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, September 14, 2013

September 14 Granite State

It was another day full of life on Jeffreys Ledge today. While we did encounter a good swell as we ventured offshore we also had almost no wind to speak of and great visibility for miles all around us. We had great conditions for whale spotting and spot whales we did! We first made our way to some splashing in the distance. It was a group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. We eased our way into the area only to suddenly see one, wait, two large bodies emerge from the depths of the ocean. Two Humpback whales were right in the middle of the dolphins! 
A 6-8ft Atlantic white-sided dolphin swims next to a 40-50ft Humpback whale

Humpback whales and dolphins on the move
To make things even more fun it was our familiar pair of Humpback whales side by side again today. Patches and Victim were still in the area! 

What an incredible treat to see two large Humpback whales surrounded by a group of smaller toothed-whales. 
Patches off on a deeper dive while a few Atlantic white-sided dolphins swim close by

Dolphins catching up to Victim at the surface
The Humpback whales themselves were once again being extremely mellow, napping for most of the time we spent watching them today. 
Another nice day seeing Patches and Victim in our area
Dolphins would dart all around Patches and Victim which would remain quite stationary on the water's edge, a very good indication the pair was getting some rest. Out of the blue Patches rolled on its side a few times bringing one of its large white flippers into the air. 
Patches on its side with flipper high in the air as Victim swims at the surface
At one point Patches even rolled completely on its back with both flippers above the waterline and we literally watched Patches' flipper land on top of Victim's back! The whales were so close that when Patches' went to flop its flipper down the only place it could go was on to Victim! Apparently Victim wasn't too concerned for from our vantage point this whale barely did anything different than remain napping on the surface. Not quite the reaction you might expect when a 1-ton flipper lands on you! 
Patches "belly up" with its flippers in the air

These whales are so close to each other! (Patches flipper and Victim's back)
With some great looks at these relaxed whales which a few times slowly swam towards, under, and next to the boat(!), we eased our way out of the area and ventured on. 
The view through the pilothouse window as our pair swims literally just in front of the boat! (The engines had been shut off for some time before this so no worries!)
The trip wasn't over for we also got a quick look at a few Minke whales before seeing a Fin whale! While two Fin whales were in the area we ended up spending time with one circling around. 
Fin whale spout
To our amazement it was a very familiar whale. Comet had returned back to Jeffreys Ledge! We last saw this whale on July 27.
The part of a Fin whale usually not seen at the surface. The majority of Comet's tailstock and even part of its tail is visible above the ocean's surface!
It has been well over a month since last seeing this whale in the area so we were thrilled to see this whale again this season! What a great way to end our already enjoyable day out with wildlife.

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


Ásta María said...

The Humpbacks are so amazingly beautiful and fun to be around!
Really nice photos you have of your friends there :)

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

Thank you Ásta María. It is a pleasure having the opportunity to capture some beautiful wild moments and share them with everyone as whales certainly are truly amazing animals.