Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday June 21

After spending some time with a few Minke whales this morning we made our way to Jeffreys Ledge and found a familiar whale circling the area.  Fjord was back on the Ledge.  Prior to today's sighting Fjord's last sighting had been on May 26.  That's 3 weeks to the day!  
Fjord
Whether Fjord ventured to other areas of Jeffreys Ledge over the past few weeks, perhaps eluding our line of sight, or left the area all together we may never know but it certainly was great to see this animal in our area once again!

Before heading home we went searching and saw a spout from another animal out in the distance.  It didn't take long before we knew we had come across another species.  It was a Humpback whale, specifically Halfmoon the Humpback whale. 
Halfmoon
We too had this whale earlier in the season (last sighting on June 12) and enjoyed spending time watching this whale actively engaging in some deep-feeding.  Many a time we would see the remnant of a bubble cloud rise to the surface, a mechanism used by Humpback whales to catch all lots of food!  As we heard one of our passengers say today as we passed by one of these clouds, "The ocean, it's sizzling."  That's what happens when a 40+ft whale releases millions of air bubbles in the water to scare all its prey items into one massive tight ball of fish!

Halfmoon's tail
With a quick swish of its tail Halfmoon creates quite a bit of white water (1/2 of its tail is seen above the surface)
This afternoon we spent some more time with Fjord the Fin whale.  In the morning this whale was constantly moving around and changing direction.  This afternoon Fjord's behavior was quite different as it decided to take a quick nap alongside the boat!  Nothing like one of the second largest animals in the world remaining almost completely stationary under the water's surface for all of our passengers to get the full appreciation of the entire length of this animal! 
Fjord surfacing for a breath while getting a bit of rest this afternoon
Once back awake Fjord even decided to slightly open its mouth right at the surface of the water. 
Fjord deciding to showcase some of it's baleen to all of us
With some great looks at Fjord we decided to check out some other areas of Jeffreys Ledge for more whales lurking around.  Thanks to some great spotters on the upper deck we ended up spending time with another Fin whale.  This animal was circling the area as a couple times it surfaced just off the pulpit and even off the stern! Not a bad way to end a trip that's for sure! 

The head of a Fin whale as it surfaced just in front of us!
Our Fin whale going down for a dive

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