Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, September 17

The fog finally defeated us today. No large whales were seen in the 1/4 to 1/2 mile visibility we had during the entire trip, but we did see 8 ocean sunfish, 5 harbor seals and a bunch of pelagic birds including northern gannets, Wilson's storm petrels, red necked phalaropes, Corys shearwaters, eiders, a Bonaparte's gull, loon and 2 scoters!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday, September 16

Today started just as it had yesterday with plenty of fog. Except today the fog was even thicker!
The fog was so thick you could BARELY see White Island Lighthouse as we passed through the Isles of Shoals this morning
We headed offshore to where we had luck with whales yesterday and even though the fog lingered longer than we had hoped we saw life throughout our trip! In total, we saw 9 ocean sunfish, 2 minke whales, blue fin tuna chasing down bait fish and 3 fin whales.
Ocean sunfish just beyond the Shoals
Minke whale
Fin whale!
The ocean was so calm that any disturbance triggered our eyes and we were ready to react to what was causing it.
Another one of the many ocean sunfish sighted today
Second minke whale of the day
We again thank our passengers who were eagerly keeping an eye out for activity and for our offshore charter fishing friends who were keeping an eye around them when capable! During our travels home we were privy to some gorgeous looks at 3 fin whales, including a pair, in such beautiful seas.
Fin whale pair in the calmest of ocean conditions (above and below)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday, September 15

Today was filled with plenty to look at but there is no denying the fact that it took some time to see it all. The main reason...FOG! Weather is one aspect we cannot control so we adapt as best as possible completely dependent on the conditions we are dealt. Fog comes and goes so effortlessly that it is just as unpredictable as the whales we go in search of! Our trip started early with 3 minke whales. We got some great looks at a couple of them before they all seemingly disappeared.
Minke whale
After that we saw fog, and fog and even more fog. Eventually, after some travels, reports of whales from our fishing friends, some great listening skills on board, and finally a little bit of visibility to work with, there was plenty to look at. In addition to the minke whales we saw there were also 13 ocean sunfish, a humpback whale, 5 fin whales and a pod of 30 Atlantic white-sided dolphins!
The first of many ocean sunfish sighted today
We thank all of our passengers who helped to listen for whale spouts as our patience ultimately paid off! It took a while to hone in on our humpback whale but once we got a visual on it, instead of just hearing it beyond the blanket of fog, we got some great looks at this new visitor to the region this season: Limpet.
Humpback whale in the fog
While watching Limpet we saw a pair of fin whales and then a trio of fin whales. On top of that one of the fin whales fluked, a behavior rarely seen for this type of whale!
Fin whale body
This fin whale fluked displaying the fact that it only has half a tail!
On our travels home we even passed through a pod of dolphins to round out so much life after plenty of searching today.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday, Sept 13

We had a beautiful day of whale watching! Seas were as calm as they could ever be allowing for us to see all sorts of fantastic marine life. Minke whales, harbor porpoises, harbor seals, a grey seal, a humpback whale (named A-Plus), several ocean sunfish and a phenomenal pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins rounded out the trip. We also had a great group of folks on board, curious about marine life and passionate about conservation! Thanks for joining us today!

Humpback whale

Humpback whale showing up on our "fish" finder, right below the boat for a while!

Humpback whale

Atlantic white sided dolphins

Dolphins close to the boat!

Ocean sunfish

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday, September 10

We were a bit hesitant to venture out today after hearing that two whale watching boats from a nearby port turned back due to rough seas. What a difference an hour can make! We left the harbor to some really nice sea conditions in spite of the NE wind (which quickly died out). Our trip ended with nearly no wind at all, and pretty calm seas. 

We passed by some harbor porpoises on our way out of the harbor, and then saw the first of 5 ocean sunfish throughout the trip.

Fin whales were the stars of the day- at least 6 were spotted and we were thrilled to get close looks at a pair of them that repeatedly surfaced close to us.

 Bluefin tuna, possible a handful of dolphins and even a harbor seal were also seen on our wildlife excursion! 
All that while we were keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma in Florida and thinking about all of our friends, family and colleagues enduring the storm today. Be safe, Floridians!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Saturday, September 9

The ocean was full of life today. There was so much to look at. We saw a total of 6 fin whales, 3 ocean sunfish, a pod of 25 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, a basking shark and something we have yet to see this season... a sea turtle!
Fin whale
Our fin whales were scattered around and we even watched a couple become associated with each other for a brief moment.
Pair of fin whales surfacing in synchrony
The ocean sunfish showed up sporadically throughout our travels and we were lucky enough to check out a small group of dolphins for a bit too.
Ocean sunfish dorsal fin
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
The icing on the cake was the leatherback sea turtle, the largest sea turtle there is, spotted just before we headed for home.
Leatherback sea turtle!!!!
What an extremely exciting find especially considering this turtle sighting marks for the first turtle for one of our crew members! Such a very special day :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday, September 8

Today we ultimately found 4 fin whales, a humpback whale and 2 ocean sunfish, one of which breached multiple times! The wind and waves kept us on land on Wednesday so we were excited to stretch our sea legs on the water today. Our first whale of the day was a fin whale on the move. After a few attempts to get a glimpse of this whale we pressed further offshore.
Fin whale
The rest of our fin whale sightings occurred on the outskirts of the areas we were in. We got a chance to spend time with a humpback whale, doing short dives, and circling around the general area.
Humpback whale
While watching this whale we witnessed an ocean sunfish suddenly jump out of the water. While I wasn't able to capture the moment, it was an impressive one to watch! But, no need to be frightened. The whale wasn't chasing after this fish. Ocean sunfish are much TOO big for a humpback whale. Instead, whales feed on small schooling fish. A whale couldn't even swallow an ocean sunfish. It's throat is too small.
Ocean sunfish swimming through the ocean
Nevertheless, it was entertaining to watch such a large fish jump completely out of the water before we turned our attention back to the mammals of the sea.
Humpback whale tail