Every year, the first whale watch is when I truly know spring in here!!! Saturday, April 27 was our first trip of the season, and it was so wonderful to be out on the water again after being onshore all winter. What a treat to start the season with a four species day!! We headed north up to Jeffreys Ledge, one of the feeding grounds that we can access on our whale watches. We started out with a glimpse of a minke whale. There were many blows around us, and out first good look at a whale was a fin whale (actually the first look was at its poop), but then the whale came up and we got a great look at the second largest animal in the world. Next stop was a group of about 30 Atlantic white-sided dolphins. It was a nursery group with calves from last year. They weren’t tiny, but they were small and still surfacing next to their moms! We spent about 20 minutes watching them and then moved off to a pair of humpbacks, Reaper and Tongs, two females first sighted in ’86 and ’89 respectively. Both are commonly seen off our coast. We ended up watching a couple individual humpbacks in an area with quite a bit of bait, although we saw no surface feeding. One bait patch we past was from 50-150′ beneath us. I can only imagine what happened after we left?
One unexpected aspect of this trip was seeing the new windmills of Gloucester from the sea. I watched them go up this winter and am always amazed when I drive around town how different they look depending on where I am standing. Offshore was yet another angle. I like them, and it will make Gloucester, that much easier to point out!