Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday, May 20

Today we spent our time watching two humpback whales inshore of Jeffreys Ledge. During our trip we even saw a couple of minke whales scooting around. Humpback whales Highlighter and Doublet were initially moving around together but it didn't last. Soon the whales went in different directions, probably searching for food they could focus on eating themselves.
Humpback whales at the surface
The green coloration you can see extending out from this humpback whale is its flipper!
Diving whale
While the whale watching season has just begun, the never-ending sadness of seeing human trash so far offshore is the obvious reminder of how our actions directly relate to the planet. Next time you are outside look around you. Guaranteed you will see trash left behind. In the woods, on the side of the road and even miles from shore, the same is true. None of it is good and yet graduation season is in full effect, birthdays are all year long, 4th of July celebrations will be coming soon, you name it there are balloons for it. Please take a moment to remember to dispose of your trash no matter what kind of trash it is. Debris is a huge threat to so much marine life (birds, fish, whales, turtles, the list goes on and on...). Please be conscious of your actions and help prevent debris from making its way into the ocean. Accidental ingestion DOES happen and can ultimately lead to the death of its victim. Easiest way to help?? Use paper streamer or better yet nothing at all! To learn more visit: https://balloonsblow.org/
Another trip, another day trying to do our part to help avoid balloons from hurting marine life. Each one was popped and put in the trash. We were well over 10 miles from land!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday, May 19

The cool temperatures continue to remind us to layer up when heading offshore to search for whales. The ocean temperatures are hovering around 50 degrees so hats, gloves and coats are helpful to have on hand as we venture in search of whale activity. Luckily for us the whales are impartial to the temperatures. They are focused on food and lots of it! Today we got a chance to see 2 fin whales and 2 humpback whales. More spouts were seen out in the distance but we were too busy to get to them! One of the fin whales is a familiar whale, having been sighted in the Jeffreys Ledge region since 1997. Comet the fin whale, an adopt-a-whale for our research affiliates Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, was spotted today.
Comet the fin whale
We also got a chance to spend time with Highlighter and Willow, two humpback whales.
Highlighter the humpback whale
We even witnessed BOTH whales breach during our time with them. It's impressive to be witness to one whale breach, but two, wow. Regardless, they are always unpredictable moments and equally as humbling.
Breaching humpback whale
Whale tail

White flipper of a humpback whale

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday, May 13

Happy Mother's Day to each of you today! It was a beautifully calm day with some beautiful marine mammals. We saw at least 4 different fin whales, a humpback whale, a few harbor porpoises and a couple harbor seals during our trip. The fin whales and humpback whale circled around, lunging through the water occasionally feeding at the surface. Of our fin whales, Bolshoi and #0813 were identified in the field thanks to their distinctive dorsal fins.
Bolshoi the fin whale
It pays to keep an eye on the water when you are at the beach. You never know if maybe a whale is passing by. This fin whale was so close to land!
Our humpback whale was one that has been sighted early in our seasons for the past few years. It was #0050! Such a great day to enjoy wildlife.
Humpback whale #0050 (above and below)
The ocean couldn't be more calm!
We are currently whale watching only on the weekends so see you next week!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Welcome to the 2018 season!

Today was our first trip of the year and it was great to be on the boat searching for life in the Gulf of Maine. Even through the occasional raindrops and cool conditions it was enjoyable to smell the salt air and share in the excitement of wildlife. We came across 4 Fin whales today. Some were spending more time at the surface than others but nonetheless a fantastic find so close to home.
Fin whale just beyond the Isles of Shoals
A familiar whale to the area, Fin whale #0282, has returned for another feeding season
We look forward to what the season has in store for us and we will continue to keep you updated. Check back often for our trip recaps and here's hoping for many more whale-ful days to come!

Sleek back of a Fin whale

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday, October 7

Where has the time gone? Today was our final trip for the 2017 whale watching season. Mother Nature decided to add a bit of a twist to the day as the majority of the trip was spent socked in fog. While fog tends to be our least favorite weather condition, we make the most of things we can't control, and slowed and searched for whale activity as much as possible offshore. We ultimately ended up finding 2 fin whales and 2 blue sharks during our trip.
Finding whales in the fog can be tricky but with the help of our passengers, we could keep track of this whale as it surfaced all around the boat!
One of our fin whales was fin-tastic as it began lunge-feeding at the surface rolling here and there all around us.
Fin whale swooshing plenty of water around as it lunged through the water
Part of a fin whale tail!
The flipper and white belly of our feeding fin whale
Second fin whale of the day
We would also like to take a moment and thank all of our passengers for making 2017 a successful season. We couldn't do it without you. We are passionate about what we do and try to share that passion and importance of the marine environment with all of you. Whether you were a first-timer, a visitor to the area, or many of our familiar friends, we thank you for your enthusiasm and look forward to seeing you all again in 2018!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday, October 6

As we head into our last weekend of the 2017 season we could not have asked for a better day. The ocean was calm and life was abundant!
Our favorite kind of conditions: cloudy skies and calm seas. This combination sets up for a beautiful backdrop for scenery and spotting whale spouts!
We saw 17 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, an ocean sunfish, a pod of 50 Atlantic white-sided dolphins and a minke whale! These whale numbers don't even include the continuous scattering of spouts we saw out in the distance all throughout the trip. So much to watch and witness.
Fin whale feeding at the surface

Two fin whales are creating all this wave-action in this photo!
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
Almost every single one of our baleen whales were lunge feeding; taking full advantage of the bountiful amount of food offshore.
Fin whale tail as this whale was lunging through the water
Four humpback whales open-mouth feeding
Most whales were grouped up working together to feast on all the food. A rarity of a day to see the shear number of whales we did, the feeding behaviors we experienced and the variety of life in the Jeffreys Ledge area. Every trip provides special moments and today was no exception.
Pair of humpback whales feeding
Fin whale
Humpback whale
After all of our offshore activity, on our way home we came across a pod of dolphins!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday, October 4

Today was a bit more typical as far as fall weather goes. We had been getting a little spoiled by the calm conditions over the past week. This morning the wind was blowing from the SW, so the further offshore we went, the choppier the seas were. The first half of the trip showed us what the ocean was all about, but soon after reaching the whales, the wind died out and the seas calmed very nicely. We found two groups of humpback whales- a trio and a pair, along with an elusive minke whale and two harbor seals (and a grey seal in the harbor!) I hope the ocean and whales both cooperate for our last couple trips of the 2017 season!