9 am and 2 pm Whale Watches - Krill
|Atlantic white-sided dolphins|
We headed to the mid part of Stellwagen Bank and found at least 15 humpback whales and a number of small pods or groups of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. A few of the pods of dolphins were feeding right alongside the whales.
|Lunging at the surface.|
|Bubble nets being used by humpback whales when feeding.|
|Rapier kick feeding.|
|Rapier and calf.|
|Atlantic white-sided dolphin.|
As we watched these animals surface all around the boat, our captain noticed a large splash to the west of us. As we headed that way, one of the whales started flipper slapping and breaching. Upon our arrival, we realized that we had two humpback whales and we identified them as Crown and Whisk. Crown has old scars on her back and tail indicating that she had been entangled in fishing gear many years ago. But the wounds have healed and she is doing just fine.
|Crown surfacing off our bow.|
Marine plastics like balloons can harm and kill even the largest of the whales. Any type of plastic, large and small, can lodge in the digestive track of the animal and lead to harm and even death.
|Kohoutek and friend.|
|Crown fluking out off our bow.|
|Etch-a-Sketch coming toward our boat.|
|Freckles ventral tail pattern.|
2 pm trip:
|Reaper fluking out with her calf to the left.|
|Ventral tail pattern of Reaper.|
|Reaper's calf surfacing quickly off the port side.|
|Samara surfacing off our bow.|
|Ventral tail pattern of Buzzard.|
|Skateboard's ventral tail pattern.|
|Longboard's ventral tail pattern.|
|Left dorsal fin of Elephant. Very hooked with barnacles.|
|Fluke out dive by Elephant.|
Most of the whales were subsurface feeding so we got great looks of many individuals as they surfaced all around the boat. But our favorite sighting was of Salt, the most famous humpback whale in the world! Salt was feeding deep on her own and we got great looks and some great video of her off the starboard side of the boat.
Salt was the first humpback to be named in 1976 and started the tradition of naming whales based on natural markings on the body. She has had 12 calves since that first sighting and is not only a grandmother, but also a great grandmother. We love her!
We also had minke whales feeding in the area as well as manx shearwaters, greater shearwaters and common terns. Humpback whales identified include: Reaper and calf, Samara, Buzzard, Longboard, Skateboard, Elephant, Salt, Spirit, Ampersand and Draco.
|Spirit off the Cape.|