Saturday, August 7, 2010
Whale Watching Trip August 5, 2010
1100 Whale Watch - Krill
As we headed offshore we crossed over the southern part of Stellwagen Bank. As soon as we came up on the SW corner of the bank, we saw quite a few fishing boats anchored up on the bank. The SW corner of the bank is the most shallow part of the bank for you are typically in 65 feet of water. On other parts of the bank, you are typically in 100 feet of water.
We didn't see anything on the SW corner so continued our journey to the east. When we finally arrives on the eastern side of Stellwagen Bank, we picked up a group of 5 humpback whales. This tightly woven group turned out to be our famous pack that included Cajun and her calf of this year, Milkweed, Jabiru and Alphorn.
As we have seen so many times in the past this season, this group was coordinating their movements when they returned to the surface. It was amazing to see all 5 whales moving in unison as if they were one unit or body. The calf was the only whale that was orientating in a opposite manner. In fact, at one point in time, the calf turned around backwards and almost ran smack dab into some of the adult whales.
By observing the movements of the whales when they returned to the surface, it was clear that this group was feeding deep. The only question we had was whether or not the calf was participating in this feeding effort or was it patiently waiting beneath the surface for mom to hurry up and get done feeding.
Twice the whales surfaced very close to our boat so the captain kept the engines in neutral as we drifted next to the whales. What a great view for our passengers as the whales eventually swam right under our boat! When they are this close, we really get a feel for how big, beautiful and powerful they truly are.