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.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11, Captain's Lady III

Beautiful day on the ocean today!! Our morning trip was filled with minke whales! We had about 4 all in one small area. Very fun to look in all directions and see whales all around!  We got nice looks at 2 of the 4 and can easily tell them apart by their fins!
Minke "A", with notches in its fin
Minke "B"
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.

As we watched the turtle we saw a couple minkes around us. We were excited to see whales so close to shore, but really wanted to spend some time with this rare animal. We tried to keep it in sight until another whale watch boat came to see it too, but it dove and I'm not sure if the other boat got to see it or not!

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??
We also got a close look at another whale watch boat this afternoon- can you spot the Blue Ocean Intern??  Thanks to everyone who spent part of their Sunday with us and the marine life today!

Keep in touch! Become a Fan on Facebook || Follow Us On Twitter

No comments: