Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday, July 11

The whales are moving around quite a bit these days, keeping us on our toes. This morning we found a minke whale inshore. We spent some time with this active whale before heading offshore.

Morning minke whale
Out on the eastern edge of Jeffreys Ledge, we found a humpback whale. This was Sedge who we had seen yesterday morning up on the northern part of the ledge. Sedge is really moving around! 



While we were waiting for Sedge to come back up, an ocean sunfish had decided to check us out and was right next to the boat!! This huge fish spent a good amount of time with us before slowly moving away. Ocean sunfish are pretty odd looking but really fun to watch close up.
Morning ocean sunfish

This afternoon, we headed back to where we left the humpback whale from the morning trip but it was nowhere to be found. On our trek there, we came upon a very nice minke whale. This one had 2 distinctive notches in its fin and some cool light/dark gray coloration on its sides. We can use these marks to identify individuals and track them over the years, just like we do with humpback and fin whales. 
Afternoon minke #1

Afternoon minke #1

 We found another ocean sunfish who seemed to circle the boat for a bit. Ocean sunfish are the largest species of bony (as opposed to cartilaginous) fish in the world! 

Afternoon ocean sunfish (courtesy of W. Tracy Jr)

On our way back in, we stopped on another minke whale. This one looked similar to the one we found this morning but wasn’t the same whale. We really love getting close looks at these minke whales to be able to tell if we are seeing the same whales over and over, or if we are seeing different minkes. Their dorsal fins and light/dark gray patterns are really unique!
Afternoon minke #2

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