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, July 31, 2013

July 31 Captain's Lady III

What a perfect day for watching whales!! Clear skies and calm seas. Today we headed southeast, past Cape Ann in search of whales. The ride was longer than we liked, but what can we do- the whales are where they are and we have absolutely no control over that! But our long ride was well worth it! We passed by several minke whales and found a few humpback whales and fin whales!

The first humpback whale we saw was our friend, Pinball! She has certainly been the star of this season so far- we have seen her on at least 20 different days!  But today was unlike any other so far this summer. Pinball was quite active: flicking her tail, trying to tail-breach, surfacing close by and even rolling a little at the surface!  We all got some incredible looks at this Adoptable Whale  as she seemed to be attracted to the boat.
Pinball diving
Pinball's unique flukes
Pinball coming by closely!
Pinball surfacing in front of us!

 Also in the area with Pinball were a couple of minke whales and a fin whale! The first fin whale cruised by and we got only a fleeting glance at it. The identity of this one is still pending.
Fin whale
Another humpback whale, Nile, was seen close by! Nile has been in the area for quite some time now and it was great to see her, and Pinball, blowing clouds of bubbles to capture their food!  Both Nile and Pinball are adult females. We hope to see them with new calves soon!
 In the meantime, several northern gannets were seen soaring overhead! Gannets are the largest seabirds in the area with a 6-foot wingspan!
Northern Gannet
 We spent some time with a second fin whale- this one's ID eluded me but after checking the catalog, I can be sure to say this is #0904- a fin whale first seen by Blue Ocean Society researchers in 2009, and who has been seen on Stellwagen Bank by other researchers from Provincetown, MA! Althought this whale has a large injury to its back, it appears to be doing fine and healing well as it has had the issue for at least 4 years. Our colleage in P'town calls this one "Lightning".
Fin whale #0904
I can't be sure to say what caused this injurt but it is likely from a collision with a boat. To all you boaters out there- please be careful when navigating near whales. The whales are frequently focused on feeding, and don't always pay attention to the ever-present noise of boats in their habitat.

Although we returned home a little later than expected, we had an incredible trip that will not be forgotten for a long time! Thanks to all of our understanding and enthusiastic passengers!

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