Saturday, April 23, 2011
Today we had a beautiful, calm day offshore with partly sunny skies and light winds. We headed straight for Race Point, the very tip of Cape Cod. This very productive area is often a great place for whale watching and has been a hot spot for North Atlantic Right Whale sightings over the past few weeks.
As we approached Race Point we saw that there were dozens of Right whales spread out all along the beach! Many of these animals were skim feeding across the surface of the water. Although we could not get any closer than 500 yards to these very endangered whales, everyone onboard was amazed at the number of feeding whales around us and how close these animals get to the shore! We estimated about 41 Right whales between Race Point and Wood End, with more animals that we did not get to south of Wood End.
Also mixed in with the Right whales were Atlantic white-sided dolphins aka “lags”. We also got a couple of quick looks at a pair of Harbor porpoises swimming past our boat, as well as a single small Minke whale, the smallest of the baleen whales.
As we were approaching Race Point, we noticed a fishing boat that looked like it was dangerously close to shore. As we got a closer look, this boat was actually on the beach! Now that’s something you don’t see every day!
As we were happily watching the Right whales feed from a distance, we saw several Harbor Seals just resting in the water. A few minutes later we had a playful grey seal approach our boat! This grey seal swam across our bow several times and was curiously looking at everyone onboard. After a few minutes the seal swam off, but it’s always a treat to see a close approach by any animal and this seal was so cute!