Tuesday, June 26, 2012
June 26, 2012 Whale Watches
This morning we had a mixture of sun and clouds and 2-4 foot seas as we made our way toward Stellwagen Bank. As we travelled to the northeast we started seeing several blows in front of us, including two blows produced by two whales travelling together. We decided to focus on this pair and as we got closer and the larger whale surfaced we could tell by looking at her dorsal fin that it was Boomerang and her calf.
We saw both mom and calf gracefully fluke out on a deeper dive. Suddenly we saw Boomerang in the air performing a spinning head breach and just as Boomerang splashed down, her calf also did a spinning head breach! It was spectacular to see mom and calf in the air at the same time.
We spent the rest of our morning watching two humpback whales, Orbit and Hancock, and we even got a quick look at a minke whale. Both humpbacks were sub-surface feeding on their own. It’s hard to determine what whales are doing when they are diving, but the green bubbles rising to the surface clued us in to the fact that these two humpbacks were feeding and using bubbles to help concentrate their prey.
We had all of the same humpback whales this afternoon but much different weather. The wind died down and we had calmer seas but by the end of our trip it was pouring rain. What troopers we had onboard today! We started and ended our trip with two humpbacks, Boomerang and calf and we had beautiful views of both mom and baby.
Humpback whales, Orbit and Hancock also made appearances in the afternoon and we saw green bubbles being produced by all three adult humpbacks, indicating that everyone was feeding below the waves. Weather doesn’t seem to bother the whales much and despite the rain, the whales were likely behaving as they would on any other day. We were just lucky enough to be in their presence!
Thanks to NECWA intern Brandon for some great photos!