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, June 26, 2013

June 26, Captain's Lady III

The heat followed us all the way out to Jeffreys Ledge today. Even offshore, with no breeze at all, the temperature was unusually high.  But the seas were glass-calm which is rare for the North Atlantic!

We found a few minke whales on our way out to the Ledge. One was thinking about giving us the slip until it reconsidered and surfaced nearby for several breaths.

A bit further offshore, Captain Chris spotted a blow. This turned out to be our friend Satula, the humpback whale! Satula has been in the area for a couple of weeks now and today was pretty mellow. He would surface for a couple of breaths, lift his tail just barely, and then surface for another couple of breaths before going under on a deeper dive. At one point he surprised us by tail breaching (throwing his back half out of the water)! And soon after, he kicked his tail back when diving down! Fun stuff, Satula!
 Also in the area near Satula was some fishing gear- possibly used by the lobster industry. Satula repeatedly swam right next to these buoys, making me nervous that he may become entangled in the line from the buoy down to the traps/gear on the ocean floor. The vast majority of humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine have scars/signs of prior entanglements, and I must say, those are the lucky ones...the ones that managed to survive. Entanglements in fishing gear is a huge problem for whales even though the government has enacted many rules to attempt to make the gear more "whale-friendly".  We are seeing more and more entangled whales each year on Jeffreys Ledge in spite of all the new rules and regulations that the fishermen have to adhere to. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know that for me personally, I am very picky about what types of seafood I consume and which fisheries I support.
Satula diving close to fishing gear

On our way back to Newburyport, we swung wide to cover an area where a fin whale had been reported, but unfortunately, we were unable to relocate it. Maybe tomorrow...

Thanks to our wonderful, supportive passengers today for your curiosity and interest!

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