Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday, September 16

Every moment you have the opportunity to see wild animals in their natural habitat it can be a special memory. When wildlife and weather end up working hand in hand, it can be even that much more memorable. Today was one of those days. We had some fantastic sightings made only even more incredible by the super calm ocean conditions today. Calm seas allow us to see the potential for more disturbances on the water (potential wildlife sightings) and when we do come upon those sightings you can truly appreciate the size and shape of the creatures you are looking at. Today was of no exception. There was no shortage of marine life as we saw 2 Minke whales, lots of Harbor seals, an Ocean sunfish, 10 Humpback whales and a pod of at least 200 Atlantic white-sided dolphins!
One of the many Harbor seals seen today
We first started with a pair of Humpback whales. It was Spoon and her calf. We got some phenomenal looks at this pair that spent most of their time napping at the surface.
Spoon and her calf

Spoon's calf's tail
At one point Spoon's calf rolled over on its side showcasing its white flipper above the water
Not far from this pair was another pair; another mother/calf pair! This second pair in the area was Owl and her calf.
Owl
Our whales were not far from each other and at one point we had Spoon, Owl and their respective calves cross paths with one another.
Owl and her calf in the foreground while Spoon and her calf are visible in the background!
After these great looks we went in search of more activity and ended up coming across another pair of Humpback whales. This time it was two adults traveling. Crook, a new visitor to the Jeffreys Ledge region this season, was swimming along with Churn.
Crook

Churn and Crook
With some nice looks at these whales we were off again to enjoy the pristine conditions and look for more whale activity. We briefly stopped on an Ocean sunfish before seeing a spout out in the distance.
Ocean sunfish
Soon there was another and another spout. There were 4 more Humpback whales moving around together! We kept our distance as a research vessel from Provincetown, MA was currently working these whales and we definitely never want to interfere with active research being done on these wild whales.
3 of the 4 Humpback whales at the surface
Even from a distance we got some nice looks which included Geometry, Nine, Sigma and Tornado. What a great way to finish up our trip on. However, on our way home we had another surprise waiting for us. A large pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were using their speed as they were zipping through the water.
Dolphins cruising through the water
Atlantic white-sided dolphins!
Again, the beautiful ocean conditions allowed for some fantastic looks at these toothed-whales on the move. Definitely a treat to end our trip with, on top of the already wonderful day on the water.
Atlantic white-sided dolphin

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