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, September 11, 2011

September 11 Granite State

On a day that has changed the lives of all of us it was that much more meaningful to have the chance to watch some of nature's finest throughout our trips today. We had quite the sightings, both during our morning and afternoon trips, truly showcasing just how spectacular wildlife can be. This morning we were fortunate to find Right whales engaged in a social activity only this species seems to exhibit especially in our part of the Atlantic Ocean. Known as a Surface Active Group, these whales are known to frolic with each other rolling all around, creating quite the disturbance of water even from a distance, as the whales breathe, roll over, lift their tails, and do it all over again in a kind of "dance."

We also were lucky to find a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins today. There were about 20 of these whales making their way through the water together. With a bit of wave action we were dealing with on the boat, these animals definitely didn't mind as they were changing course constantly swimming from one wave to the next and back again. Definitely a nice find and some nice looks at these toothed-whales.
This afternoon we had another type of "dance" from a Humpback whale that was putting on quite the show. This whale was originally sighted by a fishing boat on their way home from the day and was spotted by the major splashing it was creating on the surface of the water. We weren't far from the report so we made our way over and even from a distance it was incredible to watch this animal raise its tail high above the surface of the water and smack in down over, and over, and over again. This animal continued on with this behavior until just before we got to the area, but again even having witnessed this activity in general was wonderful. Once we were close the whale changed up its behaviors and started to flipper slap! Instead if bringing the back half of its body above the water this whale was rolling over on its side and belly lifting its extremely large flippers above the surface. Wow.

Patches bright white flippers that probably reach lengths of 15ft and weigh almost 1-ton each!

After a little bit of time watching this animal roll around and go on a few deeper dive we were able to identify this whale as Patches, a whale first sighted in 1980, and one that is at least 31 years old! We had found an adult whale. Patches was seen last year on Jeffreys Ledge but this is its first appearance to our area this season so we are thrilled to have this animal around.

The dorsal fin (above) and tail (below) of Patches
After the initial activity this whale was showcasing for all our passengers on board today little did we know we were in for one more treat. Out of nowhere this whale jumped completely out of the water! It only breached once but boy was it intense to see a large adult Humpback whale sky-rocket its body into the air and crash back on the water. What a sight.

Not a bad way to spend the day today. Thanks to all of our passengers who joined us. It was a very special day in more ways than one.
Keep in touch!Become a Fan on Facebook || Follow Us On Twitter

No comments: