What a day on Jeffreys Ledge! This morning the seas were as calm as they could be so we decided to take advantage of the optimal conditions and go exploring the northern region of the Ledge. After a quick stop on 4 amazing and circling basking sharks, we kept going and going and going. Eventually we spotted a minke whale, and then a second minke whale.
Then we spotted a dark spot on the horizon that quickly disappeared. We headed that way and found 3 humpback whales with a couple more in the area! The best part was that 2 of the whales were Owl and her new calf! Owl is a favorite of the Granite State crew and she’s even featured in our brochure, “spy-hopping” next to the boat! Humpback whale Owl and her calf were being followed by a male humpback named Chromosome. We watched these 3 for a bit before it was time to head home.
On our journey back to Rye Harbor, we passed by even more activity including several minke whales and a fin whale!
The breeze picked up a bit for our afternoon trip as tomorrow’s storm began its approach. We pointed the boat in the direction of where we left Owl and her calf on the morning trip. On our trek up there, we encountered a very curious fin whale calf, with its mother nearby. This young fin whale seem really interested in the boat, and also appeared to be trying to get its mother’s attention by rolling at the surface, partially breaching and even blowing bubbles! After we reviewed our photos of the mom, who was a bit more elusive, we realize she was Comet, who was first seen in 1997. This is Comet’s second calf that we know of and it was certainly was putting on a show for us today!
As 2 more boats came in to see Comet and her calf, we decided to keep heading out to where we had whales on the morning trip. Our journey paid off as we re-sighted Owl and her calf! This afternoon, her calf was also being a bit curious, approaching the boat with Owl several times! We got several close looks at them, but also got close looks at their scars, the sad reality of life in our oceans. Owl has a large scar on her back, likely from a ship strike when she was young. Her calf, only about 6 months old, already has fresh injuries which are consistent with an entanglement. Both ship strikes and entanglements can be lethal to whales so it was refreshing to see these two appearing to be doing well.
|Owl and calf|
Both Comet and Owl are adoptable whales through Blue Ocean Society. For more information about whale adoptions, visit www.blueoceansociety.org