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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 22, Captain's Lady III, Newburyport

 Today was a little bit of a rough day in terms of the sea conditions but all in all, it turned out to be fantastic! As we neared Jeffreys Ledge, we were greeted by a couple of minke whales. These "little" whales (20-30 feet) were a bit elusive but we managed to see them several times. We then received reports from some of our fisherman friends of bigger whales not too far away. We pressed on and finally spotted a spout and a fluke!  Humpback whales!

The first humpback whale we saw was our old friend Satula. Satula was first seen in 1988 and has been seen nearly every year since 1996 (when our data collection/research began). He is distinctive due to his lack of a dorsal fin.
Satula's missing fin
  As we watched him, we saw a second spout nearby.This was Pinball! Both Pinball and Satula are Adopt-a-Whales with our organization! Although Pinball was a bit aloof today, we did get a few looks at her before she disappeared into the haze.

Suddenly, more humpback whales appeared. Two whales quickly turned into five! A trio of humpbacks surfaced close by. Where they came from was anyone's guess. Upon watching a few spouts from the group, we quickly realized that we were witnessing a pretty special sighting- a mom and her new calf!! The mom was identified as Spar, a 25 year-old who is seen sporadically on Jeffreys Ledge. This is her 6th calf that we know of.   

The whale accompanying Spar and her little one was Geometry, a 16-year-old male. Geometry is also not a regular visitor to our area although we have seen him a few times.  Just as quickly  as Spar and her calf, and Geometry came into the area, they left and we never saw them again! Sneaky whales! We waited for Satula or Pinball to resurface. The ocean seemed eerily quiet. Then out of no where, Satula breached, clearing the water nearly completely! It was incredible and the first time I have seen this familiar guy do that! I hope most of our passengers were able to see it! Breaching is something that humpbacks are known to do, but a behavior we rarely see!  


We got one more look at Satula and then decided it was time to head back in. The seas calmed down and our trip back to Newburyport was beautiful. We hope to see you all back on the water with us soon!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was an amazing day of beautiful whale sightings for the group of children and adults with you. We thank you for taking great care of us and after all of the seasickness down below, the children are mostly talking about the incredible whales and how much fun they had. Thank you!