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, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13 on the Atlantic Queen

Fin Whale

What a fantastic day - we saw 19 whales and a shark!  There were blows everywhere - our summer intern, Zelia, and I were amazed at how many whales we were seeing right near us, and how many were off in the distance!

We started off our afternoon watching Sei whales circling and zig-zagging through the water in search of prey. These whales have a very distinctive, sickle-shaped dorsal fin, which is one way we can distinguish them from a fin whale. They are also slightly smaller than fin whales. In total, we saw 14 Sei whales on today's trip!

Sei Whale

Sometimes, we could follow the Sei whales by their flukeprints!
As we watched the Sei whales feed, a smaller dorsal fin appeared - a shark!  It appeared to be a small basking shark, meandering along the surface, likely feeding on the high concentrations of plankton that had also drawn the Sei whales to the area.

Basking Shark
Then we saw an even bigger blow out in the distance - it turned out to be a huge fin whale, who was also feeding at the surface! Several times we got to see much of its gigantic head as it lunged toward the surface. Over the trip, we were lucky enough to see 3 more fin whales.

Fin Whale, showing its distinctive white lower jaw
Fin Whale
Then we saw more blows in the distance, and a tail - a humpback whale!  It was Striation, the 4-year old calf of Pepper. Striation was obviously feeding on krill - indicated by the bright red whale poop that followed almost every time this whale lifted its tail!

With calm seas and warm weather, the day couldn't have been much better. Thanks to all who joined us!

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