It was a cool day out on the water, but the whales certainly didn’t mind. We spotted one blow a couple of miles away from the boat, and within a few minutes noticed that other whales were in the area as well. We began this trip by watching humpback Sundown, who soon began a unique series of kick feeding behaviors. Sundown would kick the tail against the surface of the water once, and then blow a series of bubbles before lunging upward to feed. There were a handful of birds in the area, and they moved in as soon as Sundown began feeding to try to grab a meal.
The birds always know before we do when the whale will surface
A few anxious sand eels
A gull in comparison to a humpback flipper
We moved on to a pair of whales, Aswan and Falcon. As we approached, the two whales lunged out of the water, clearly feeding as well. Even though the two whales were feeding together, they had uniquely different feeding styles. Falcon would come to the surface and close the mouth right away, while Aswan waited a bit before expelling the water through the baleen.
Aswan (left) and Falcon
A great look at the two whales, as well as barnacles and barnacle scars
What an amazing start to the season!!!
I think it’s been years since I have seen so many whales on the first trip. It seems like it’s either one or two whales or loads of whales–this year it was loads. There were at least 15-20 humpbacks, at least 2 fin whales, and dolphins everywhere. We estimated that there were probably 100-200 dolphins spread out over a large area. Most of the whales were really spread out, but there was a group of 5 that were together for the entire time. Interestingly enough, most of these whales were born or first sighted in the late 90’s. I remember many of them being named at the naming party in 1999 because they were born or first sighted in 1998. Canopy, Falcon, Persied were a few. At one point during the trip, we had 8 surface together. I think they were doing some deep feeding (probably feeding on sand eels on the bottom) because they were staying down a little longer than usual. We saw bait on the fish finder near the bottom as well. What a treat to get to spend the afternoon with these animals.
Click here to see a video from the group of 8 surfacing together! I’m experimenting with a new Virb camera. More to come on this one….
We look forward to tomorrow’s trip!!!! Have heard there are still lots of whales around!!!