August 21, 2014

We always like to remind our passengers that our whale watches are wildlife tours- they are unpredictable and we never know what we will be seeing or where those animals will be. That has certainly been the case over the past month. Our trips have ranged from watching two humpbacks (Northstar and Hippocampus) for days on the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank, seeing fin whales and minke whales on Jeffrey’s Ledge, and unfortunately a couple of trips that left us without sightings of the larger whales. In recent days, we have traveled to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank, and the longer ride has proven to be worth the travel time. Yesterday we began with a quick look at a minke and a fin, however we knew there were humpbacks just within reach so we continued on. And we are glad we did! We began with Mudskipper and her calf, with the calf breaching and rolling over while mom was feeding beneath the surface nearby. There were also a large number of fin whales out there- maybe 10 or more! We had some great looks at these beautiful animals.

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One of many of the fin whales we watched.

With all of these whales around, we also had a number of birds sitting at the surface- greater shearwaters and sooty shearwaters among them. A couple of times throughout the trip we also had a visit from a curious young gray seal.

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A gray seal takes a close look at us!

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We also we able to spend time with four other humpbacks. One pair was easily recognizable- Nile and her calf! With the summer winding down we are enjoying the warm, sunny days that we have been having. Calm seas and friendly passengers made for a great ride as well!

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Nile’s distinctive dorsal fin with her calf on her left.

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