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.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23 Prince of Whales

We had two great trips on the Prince of Whales today! 

Our morning departure found us lots of minke and fin whales and even a humpback whale!  We began by coming across a group of about 5 minke whales all surfacing around the boat! Minkes can be elusive at times but this group was fantastic! Check out this unique dorsal fin!
Minke whale
  As we pressed on, we spotted a blow in the distance. One blow turned into 2.....which then turned into 4!!! Four fin whales all moving and diving together! It was picture-perfect!  And to make this sighting even better, we knew two of the whales in the group: our good friend Ladder and #0331!
Blows of 2 fin whales

Fin whale #0331

Ladder, one of our favorite fin whales!
We are still working on the other 2 ID's as well as another 2 fin whales seen on the periphery.

As we were watching the group of huge fin whales, we noticed another blow not too far away. This turned out to be a humpback whale! However the humpback wasn't being all that cooperative for our purposes so we only caught a quick look at the whale going down.

The afternoon trip brought us some more fin whales, minkes and humpbacks! The first blow we saw belonged to what we assumed was an "uncooperative whale"- we only saw the blow once! As we got closer, we saw it again. Soon we realized why the whale was so uncooperative. It was sleeping! When whales and dolphins sleep, they rest just half of their brain at a time so they are never completely asleep like we are. Half of their brain is always awake, keeping the whale aware of its surroundings and letting it know when it needs to surface to breathe. Even though this whale was aware of us, it didn't seem to care at all that we were near. Several times it actually came closer to us, even passing right under our bow as we sat idle. It is always a humbling sight to have the second largest species on Earth visit us!
Fin whale surfacing close!
As we left the whale to catch a few z's without us pestering it, we spotted a couple more blows in the area. More fin whales. These whales were less than cooperative but as we tried to get looks at them, our friends on the Atlantic Queen and Starfish informed us of a pair of humpbacks close by.


Crystal coming in for a hull inspection

Pumpkin Seed
The humpbacks were Crystal, the 1980 calf of Salt, along with Pumpkin Seed, a whale first seen in 2002.  These two were together at first but then separated. While we watched them blow bubble clouds to catch their fishy prey, a few minke whales were also seen darting around the area!

Such a beautiful day on the Ledge- thanks to everyone for coming out with us today and experiencing a small piece of nature!

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