Blue Ocean Society's Whale Sightings

Greetings! Thanks for visiting our blog. Our staff and interns will be posting their experiences here working on whale watch boats in NH and MA.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24 Granite State

The ocean conditions were about as good as you can get, almost lake-like conditions, for most of the day today! As for the whales, just as it seems to continue to be, we had two trips today and both were quite different from one another.

Our morning trip started out with a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. There were 10 animals in this group as you could count them under the water as they remained so close to each other (and to the boat!) a few times.Even with a smaller pod of these whales they weren't speeding through the water in any particular direction so we enjoyed our time as they kept showing up on either side of the boat.

Both dolphins and boats alike were out on Jeffreys Ledge searching for fish today!

We continued further offshore as our visibility and super calm waters made conditions ideal for sighting whales. We ended up coming across Hornbill the Humpback whale next. This animal was spending 9-10 minutes under the water and constantly changing direction when at last it returned up to the surface. With a little patience and a little luck we were able to get some really nice looks at this large adult whale as it swam around on Jeffreys Ledge.

Since Hornbill was being a little bit "squirmy" we decided to check out some other areas of Jeffrey Ledge. Turns out the next whale we sighted was on the way in and was a super cooperative Minke whale.

The dorsal fin of our Minke whale

This whale surfaced 8 times close to the boat before going on a deeper dive, just circling around our vessel, allowing for some awesome looks at sometimes a skittish species to watch.

Can you see the "Minke Mittens?" They refer to the white patch on each flipper, or the greenish sheen seen just under the water as this whale surfaces for a breath of air

What a nice treat to end our morning trip with as we also ended up passing a few Harbor seals too on our travels back home!

This afternoon we came across a Fin whale first. With just a sequence of looks at this animal above the surface we quickly realized who this was. It was #0622, a whale seen just yesterday morning in a slightly different location of Jeffreys Ledge!

The lower white jaw of #0622 as it begins the process of going on a deep dive

This animal wasn't traveling all that far during the time it was under the water so everyone on board was able to really appreciate just how large these mammals are since this whale surfaced many times close by our boat!

The left and right sides of #0622

Not only did we get some nice looks at this animal but just before leaving the area we saw this whale poop! A bright patch of red "muck" suddenly appeared on the surface of the water where this whale had just passed through. The defecation was red in color meaning #0622 had recently been feeding on krill. The more you eat the more you need to get rid of excess waste and that's exactly what this whale was doing!

The water "stained" red; aka. whale poop!

We got word from our friends on the Atlantic Queen that Hornbill was still around the Ledge so off we went searching for a different species. This Humpback whale was circling around the area probably trying to corral some of the fish underneath the water as we were seeing patches on our fish finder under the boat. Such a nice comparison to see two different baleen whales utilizing Jeffreys Ledge and the productive grounds of this habitat.

Hornbill's dorsal fin (above) and tail (below)

We will back out on the water tomorrow so come and join us for a trip offshore in search of marine life of all types!

Keep in touch!Become a Fan on Facebook || Follow Us On Twitter

No comments: