Blue Ocean Society's Whale Sightings
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Today on the Prince of Whales, we braved choppy seas and found at least 5-6 fin whales and a couple of minke whales in the 500-foot deep water just to the west of Jeffreys Ledge. To our surprise, a calf surfaced with no adult whale in sight, at least for a few minutes. Then the calf rejoined its mother and began nursing- alternating which side of the mother it surfaced on while getting a mouthful of milk below her. Fin whale calves can drink up to 50 gallons of milk per day! This was the first mother/calf pair of fin whales seen this season! Check out that bright white lower jaw!
We also recognized an old friend, fin whale #9618- a whale we've been following since 1996, and who has been seen by other researchers since 1984!
Join us next weekend for another day on the water and help us find more whales!
We had a beautiful day on the water aboard the Atlantic Queen yesterday. We had several minkes near Old Scantum, a ledge about 15 miles off shore, and then came upon one of our favorite fin whales, "Fjord," who is also one of our adopt-a-whales! I laughed when I saw this whale, because that morning, I had seen our research coordinator Dianna at our monthly beach cleanup, and she jokingly said, "go see Fjord today," and that's exactly what happened!
Fjord is one of our most consistently sighted fin whales. We've seen him (I believe it's a "he," since it's never been seen with a calf) in 12 of the last 13 seasons, so his sighting history with us dates all the way back to 1996. He's consistently sighted early in the season. If you ask researchers at Allied Whale, the curators of the North Atlantic Finback Catalog, they'll tell you he was seen as early as 1981. This makes this whale a minimum of about 34 years old, and he may be much older than that, as fin whales are thought to live at least 80 years.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Join us next weekend for more whale sightings!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Then we searched around quite a while, and as we turned for home ended up finding another whale out on the Ledge. At first we thought it was a fin whale, then it looked too small to be one so we thought it might be a minke. It finally surfaced nearly horizontally, looking very much like a fin whale, so our final call was that it was a juvenile fin whale. Unfortunately, we didn't get a look at the right side of its head (to confirm if it had the white lower jaw characteristic of fin whales), because it dove and was underwater for about 8 minutes and by then it was time to head home.
Overall, a nice day on the water!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
While watching Fjord and his buddies for a while, another familiar friend appeard. A small humpback whale named Sonogram swam past out boat, seemingly on a mission. Sonogram was born in 2004, making it 5 years old this year. This juvenile humpback certainly had places to be and we were lucky to capture these quick images of its back and fluke as it cruised out of the area.
We can't wait until next weekend when we will go back out to the Ledge and see who else is around! Be sure to join us!