Friday, July 8, 2011
9 am trip:
It was absolutely pouring rain when we left the harbor this morning, but we didn’t let the rain dampen our adventurous spirit! Our first sighting was of a single humpback whale named Barb. To our delight, Barb was being quite active at the surface. As we approached Barb, he did a couple of tail breaches, which is when a whale throws its body out of the water tail first. Barb then proceeded to lobtail, or slap his tail on the surface of the water. We also got to see Barb roll onto his back and start doing inverted lobtailing. Barb also gave us a little bit of a curious close approach!
Soon after we started watching Barb, he linked up with another humpback whale that came into the area named Joy. After watching Barb and Joy for several minutes we noticed a breaching whale in the distance. We never got to identify this animal but we saw it do a couple of spinning head breaches!
We then got brief looks at several other humpback and minke whales in the area before ending our trip with a sighting of a female humpback named Wizard and her calf of this year. The calf was spending some time on the surface while mom was down on a longer dive. This was a very special way to end our morning trip. A fabulous whale watch despite the rain!
2 pm trip:
It was still raining when we left for the afternoon trip, but once we got offshore we had a break in the weather. We started this trip with a single humpback whale who we identified as Northstar. Northstar came very close to the boat, giving everyone onboard an excellent look at the entire body of the animal.
Our next sighting was of two associated humpback whales, one of which was named Terrace, who is actually missing a piece of her left fluke. Two other humpback whales then joined Terrace and the other animal, forming a group of four whales. It’s always amazing to see a group of humpbacks together, as baleen whales are mainly solitary animals.
We then started seeing some bubbles appear on the surface; however, we weren’t seeing any surface feeding behavior, indicating that the whales were likely feeding deeper in the water column. Eventually our group of four started to split off in different directions, but we got one more looks at Terrace as well as another look at the breaching humpback we saw on the morning trip. All of our passengers agreed that it was well worth being out in the rain to get to see these amazing animals!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Happy Independence Day! What better way to spend the 4th of July then on a boat, on a hot summer day watching whales?! We began our trip with a quick look at a pair of Finback whales that were traveling together. We didn’t stop and spend any time with these whales though, because we wanted to get into an area where there was a lot of surface activity during the morning whale watch. As we continued on in search of other whales, the keen eyes of our captain spotted an ocean sunfish aka Mola mola! Usually ocean sunfish are more common in the waters of Cape Cod Bay in the late summer and early fall when they come into the Bay to feed on gelatinous critters. This fish looked relatively small and was probably a young animal. We got several close looks at this mola before moving further offshore, but what a wonderful sighting!
This breaching whale turned out to be a whale named Centipede and Centipede put on a fabulous display of Humpback whale behavior for us! This whale was breaching over and over and over. First Centipede did a few chin breaches and then a huge spinning head breach that was so close to the boat that some of the passengers on the pulpit may have gotten a shower! Centipede then switched over to lobtailing and inverted lobtailing. This whale even threw in a couple of tail breaches! It was incredible to watch how much force this whale can put into slapping its tail on the water. It was also incredible to hear the sound it made! Centipede was by far the most active whale I’ve seen this season and it was such an amazing sighting for everyone onboard.
During Saturday mornings trip we were on our way to Peaked Hill which is where our sightings of the whales have been quite plentiful. We had a perfectly calm day out on the water and were very excited to find some whales.
As the afternoon trip kicked off, the wind did start to pick up a little bit but that did not stop us from enjoying our whale watch. Once we got out to the whales we started off with a set of humpbacks that were Tectonic and Echo. They were a wonderful pair to watch because Echo was showing us great looks at how kick feeding should be done, if it was a sport Echo would be a pro. Besides kick feeding these two would roll over and give us great looks at the rorqual pleats on the bottom of their jaws. We also got to see those lovely large flippers that these whales are so well known for.