Wednesday, June 13, 2012
June 11, 2012 Whale Watch
2 pm Whale Watch - Tammy
We had a wonderful afternoon of whale watching filled with sightings of humpback whales, minke whales and a gray seal. Our first sighting was of a single humpback whale named Etch-A-Sketch, who was taking short dives while traveling to the west.
We then picked up six humpback whales who were feeding in pairs; Barb and Division; Ventisca and Wizard; Blackhole and Tunguska. It was interesting to see how each pair coordinated their feeding strategies and how each individual whale prefers to catch its prey; Division was kick-feeding, Ventisca and Wizard were using bubble nets and Blackhole was chin-kick feeding. We had amazing views of this feeding behavior and at one point Blackhole and Tunguska swam right our bow. Several minkes whales were dispersed throughout the area, likely feeding below the surface.
In the middle of our trip we spotted a gray seal near our boat that looked like it had monofilament line wrapped tightly around its neck and our photos confirmed our suspicion. We called the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies Disentanglement Team and reported our sighting of this seal, along with the latitude/longitude position and our photos of this animal. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this seal will be relocated and if it is, it will be very hard to catch. This is an extremely sad realization, but this is the reality; entanglements of seals, whales, turtles, sharks and other marine wildlife are a serious, life-threatening issue and we need to do more to reduce and prevent entanglements.