This trip was definitely a favorite of mine for the season! We started out with a fin whale, the second largest animal in the world, but decided to continue on for some looks at humpback whales Echo and Nuages (French for ‘clouds’). While waiting for the whales to surface, we got to see some curious harbor seals, including one who decided to swim over to us to take a closer look.
We noticed a few more whales in the distance and decided to make our way over to take a look. I quickly identified one of these whales as Owl, who was swimming with her calf as well as another whale named Touchdown. We had fantastic views as these whales- at one point the calf surfaced so close to the boat, it could barely fit in my photo! The calf then dove down, but then very shortly afterward came back up, fluke first. In the photo below, you can see the top of the calf’s eye as it turned to check us out!
Heading home very happy with the trip, we were lucky enough to spot a pod of harbor porpoise. What a great day!
Though the end of October is approaching quickly, we have been treated to some of our best trips of the whole season! We only had to travel about 13 miles, and we found eight humpbacks! We began with a pair of whales, one of which had a very distinct dorsal fin and we knew it was a new whale for the year. The second looked a bit smaller, but still quite large. We were wondering if we had come across a mother/calf pair, and sure enough we were able to identify the adult as Freckles, a whale that we had suspected last year might be pregnant. Within a few minutes of watching this pair, we noticed multiple other whales in the area, so we decided to investigate. We found a trio of humpbacks in association- Nile, Echo, and a whale named Palette (new for us for the season). While watching these three, we could see a full breach from another humpback about 1.5 miles away!
We received word of another mom and calf pair (two in one day!), and we made our way over and found one of my very favorite whales, Owl, and her calf, who became a little curious about the Hurricane II. They were with another new-to-us whale, Othello.
Owl gets her name from the distinctive circles on either side of her fluke that look like owl eyes.
Like many babies, humpback calves will sometimes do some investigating of the world around them.
It seems as though some of the most sightings are coming toward the end of our season- hope you can join us in our last week of whale watching!
The past week has brought some unique sightings- each trip has been different from the previous! It seems as though a few new whales have moved into the area, which has been great. Often times, throughout the season when we did see a new whale it seems that they leave the area as soon as they move in. Recently we have been going out expecting to find one or two of a few different individuals. One of the new regulars has actually been a pair of humpbacks- Valley and her calf. We watched Valley on a number of trips at the end of last season, and she looked very large, so we were not surprised to see her with a new calf this season.
We had also received reports of another humpback in the area that had a large amount of scarring and was moving slowly. We were waiting for Valley and her calf to come back to the surface from a deep dive when this whale surfaced nearby, We moved over to take a look and to take some photos of what looks like scarring from possibly being entangled. We will keep our eyes out to see if we can observe this whale, identified as Timberline, in the coming weeks.