Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday September 6

A few familiar whales continue to spend time on Jeffreys Ledge as we were once again lucky enough to see Piña and Pepper in our area today. But today they were not swimming around with each other. Instead these Humpback whales were with other individuals. Pepper was moving around with Patches, and Piña was close by Chablis during our trip today. This is the first time we have gotten the chance to see both Patches and Chablis in our area this season!
Welcome back to Jeffreys Ledge Patches!
What a surprise to find a few of our whales still around, and a few more in the area! Today was even more unexpected as some of the whales were showcasing quite the behaviors. We had Patches, the "perpetual pooper" and Chablis the constant "flipper slapper" of the day. Almost every single time Patches was at the surface this whale would leave a colored cloud near the surface. Whale defecation was being noticed almost after each time this whale came up to the surface. These clouds are a great indication that Patches has recently been eating, perhaps a lot, based on how often this whale was creating clouds. The clouds ranged from brown (mostly digested schooling fish) but also left a few red/brown clouds (perhaps a mixture of krill and fish) multiple times!

Chablis on the other hand spent most of its time flipper slapping as this whale was swimming side by side Piña today. 
Chablis spending more time on its side than any other position today
Interestingly enough most of the time Chablis was creating such the loud smack from each flipper flopping down on the water (keep in mind each flipper can easily reach 15ft in length and weigh one ton each!), Piña would appear to nap alongside this other active whale. One whale continued to appear to be so relaxed while the other was rolling left and right, and even belly up multiple times! What a interesting comparison of whale behaviors just feet away from each other. 
Chablis' flippers high in the sky (and belly up!) while Piña remains stationary next to Chablis (you can see Piña's dorsal fin just in front of Chablis' flippers)

More of Chablis' flipper and Piña still sleeping

Eventually we saw Piña flick her tail above the water, perhaps attempting to get Chablis to quit the flipper slapping going on so close to her or just finally waking up from all her naps this afternoon
Regardless of the activity we got some incredible looks at all our whales as even Patches rolled over on its side and flipper slapped nearby for all to see. 
Patches (above and below) as this whale rolled on its side close by (so much so you can even make out Patches' eye seen just to the right of its white flipper!)

Along with 7 Minke whales seen during our travels and some familiar whales moving into the area it most certainly was another great day to be on the water!
Minke whale passing on through the area

Flippers high above the waterline never gets old especially when multiple whales are around to truly visualize just how large these whales are

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