Saturday, August 7, 2010

Whale Watching Trip August 12, 2010

August 12th, 2010 - 11 am Whale Watch - Leah

For all of the people on this mornings 11am whale watch, I still stand by what I said about this being the best whale watch I have ever been on in the three years I've been working on the boats. Not only was today a beautiful day, slightly cloudy and perfectly calm on the water, but today we had the largest grouping of whales I have ever seen, this summer, together in one group. I couldn't even get an accurate count based off of trying to count them as they surfaced or counting them from my photos later.

Before I talk about that group I have to talk about how the trip started. First we did see a single humpback whale but based off of the information we got from one of the other whale watching boats we wanted to keep on moving to see the large group. On our way to the bigger group we passed by two other humpbacks that were near a large sail boat, but since they were staying on a dive for a long time we kept on going in order to spend more time with the whales that were staying at the surface.

Still on route to our big group of whales we passed by a harbor seal that was at the surface eating a dogfish. And of course, for someone in this type of profession where you must expect the unexpected, who doesn't have their camera ready????

That was a real bummer, but then we got to our group of wonderful whales. We had somewhere between 12-15 humpback whales all in one group. There were at least two mother calf pairs, Perseid and calf and Cajun and calf. The calves were being wonderfully active by breaching and rolling and flipper slapping. One of them even gave a close approach to which it came back a few times to make sure everyone on the boat got a good look at the calf.

Also, after a while of watching the whales we had a large lag or pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins that met up with our group of whales. We even had mother and calf pairs of dolphins and since we were not moving and just watching these dolphins and whales swimming together, the dolphins were essentially bow riding in front of the whales chins.

And in honor of our Large-winged New Englanders, today's trip was..... WICKED AWESOME!!!!!

August 12, 2010
-- 9 AM and 2 PM --Joanne

With near perfect weather conditions, we headed to the southeastern side of Stellwagen Bank and found ourselves with 2-3 dozen humpback whales, a pod of Atlantic White Sided Dolphins, a dozen minke whales and a finback whale. We also saw a grey seal and a basking shark. The behaviors were very dramatic, with quite a bit of surface activity.

Humpback whales identified, included: Cajun+calf, Whisk+calf, Columbia+calf, Venom, Lariat, Cardhu, Pele, Milkweed, Jabiru, Draco, Tunguska, Soot, Canopy, Fragment, Pumba, Tear, Ventisca, Sloop, Pepper, Habenero, & Apex