May 21, 2015

It has been another great week for sightings. We have spent each trip covering different areas of Stellwagen Bank, and have had some amazing experiences with these whales. There have been a number of individual humpbacks sighted, including whales that haven’t been found to frequent the area. In addition to adults, there have been a number of calves who have arrived with their mothers for the season. Some of the whales we have spent some time with include Zebra and Rapier and their calves, Tear, Etch-a-Sketch, Pinpoint, Evolution, Glyph, Dancer, Blackbird, Bearclaw, and Geometry.

Three whales feeding together

Three whales feeding together

Two whales lunge up through their bubble net

Two whales lunge up through their bubble net

In addition to many hungry whales, we also had a wonderful experience with a curious and playful juvenile. As we approached the whale, it seemed to be lazily moving at the surface. It approached a patch of seaweed and began playing with it, a behavior called kelping, and one we rarely see! Humpbacks are believed to have sensitivity to touch, especially at the rostrum where we find tubercles that hold hair follicles. This whale continued to play in the weed until it decided to come check out the boat.

Rolled over about to make a splash

Rolled over about to make a splash

Kelping!

Kelping!

A look at how whales can be flexible

A look at how whales can be flexible

Other sightings include basking sharks, gannets, seals, and a quick peek at a small pod of dolphins swimming among feeding humpbacks.

One of three basking sharks we watched in one trip!

One of three basking sharks we watched in one trip!

An awesome look into the mouth

An awesome look into the mouth

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