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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26- Prince of Whales

Today was our last whale watch for a few days as hurricane/tropical storm Irene is quickly approaching.

Variety was the game today with 5 different species of whales as well as a quick look at a blue shark! A minke whale began the trip. This "small" 25 foot whale was surfacing frequently, showing us its pointed nose. Atlantic white sided dolphins were seen next. This small pod was busy feeding so we continued on.
Atlantic white sided dolphins

Soon we saw some more splashes. Pilot whales!! These whales used to be seen frequently in the late summer/fall, but have been MIA the past few years. Typically, pilot whales feed during the night and are a bit more lazy at the surface during the day but today was the exception. This pod of 15 was on the move and very difficult for us to keep up with!
Pilot whales

As we tried to keep up with the pilot whales, we saw a couple of spouts in the distance. These were fin whales! We tried to get a few looks but these large whales were also on a mission.

Fin whale

Soon, we ran out of time and began to head for home, but this was when our trip really started to get good- a familiar fin whale, Fjord, surfaced on our ride home!
Fin whale, Fjord

Again we decided to keep on to the west when a larger pod of dolphins appeared. These were much more social than the small pod we saw early in the trip. The dolphins were surfing the wake and even jumping out of the water!

Time to go home...again...and of course we spotted more spouts to the west! These were sei whales- another not-common species for Jeffreys Ledge! Though we have been seeing sei whales frequently for the past few weeks, they typically are only seen on about 5% of our trips!
Sei whale spout

Sei whale dorsal fin
Now we were really running late and had to turn west yet again. We did pass by a minke whale on the ride in but otherwise the ocean was quiet. What a great day filled with variety! We are all wondering what the storm will bring, and how the wind and seas will affect the marine life on the Ledge. Looking forward to Tuesday when we can get back out there!

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