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.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 3 Granite State

Jeffreys Ledge sure had its own surprises in store for us today. Unfortunately they weren't quite the surprises we were hoping for. The whales that we've been seeing the past few days almost completely disappeared, or at least scattered immensely. With multiple boats from the New England area searching the whales were nowhere near what has been around. Of course that is also what is very much capable of happening when it comes to dealing with wild animals. They can, and do, move and all we can do is hope we find out where they moved too. As we are always in contact with fishing vessels and other whale watching boats there are eyes all over Jeffreys Ledge and sometimes finding these creatures can be a tad bit challenging.

One of the nice surprises of the day was when we came across a Fin whale quite a bit inshore of Jeffreys Ledge this morning. It is not uncommon to find whales closer to home, but typically we have to go 20 miles before coming across these large mammals. While this whale was inshore, it was definitely on the move and steadily traveling around. We a couple really nice looks especially when the whale crossed just in front of the bow, cruising through the water and waves with such ease. Amazing to see an animal weighing 60+tons just push the ocean aside as it comes to the surface for a breath of air.

Our travels also provided 5 Minke whales and even another baleen whale, a Sei whale, to our morning trip. On our ride home we got reports of whale activity a bit closer to home and in a different direction than where we had traveled this morning so we figured we would give it a go for our afternoon trip.

As we made our way into areas of whale reports this afternoon we did find a Minke whale before making our way over to where our friends aboard the Prince of Whales were. Both of us were awaiting a whale the Atlantic Queen had come across and passed along the news to all of us! There was a Fin whale in the area. This whale was being a bit challenging taking 14-minute, 8-minute, and over 25-minute(!!!) dive intervals. Not only was this whale spending lots of time under the water, it also was sporadically surfacing in all which directions.

Our Fin whale even swimming away from us is still impressive in size!

We did manage a few nice looks before another Minke whale passed through the area. This whale was spending only a few minutes under the water and just gliding through the water so off we went to spend time with this baleen whale!

Minke whale surfacing
As we enjoyed our time with this animal it was also a little tense as both this Minke whale and the Fin whale were in an area where there was a lot of fishing gear in the water. All the buoys on the ocean's surface have lines attached to them, some going all the way down to the bottom of the ocean (around 250ft!) of line the whales must avoid! Whales can easily get tangled in lines as the lines are pretty much invisible to a whale going after all of its food. Thankfully the whole time we watched these animals they avoided these potential dangerous threats; something these whales must do on a daily basis.

Our Minke whale swimming just in front of fishing gear! Luckily this whale did a great job avoiding all the gear in the water during the time we spent in this area.

Thanks to all of our passengers today who joined us for another adventure. Patience was key and we thank you for helping to keep an eye on all of our sightings. Who knows what another day will do to these animals. We will find out once again tomorrow!

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