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.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 17 Granite State

The weather was ideal and the whales were incredible today. Both of our trips took us to some offshore areas around Jeffreys Ledge but our gambles of taking such a journey paid off as we watched some great behaviors from all the whales we spotted today. This morning we came across 7 Fin whales. Most of these whales were maneuvering around close to one another giving us the opportunity to watch multiple whales in such close proximity to each other.
One of the second largest animals in the world... a Fin whale!
These whales were circling around and even surfaced a few times with mouths full of water and food filtering out all that sea water! It was great as we sat there watching all these mammals on the move. Our most surprising sight of the morning was when one of our Fin whales, which was swimming alongside the boat, went to go on a deeper dive and fluked! This whale brought its tail (and thus all of its tail stock!) right out of the water! 
A Fin whale fluking!
Seeing a Fin whale raise its tail is extremely rare so seeing this sight was completely unexpected and extremely impressive!
The tail of a Fin whale!!!
On our travels home we also passed by an Ocean sunfish and a Minke whale as we made our way back to the mainland.

This afternoon we figured we'd press our luck again and head to where we had so much activity from the morning. Once again we lucked out as there was still plenty of life to look at! Before even getting to all the Fin whales we spent time with a group of 100 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

Atlantic white-sided dolphins

Dolphin dorsal fins
With some nice looks at these toothed-whales we were back underway. Our next stop turned out to be our fluking Fin whale from this morning! As opposed to when we watched this whale this morning (when it only raised its tail twice while watching it) this afternoon it fluked every time it went on a deeper dive!
Seeing a fluking Fin whale once is amazing. Seeing it on both of our trips is incredible!

Fin whale tail!
It was just incredible to watch this behavior from one of the second largest animals on earth! While spending time with this whale we spotted more spouts out in the distance so we decided to venture in that direction. We ended up in an area where a few more Fin whales were circling around. 
Two Fin whales at the surface swimming in different directions

The tip of a tail from one Fin whale (left) and the dorsal fin of another Fin whale (right)
Lots of filtering was occurring as these whales would surface with their lower jaws completely bellowed outward causing a massive green sheen to be seen below the surface.
Fin whale filtering out lots of salt water

Another filtering Fin whale!
A few looks at these whales and we were off to one more area. Out in the distance we were seeing whales converging on a particular area. Two, three, four, wait... at least 7 Fin whales had suddenly moved into the same concentrated area!
Filtering Fin whale while another whale spouts out in the distance!

Fin whale spout while this animal filters out water trapping lots of food inside its mouth!
We stopped and watched as whales surfaced all around us, filtering towards us, swimming underneath us, and circling all around! Check out these photos below as two filtering Fin whales swam in towards the boat and underneath us over to the other side(!!!):

There were even a few more Fin whales on the outskirts of this specific spot. With so many whales around you didn't know where to look.
Two Fin whales on the move
Seeing one Fin whale is impressive but seeing so many maneuvering around each other in such a tight knit area, all probably chowing down, is unreal. 
Three of the many Fin whales surrounding us!
One Fin whale lunged through the water, and they all constantly changed directions producing quite the orchestrated event. Words can't even described how crazy it was to see so many 60+ft long, 60+ton, whales do this. In total we ended up seeing at least 15 Fin whales this afternoon!
A Fin whale "rain-blow" as we eased our way out of the area and back towards home

On our travels back home we also ended up passing by a Blue shark, a Minke whale, and multiple pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins (totaling ~200 in 4 pods/groups for the trip). What a day and what a memory.

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