Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday September 23

Whale life was once again plentiful during our travels today.  Our first whales of the day were some of the second largest in the world... Fin whales!  We got the chance to see 3 Fin whales near the boat as we continued to see tall column-like spouts further out, meaning more Fin whales than we were even getting looks at offshore! 
Fin whale
At one point we even saw some whale defecation from one of these enormous beings so you can imagine just how large one of their "clouds" can be.  The brown color of the cloud was a good indication that at least one of the Fin whales in the area had recently been feeding on lots of fish.

With more time we eased our way out of the area to go investigate more spouts we were seeing.  Ends up we came across a pair of Humpback whales.  It didn't take long for both whales to move off in different directions so we ended up staying with one, Vault, before this whale started moving exactly towards the area we had just left minutes before.  A few more looks and we went in search of the other Humpback whale in the area. 
Vault
Even though the second Humpback whale never brought it's tail above the waterline we knew it was Flyball.  This whale has a very hooked-shape dorsal fin and knowing it has been seen the past few days we had a good inkling as to who this particular whale might be.  After a few more surfacings we pressed on and once again it didn't take long to find more whales.

Two spouts off our port side turned into a trio of Humpback whales.  As we spent time watching these mammals move through the water we got some incredible looks as they all swam in synchrony.  We were able to identify these animals as Cinder, Hippocampus, and Alligator in cahoots with each other this afternoon.
Our trio of Humpback whales today
One of these three whales also left some digested food at the surface but this time it was bright red.  One of these Humpback whales had recently been eating krill!  More whales and more whale defecation.


Cinder
Hippocampus

With a bit more time we continued on and once again eased our way towards more whales.  We ended the day with three more Humpback whales sporadically surfacing all around the boat.  We are still working on a match for one whale (a Type 5 tail, almost all black, which can be very tricky to positively identify!) but did identify our other critters swimming around us.  We were once again in the presence of a new visitor to Jeffreys Ledge this year.  Emoticon was busy circling around the area.
Even from a distance Emoticon has such a distinct black and white pattern we still could positively identify this Humpback whale

Emoticon was circling around the area and even from a distance guess what was visible?  Another cloud was forming at the surface.  Lots of whales and lots of digested food from so many of our whales today.

Our final, and other, whale in the area was actually a repeat sighting.  Looks like Flyball and ourselves were on the same course as we got a quick look, and tail, from this whale.
Flyball eventually decided to raise its tail as this Humpback whale went on a deeper dive

We had a day full of wildlife that continues to provide newcomers for the 2012 season as we spent the first full day of Fall out on the water today.  This season certainly has been a great one and we are not done yet.  We'll be eagerly awaiting our next trip out next week to see just what, and who, will be out there for us to see!

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