Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday September 25

The cooler temperatures today certainly reminded us that Fall has officially arrived. While the air was cool and crisp the seas were calm and the area was once again filled with life. Among the 5 Minke whales spotted throughout our travels today we also spent some quality time with three different pairs of Humpback whales. Each pair of whales provided its own excitement for the day for if you continue you will soon see why...

Our first pair of the day were Cacophony and a new visitor to Jeffreys Ledge this season: Nile! Nile spent a lot (and I mean a lot!) of time further south of us this summer before she disappeared from every one's eyesight for a while. Low and behold she has turned up near us! 
Nile and Cacophony
Nile spent some time on Jeffreys Ledge last year but had yet to come visit the area until now. What a great surprise!
Nile
Looks like she also decided to follow suit with many of the other whales we have been seeing recently for she, as well as Cacophony too, spent most of their time napping at the surface. 
Nile and Cacophony's tail
With the whales barely moving through the area we were able to get some great looks before allowing them to continue on with their day as we headed on to investigate another spout we saw in the distance.

Turns out there was another pair of Humpback whales in the area. Only instead of them being two adults like we spent time with earlier, it was Valley and her calf! 
Valley

Valley's large body while her calf's "tiny" body is visible close by Mom
These two whales were mostly nursing but also took some time to nap along the water's edge. Valley even left a red cloud on the surface (whale poop!) for us to watch dissipate as this mother and her 1+ ton calf swam through the area. 
Valley and her calf (Mom's body and the calf's head)

Valley's "big wings." Her large flippers (light patches seen extending out from her body) are flared out as she gets ready to go on a deeper dive
With a bit more time on the water we decided to leave our current pair and check out a few more spouts our eagle-eyed crew had spotted out in the distance. Little did we know what we were about to find out.

Two more Humpback whales were nearby but their dorsal fins weren't recognizable with some of our recent visitors to the area. It wasn't until we saw their flukes (and did some searching through our catalog) did we discover just who these two whales were. Ditto and Touchdown were around Jeffreys Ledge!!! For most people these two whales are exciting enough as it is; aka. two more new visitors to the area this season. However it goes much, much, further than that. We on the Granite State love what we do (as our nerdy ocean-loving-selves typically portray on any given day) and these particular whales are true testaments to just that. Amazing moment #1 for the day: Touchdown was just seen by one of our crews members on September 6 off of Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick, Canada! Who can say they have seen the EXACT same whale...in two different countries...all in one month?!?!? 
Touchdown is certainly utilizing many of the productive feeding grounds in the Gulf of Maine this season!
What an amazing sighting! (And yes, I apologize for the complete nerd-factor coming to the forefront right now.) But seriously, a whale that hasn't been seen in our area for quite some time to suddenly make its presence known to the same set of eyes that had seen it all the way up in the Bay of Fundy just earlier this month? Incredible. And yet the incredibleness only continues. 

Ditto, the companion seen with Touchdown, shares its own amazing bit of information. This particular whale hasn't been seen on Jeffreys Ledge since 1994!! That's 19 YEARS!!!!! And how do we know this?? Because one of our crew members has such a sponge of a memory for whale information that once a positive identity was determined for this whale, it was a complete flashback to years ago!
Welcome back to the area (just shy of 20 years!) Ditto!!!!
Can you imagine after so many years of watching whales out of the blue (literally!) a whale from years, and years, and years ago is once again swimming through the area?!?!? Incredible moment #2 of the day.

We like to try and show our passengers all that we can while out whale watching and while we try to pass along our excitement and awe of any whale we see sometimes even we are taken aback unexpectedly. Each trip holds its own moments and memories for all on board but it was an extra "hats off" kind of day to the hard-working crew with their unbelievable and unimaginable moments the whales provided them today.

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