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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, Granite State

One never knows what to expect when searching for cetacean activity. We left Rye harbor with a little bit of wind, but the seas were not affected much and our passengers faired quite nicely. We had several first time whale watchers aboard today and I was excited to show them what Nature has to offer. We started a little inshore of Jeffrey's Ledge with an adult fin whale. We have a potential ID for this whale, but I want to spend more time comparing photos with our Fin whale catalog. I do not want to misinform anyone. This whale was circling around the boat and feeding deep underneath the water and really gave our passengers an idea as to how small we are in comparison to everything else.

We decided to move on towards Jeffrey's Ledge and I'm sure glad we did. We ended up finding 5 other fin whales in the area and were able to spend time with two of them. I'm happy to report that we positively ID'ed the two that we spent the majority of our time with. These two whales have number patterns associated with them and will hopefully acquire a name sometime soon. It was fin whale #0627 and #0718. Even though these whales were not travelling together we were able to get great looks at both of them. Here is #0627. Just look at the beautiful chevron pattern.

Fin whale #0718 has a distinct notch on the dorsal fin and is photographed below.

As we headed back to Rye, I wondered if the same whales would be around for our afternoon trip so that we would have the chance to spend more time with them. Whales are constantly on the move in search of food, and even though we were marking a lot of food on our fish finder throughout the morning, the whales sometimes have other plans and move to different areas.

As we headed back to Jeffrey's Ledge in the afternoon, we unfortunately were unable to find any whales in shore and it took us a little longer than planned to find whales on Jeffrey's. Our captain spotted the first spout and as the crew looked to the port side to see the whale, it turned out that we didn't have one whale, but 3 adult fin whales! We had found a single and pair of fin whales and before long all 3 joined up together and were swimming side by side. One of the whales was arching it's back to go on a deep dive when I noticed a reddish, brown cloud behind the whale...yep, you guessed it, it was whale poop! We just love whale poop, because it shows us these animals are healthy and feeding even if the feeding behavior is not seen above the surface.

As we continued to watch them, they decided to separate again and we had one whale off our port side and the other two off our starboard side. we were sandwiched in between these whales and they made it easy for all our passengers to get a good idea as to how big fin whales really are. Fin whale #0718 was back in the area and I'm currently going through photos to see if any of the whales from earlier today were there as well.

All in all, a wonderful day on the water. Thank you to all our first time whale watchers for venturing out with us and giving us a chance to share Nature's best!

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