Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday, October 12

The final trip of the season could not have been better. The calm seas, crisp clear horizon and warm sunny rays made time out on the open ocean a perfect combination. Add in some wonderful whale sightings and it was a wonderful way to wrap up another successful whale watching season. Our first stop of the day was only a couple of miles beyond the harbor. We had come across a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins.
Splashing waves as our dolphins swam at the surface
The best part of this sighting was that this group was such a tight-knit group, and with the calm water, the visual of watching these agile mammals was incredible. There were about 60 of these whales circling all around the boat.
Such beautiful conditions to watch these dolphins!
Dolphins were swimming all around the boat!
It was perhaps some of the best looks at Atlantic white-sided dolphins we have had all season and a phenomenal way to start our day.
Another snapshot of a few Atlantic-white sided dolphins
As we pressed on offshore we spotted a single spout out in the distance. Low and behold it was our same yet-to-be-named Humpback whale we have seen in the area over the past week.
First Humpback whale of the day
As we watched this whale swim in circles we spotted a pair of spouts just beyond some boats. We ventured in that direction and quickly realized there were actually three whales in this group. A trio of Humpback whales were traveling through the area. After a few looks we were able to match up their tail patterns to a few familiar whales and a newcomer to the area. Putter, Shuffleboard and Tumbleweed were spending time with one another.
Putter
It has been well over a month since we last saw Putter and we have yet to see Tumbleweed in our area all season. What a great find.
Tumbleweed, Putter and Shuffleboard cruising around together
We did some more searching and found another Humpback whale on our travels home. Turns out it was Repeat, a whale we saw last month, but have not seen recently in our area. Fantastic sightings, fantastic weather, and fantastic passengers to wrap up a pretty wonderful time out on the ocean this year. Thanks to all who joined us and shared in each and every special experience searching and watching some absolutely incredible massive mammals of the sea this season. We look forward to having you share in more moments in 2015!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday, October 11

It most certainly was a Fall-like day today. Cool temperatures and some raindrops to deal with reminded us that it is definitely not summer anymore. The lack of wind made for absolutely calm seas however, which is always a bonus when it comes to searching for whales. We ended up seeing 3 Humpback whales, a Minke whale and many, many pods of Harbor porpoise. The Minke whale was scooting around the outskirts of the area where we started with our first Humpback whale of the trip. This whale was slowly moving around area and turned out to be Jabiru.
Jabiru
We enjoyed watching this relaxed whale before we decided to do some exploring around the area. Our next whales turned out to be two new whales for us this year! A pair of Humpback whales were spending time side by side each other. After a few looks we were able to figure out it was Highlighter and Orbit.
Highlighter
Orbit
It is always fun to find new animals for us, at any time of the year, but even more so now that we are down to the last few trips of the year. These wild whales really do utilize the Gulf of Maine for as long as possible before they migrate south for the winter and on any given day can provide new and exciting sightings!
Highlighter and Orbit slowly moving along

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday, October 10

What a beautiful day today. With a much calmer ocean than what is has been over the past few weeks and a crisp horizon gave us fantastic conditions for spotting whale activity today. Our first stop of the day was a Humpback whale.
Humpback whale dorsal fin
This particular whale has been spending some time in our area as we once again found it in a similar location to where we last saw it (this past Sunday). We got some very nice looks at this whale even though it was doing a bit of scooting around the area.
The black and white pattern found on this whale's tail (ventral side) is confirmation that it is the same whale first seen in our area in 2012 even though it has yet to get a proper name
Humpback whale tail (dorsal side)
As we were enjoying our time with this Humpback whale we learned of other whale activity out in the distance (thanks to our great fishing friends!). We made our way in that direction and soon came across a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins! These are always a crowd-pleasing sighting (for all ages!) and today was of no exception.
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
This group was just milling around, being so mellow, as we got some great looks from all angles around the boat.
Dolphins always puts a smile on all of our faces!
Eventually we pressed on and attempted to relocate a whale we had seen out in the distance but unfortunately this whale seemed to want nothing to do with us. We patiently surveyed the area but alas it appeared as though this whale had no desire to be watched. All we can do it try as it is always up to the whales, and their behaviors, that determines if we are fortunate enough to get a glimpse into their water world. We are now down to our last two trips of the season so here's hoping for good weather and some more sightings to be had over this coming holiday weekend!
Gorgeous sunset after a great day out on the water

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday, October 5

Happy October everyone! It has been a week since the weather has allowed us to venture out on the water. Lots and lots and LOTS of wind this week kept us on land and with the forecast being the best it has been all week, we decided to give it a try. While the ocean was still a bit bumpy from the week of weather, the whales seemed to not be fazed. We saw 3 Humpback whales and 2 Fin whales today. Our first whale was a single Humpback whale circling around the area. While this whale, and mostly all of our whales today, was spending a good amount of time under the water it would surface relatively close by.
First whale of the day
We saw this whale last week for the first time all season and still have yet to match it to a known animal in the catalog. So until we figure out exactly who this whale is it was certainly nice regardless to find it once again spending time in our area.
Humpback whale swimming alongside us (above and below)
Soon we pressed on and ended up finding a pair of Fin whales on the move. These two enormous mammals were definitely traveling but we were lucky to see both of them cruise right alongside us at one point.
Close pass by this Fin whale!
As one of these whales went on a deeper dive we instantaneously recognized such a familiar animal. It was Dingle! We last saw this animal just over a month ago, on September 3rd to be exact. What a great surprise to find this whale once again in our area!
Great to see Dingle once again today!
While these Fin whales continued to move along we decided to venture off in a different direction. Our last sighting of the day was another pair, this time a Humpback whale pair. Shuffleboard and Springboard were slowly moving around together. We spent a bit of time with these whales before it was time to head for home.
Springboard and Shuffleboard
We are down to our last week of whale watching for the 2014 season. Hopefully the weather cooperates and we get back out on the water a few more times before we wrap up another year of watching whales!