Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday, August 20

This morning our whale watching started just a few miles from the mainland. A fin whale was darting this way and that! This whale was being a bit tricky to get looks at so after a few attempts we continued on offshore. We ended up finding some familiar visitors that have been spending time in our area recently. Humpback whales Spoon and Jabiru were slowly moving around.
Spoon and Jabiru
These relaxed whales mostly rested but we did see Spoon roll on her side a couple times showcasing her white flipper!
Spoon's large flipper
At one point both whales surfaced with mud on their faces. They get mud on their snouts when a whale has recently been rummaging on the ocean floor.
Before the trip was over we even came across an ocean sunfish we grabbed a couple looks at this morning.
Ocean sunfish below the water
This afternoon Spoon and Jabiru were once again meandering around. We spent some quality time with these adult females and even checked out the seal colonies on Boon Island during our travels.
Whale tail

Spoon and Jabiru
Boon Island
Both grey seals and harbor seals were scattered around Boon Island either in the surrounding shallow waters or on the rocks themselves.
Harbor seals
Cluster of mostly grey seals

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday, August 19

Awesome trips today! This morning we saw three pods of Atlantic white sided dolphins, 2 mystery whales (whale spouts but never saw the actual whales), Comet the well-known fin whale, a few minke whales, an ocean sunfish and two humpback whales! The humpbacks were are recent regulars, Spoon and Jabiru!

This afternoon, we found Spoon and Jabiru again along with a pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins and a fin whale. Then a minke was spotted briefly on our ride home! The humpbacks were exhibiting interesting behavior. Spoon picked up her nose out of the water  a few times, showing us the mud on it (sign of feeding on the bottom) while Jabiru surfaced tail-first! Spoon even lifted her huge flipper out of the water, and Jabiru was belly up, lifting her flukes our of the water. Such a cool day!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday, August 18

Happy Anniversary to our mate Ryan who has been married to his wife Ashley for a whole lot of years! This morning, we managed to squeak in a fantastic trip before the rain came. Ok, we got a little wet on the way home, but skies were mostly dry while watching whales. We started by watching a pair of fin whales escorted by a pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins. Then we spotted a humpback and minke whale in the distance. After leaving the fin whales and dolphins, we didn't re-sight the initial humpback, but instead, found two more minke whales. Continuing offshore, we saw a 2nd pod of dolphins and then a pair of humpback whales! These two were Spoon and Jabiru, two of my all-time favorites! At one point, Spoon was about 10 feet under our boat as she moved from left side to right side! Beautiful looks at these special humpback whales moving slowly, taking their time, being humpback whales. 💗

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday, August 17

We had "grand slams" on both of our trips today! If we get the chance to watch all four of the most commonly seen whale species during one trip we refer to that accomplishment as a "grand slam" of sightings. This morning we saw 5 minke whales, a pod of 75 Atlantic white-sided dolphins followed by a larger group of ~100 later on, Geometry the humpback whale and a fin whale. This afternoon we started the trip with the same group of 100 dolphins, 3 fin whales, 6 minke whales, an ocean sunfish and a pair of humpback whales. The ocean provided beautiful conditions to enjoy all of our activity. This morning both of groups of dolphins were being closely monitored by so many birds following these toothed-whales!
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
So many birds in the sky moving around with the dolphins
The bird activity was crazy as northern gannets, gulls and shearwaters kept a close eye on the water as the whales moved around.
This gull managed to capture a mackeral but not with other birds attempting to challenge it!
This mackeral fish (about to be eaten by the gull) is what whales feed on too!
Atlantic white-sided dolphins are so impressive
Birds and whales coexisting in this incredible habitat
Geometry was found further offshore surfacing sporadically about before checking out a fin whale moving through the area.
Geometry
Fin whale
Our second pod of dolphins seen on the way home from our morning trip!
This afternoon we began whale watching with the same large pod of dolphins seen this morning before watching a fin whale cruise through the area.
Adorable dolphins
Fin whale passing through the area in such a sleek fashion
We pressed on finding a pocket of minke whale goodness and an ocean sunfish before our eagle-eyed crew member spotted more whale activity out on the horizon.
Minke whale
Ocean sunfish
The day ended after we spent time with Spoon and Jabiru the humpback whales.
Jabiru on its side
Spoon's dorsal fin and Jabiru's flipper
Jabiru and Spoon

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday, August 16

This morning conditions were pristine. No wind, flat seas and incredible visibility made spotting whale activity as perfect as possible. Any disturbance on the calm ocean was almost always some sort of marine life and our sightings reflected that. This morning we saw 11 minke whales, 20 harbor seals, TWO pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins, totaling 125+ dolphins, and Comet the fin whale! Phew, that's a lot of life! The trip started inshore of the Isles of Shoals with a pod of ~75 dolphins milling about.
Dolphins inside the Shoals!
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
After some great time with these toothed whales we traveled further offshore constantly passing by harbor seals and checking out many of the minke whales we saw around us.
Minke whale
Two harbor seals checking us out!
We also found another pod of dolphins, approximately 40-50 in this group, again in perfect ocean conditions!
Whales from our second group of dolphins!

Calm seas make for great dolphin watching (above and below)!

After that our awesome passengers spotted another disturbance at the surface. A fin whale suddenly moved into the area. This whale is a familiar one and a Blue Ocean Society adoptable whale. We had our first sighting of Comet this season! What a fantastic find!
Fin whale
The sleek body of a fin whale barely makes a ripple at the surface
So excited to see Comet return to the area for the first time all season!
This afternoon the breeze kicked up a notch and we watched a pod of ~100 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, a minke whale and 2 humpback whales! The dolphins were zipping through the water, traveling at a decent rate through the wind and waves.
Afternoon sighting of Atlantic white-sided dolphin cruising through the water!

Dolphin!
Dolphins can speed through the waves creating quite the amount of white water!
During our searching efforts after leaving the dolphins we found a couple of spouts that were from a pair of humpback whales. Jabiru and Spoon are still spending time in the area! What a great way to wrap up a successful day in the Gulf of Maine.
Whale tail
Spoon and Jabiru
Humpback whale spout

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday, August 15

The seas were calm and whale sightings a success today. This morning we saw 7 minke whales, 3 humpback whales and a nursery pod of ~50 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.
Faint minke whale spout
Geometry the humpback whale was found swimming around on its own while minke whales were scattered about both before and after the Isles of Shoals.
Geometry
We next found humpback whales Spoon and Jabiru swimming side by side one other in the calm ocean.
Jabiru

A potentially scary moment as these two whales swam VERY close to this fishing gear. Entanglements in fishing gear is a major threat all whales face on a daily basis. This time, all was free and clear.
Our humpback whales were mainly resting at the surface allowing for some beautiful calm looks!
Spoon and Jabiru after slowly passing by the fishing gear and us at the surface
One of our awesome passengers spotted a very special treat at the end of the trip as we were privy to watch a nursery pod of dolphins. A terrific way to wrap up our morning!
Dolphins
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
This afternoon our trip started with a very fast moving minke whale. This whale was speeding through the swells literally porpoising through the ocean!
Minke whale charging through the water
Porpoising minke whale!
We then came across perhaps the same pod of dolphins from this morning but more dolphins had joined in for now this pod looked closer to ~60+ Atlantic white-sided dolphins, still with many babies!
Baby white-sided dolphin!!!
Dolphins swimming by the boat (above and below)

We ended our afternoon trip with the same 3 humpback whales from this morning but this time they were all together! They were on the move a bit but Geometry, Spoon and Jabiru were associated with one another.
Two of the three humpback whales at the surface
Spoon going on a deeper dive
Geometry even breached entirely out of the water at one point! It was such an unexpected moment that unfortunately I did not capture a photo but for the many folks that saw it...wow. So many memorable moments today!