Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday, July 23

The ocean is full of surprises and each of our trips exemplify that to the fullest. A different experience on each and every one of our trips is what makes searching for, and watching, wildlife a special moment. Just like every day we got a chance to once again enjoy such experiences today. This morning started off quite slow. We checked out a few areas where whales had been seen only 24hrs beforehand. Unfortunately we were coming up short and thus continued to do some more searching. Soon everything changed. We first checked out a few Minke whales circling around the area.
Minke whale
Soon not far from us a spout was seen out in the distance. We checked it out and came across a very familiar Fin whale. It was Comet!
Comet the Fin whale
It has been almost 2 months since we last saw this whale in our area. Where has this whale been? What parts of the Gulf of Maine has this whale been spending time in? Has Comet remained close by and just out of view for this whole time? While we may never know those answers we do know she is here now and we were thrilled to have her spending time moving around the area. We ventured a bit further offshore as we thought we had seen another spout out in the distance. We didn't have any luck and decided to head back over to get some last looks at Comet before heading for home. On our way back however, something rarely seen was at the surface. It was a Loggerhead sea turtle!
Unfortunately a bit out of focus but such an awesome sighting of a Loggerhead sea turtle!
Sea turtles do reside in our area but are seldom seen by many. So much so one of our crew members has spent more than 18 years out on the open ocean and only today got the chance to finally see a sea turtle!!! Such a rare and special sighting!!!
Our turtle swimming in straight towards the boat!
Before long it was time to head for home. However, on our way home we spotted another spout. One spout quickly turned into two! We thought it must be Comet and a friend who may have moved into the area since it was close to where we had last spent time with Comet. But that wasn't the case at all! Two completely different whales were there and were moving through the water together. Turned out it was Fjord and #1008, two whales we had seen yesterday morning on the move together! This ocean certainly keeps us on our toes.
Fin whale #1008 seen where we had just left Comet only minutes ago!
Fjord the Fin whale heading past us
This afternoon we headed back offshore. Our first sighting was a Minke whale cruising through the waves. We got a couple looks at this whale before we made our way back to where Comet was. This whale was also on the move this afternoon but got some great looks as she moved around.
Comet (above and below)
On our way home we even got a few more surprises as we found the fin-less Minke whale we have seen over the past few years inshore of the Isles of Shoals. This whale lost it's dorsal fin and instead has a large scar on its back. Luckily this whale survived through the incident and while a Minke whale with no fin can be quite tricky to keep track of we all find this Minke whale one of our favorites amongst the crew.
This no-fin Minke whale swims away from us as you can see the scar (which is much more visible on the whale's left side) where its dorsal fin should be
What a day. And that can only mean that tomorrow will be equally as unknowing and exciting all on its own.

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