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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 29 Captain's Lady III

The foggy conditions this morning were a bit ominous as we arrived to prepare the Captain's Lady III for another whale watch. But soon the sun began to poke through the clouds and the fog rapidly burnt off, just in time for us to arrive at Jeffreys Ledge where whales had been reported! Our trip out brought several small groups of harbor porpoises (notoriously shy animals) as well as some seals. Then we saw the tell-tale black fin flopping up and down- an ocean sunfish!! We pulled up near it and this large fish swam right up to the boat! Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) are "interesting" looking fish and the largest species of bony fish in the world!
Ocean Sunfish
As we approached an area where whales were seen the day before, we slowed down and took a good look around. No whales, but we did see several seals including 3 harbor seals and a pair of gray seals! This harbor seal might have thought it was too bright out since it has one eye closed.
Harbor Seal
We headed further out to the Ledge and made our way through the fleet of tuna boats. We try not to disturb the tuna fisher-people as the tuna industry can be quite lucrative depending on the size and quality of bluefin tuna caught. But in the area with the tuna  boats were several humpback and minke whales!

Our first whales were a pair- Echo and Cacophony! Although Cacophony has been seen earlier, this was our first sighting of Echo for the year!  And just after the pair lifted their flukes and dove, a third humpback popped up close by! This was Trowel! She has been seen prior this year but hasn't  been a regular visitor to our area. She has only been seen here during the 2009 season!

Check out the variations in pigment on the flukes below:
Such a variety of life out there today! Today reminded us that we never know what to expect from nature, yet we were happily pleased with the outcomes today!
Whale Breath

 We hope to see you all back again soon! We only have a couple weeks left before we hang up our  binoculars and cameras for another long winter season.

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