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.

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16 Granite State

Minke whales continue to be seen as we were able to see 5 of these whales on each of our trips today. Granted many of the whales we saw this morning versus this afternoon were in completely different areas from Rye Harbor which means the majority of the whales we saw today were different individuals from one another. 
Minke whales from this morning (above and below)

Minke whale so close to land this afternoon!
If you think about it that is quite the number of whales to have around, especially since many of them were seen even before getting to Jeffreys Ledge today. 
The nose, or snout, of a Minke whale as it comes to the surface for a breath of air!

Minke whale surfacing just off our starboard side during our afternoon trip
This morning we were also treated to an Ocean sunfish. This large bony fish was meandering through the area giving us a great chance to check out this interesting looking ocean creature!
Ocean sunfish swimming just below the surface
This afternoon we also had a bonus sighting. Not only were we lucky enough to see a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins, we saw two pods in one trip! The first group of toothed-whales was a pretty decent sized group. We estimated there were probably 75 of these whales moving through the area together. 
Group #1 of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. This group was seen less than 10 miles from land!
They were all spread out which was great since then the whales could be seen in every which direction no matter where you were spending time on the boat! 
Glassy calm ocean conditions makes watching dolphins an extra special treat!
We were pretty excited to see these whales as typically we only see dolphins about 20-25% of the time we are out whale watching. We go on over 100 trips every single season so we really only see this type of whale between 20-30 times a year. However, what a lucky turn of events we had today. Not only did we get some great looks at our large group this afternoon but on the ride home we saw another pod! This other group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were much further offshore than the first group we saw but they were also heading south (which means they were travelling from the north) and is a good indication this was not the same group we had seen earlier in the trip. 
Atlantic white-sided dolphins whizzing by us!
Another good indication this was a different group was because we saw even more whales in this pod. There were well over a couple hundred(!!!) of these whales swimming together. We have not seen a pod of dolphins this big all season and it certainly was a sight to see! Literally everywhere you looked these toothed-whales were splashing at the surface.

The weather looks to be very nice all weekend so hopefully we will see you, and the whales, soon!

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Thury from Special Tours said...

Minke whales are our favourite whales, we spot them on almost all of our tours :) Amazing animals!

Melanie White, Granite State Naturalist/Deckhand and Blue Ocean Society Research Associate said...

They certainly can be great whales to watch sometimes! Such agile creatures.