|Minke "A", with notches in its fin|
|Minke "B"- check out that cool marking!|
|Minke nose poking out!|
Our afternoon trip was pretty awesome, if I do say so... The variety of life near the Ledge always surprises and amazes me. Thanks to the excellent observation skills of our volunteer, Cyncy, we got to spend some time with a loggerhead sea turtle! These turtles are rare in our area and not often seen at all. This was the FIRST loggerhead I've personally seen in this area in 19 seasons. (Wow- 19 seasons....I must have started my career when i was 6 :) Loggerheads are threatened in the western North Atlantic, and endangered in the eastern North Atlantic. Although the lifespan isn't known, we know they reach maturity at 35 years old! This one had some algae on its carapace (shell) which is not unusual.
Before we checked out the minke whales, a young harbor seal pup was seen in the area. Usually adult harbor seals are skittish and shy, but this youngster had no fear and was checking us out! So cute! But remember if you see a seal on land, keep away from it! Not only are they federally protected but they will also bite!
Finally we broke away from this curious critter and went in search of the whales. We found a total of 5 minke whales this afternoon. We are trying to learn more about these poorly studied whales by documenting the individuals as best we can in order to create a catalog of local minkes. By doing so, we can learn more about the population and its trends.
|Minke with pointed fin|
|Minke with "typical" fin|
|Minke with large notch in fin|
|Granite State Whale Watch- can you spot our Blue Ocean Intern??|
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