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 31, 2011

July 31 Granite State

Tomorrow is August already?? Where does the time go? While time continues to fly by we continue to enjoy the whales that have been on and around Jeffreys Ledge recently. Our morning trip started with 2 Fin whales scooting about the area. They appeared to be heading in a direction we weren't planning on going so we got a couple looks at them before parting ways and continuing further offshore to areas we have been having some luck with finding whales. We spent most of the morning watching more Fin whales as a few of them surfaced for some breaths of air just alongside the boat.

Nice looks as this whale showcases its white lower jaw and swirly chevron pattern

The whales were a bit spread out but that gave us a nice opportunity to watch these animals, get some identification photos, and maneuver to other individuals to determine which whales exactly were focusing their morning efforts in searching for food in the area. A few of the animals have yet to be given identification numbers but we are continuing to see some of the same Fin whales over the course of the season thus far. In the research aspect of all that we do out on the open ocean, these sightings are very exciting for us!

One of our Fin whale we are finding still to be on Jeffreys Ledge over the past few weeks!

We also had a few surprises during our time spent in an area with our last Fin whales of the morning. Close by an Ocean sunfish was meandering through the water and so we ventured on over to get a look at this odd looking fish. Just as we were turning for home we also came upon 2 other Ocean sunfish that appeared to be swimming in unison with each other. Their spacing and swim pattern allowed us to have one of these fish on either side of the boat. Nothing like being sandwiched between two weirdly-shaped creatures of the deep!

One our of Ocean sunfish enjoying the sun as much as all of us on board!

Our afternoon travels took us to an area where we started with one very distinct individual. It was Fin whale #0723. As soon as this whale went on a deeper dive we knew EXACTLY who this whale was. The super unique/distinct/large marking on the left side of this whale is an animal who was first sighted on Jeffreys Ledge in 2007 with this scar pattern looking exactly the same.

The left and right sides of Fin whale #0723

While this series of scars along this whale's body easily helps us to identify this particular Fin whale from other Fin whales, it is an unfortunate reminder that so many of the scars we use to help tell these animal apart from each other are a result of the human impacts we pose on all whales in general. Entanglements in fishing gear and scars from boat propellers, sailboat keels, and other scrapes from boat bottoms are the major threats all whales currently face today. A very sad realization that nowadays the only threats these wild creatures have are ourselves. This is why when all our affiliated Blue Ocean Society whale watching vessels go out to see such amazing wildlife that our captains do an incredible job respecting the space and movements of all the whales we encounter so we can enjoy these species for many years to come.

Check out some of the whales sighted today and all the different scars located on these animals:

Above and below both of these Fin whales have different scar patterns found just beyond their dorsal fins

This whale has a few small markings at the top of its body, potentially from a sheering of a boat propeller

The day continued with a few more Fin whales around, all of which were different from the Fin whales we had seen in the morning! So amazing to think just how many Fin whales were utilizing the productivity of Jeffreys Ledge today with at least 10 different Fin whales sighted during both of our trips!

Fin whale #0828 seen this afternoon

One of the whales we spent some time with actually "left" us a large surprise on the surface of the water... red whale poop! This whale has recently been chowing down on some krill out here!

Dissipating red cloud of whale poop!

The weather was beautiful to spend time on the ocean today and with our excited and inquisitive passengers we had quite the nice day watching whales.

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