Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday, September 27

What a beautiful day! The weather was warm, the ocean was calm and if you didn't know it was actually Autumn you would for sure think it was a wonderful summer day out on the water today. With such gorgeous conditions watching whales was even that much more of a treat. And there certainly was plenty to look at! We saw lots and lots of Harbor seals out in the water, a few pods of Harbor porpoise and two types of baleen whales today. Our first whale of the day was a Fin whale. This massive creature was doing lots of tail stock rises, showcasing the back portion of its body over and over again for all to see. Turns out this grand whale is #0808, a whale first seen in 2008!
Fin whale #0808
Check out the images below to see a distinguishing characteristic of all Fin whales. The lower jaws on either side of all Fin whales are actually different colors!
The right side of all Fin whales have a white lower jaw

The left side of all Fin whales have a dark lower jaw
With some great looks at this extremely large mammal we pressed on to some of the other spouts we were seeing. Since there were a few other whale watching boats around and with plenty of spouts being seen out in the distance (and wanting to give the whales plenty of space) we by-passed two Humpback whales moving around on their own. Soon we came across a pair of sleeping whales. These two Humpback whales, Sword and Springboard, were just bobbing up and down with the gentle swell as they both remained quite stationary the majority of the time we were with them.
Sword and Springboard
A few times these whales definitely woke up as Sword flipper slapped and Buzzard did some tail slashing just below the waterline. Other than that these two whales were very mellow.
Sword's bright white flipper above the water while Springboard remains close by
Springboard contorting the back part of its body to thrash its tail from side to side while Sword can be seen in the background
We let these whales continue on napping as we maneuvered our way to a few other spouts we were seeing. It was another pair of Humpback whales: Quote and Buzzard.
Quote
These two whales also seemed to be quite mellow, napping most of the time. Such behaviors allow for some incredible looks at these medium-sized whales as they hover at the ocean's surface.
Quote resting at the surface while Buzzard's nose is at the surface with a small piece of seaweed on the tip of this whale's nose!

Buzzard and Quote
Before wrapping up the day we attempted to back track and try to find one of the other whales we had passed earlier in the trip. Instead most of us were witness to Springboard and Sword as both of them all of a sudden jumped clear out of the water! While this amazing sight happened out in the distance it was still incredibly impressive to see these adults breach right out of the water. It happened so suddenly and just this once that no one was ready with their cameras but wow what a memory. We made our way over to this pair once more just in case either whale decided to breach once again, but alas they decided once had been enough.
Springboard
Sword
With some more nice looks at this pair moving around together we headed for home. On our travels home though we did get a chance to check out a good-sized Blue shark on the move. So much to look at and so much to enjoy today we wonder what tomorrow will bring!

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