her a well sought-after naturalist on every whale watch cruise. This ability is essential in the study of humpback whales which she has participated and led for over 30 years.
This passion also led her to establish Fundy East Whale Rescue, a group of volunteers dedicated to the rescue of marine mammals. Shelley is also involved in the community and is a volunteer Medical First Responder with the Westport Volunteer Fire Department
Cindy Garron - Naturalist
Alison Conley - Naturalist
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
Captain Trevor Moore
Rebecca Moore - Naturalist
Emily Martens-Oberwelland - Naturalist
Emily Martens-Oberwelland is a marine biology student at Dalhousie University. She has had a love for whales since a very young age – though she grew up on a farm in rural Ontario, thousands of kilometers from any ocean. She will gladly talk about her passion with you and answer any of your questions!