Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tuesday, June 27

This morning we started our whale watch soon after passing by the Isles of Shoals. A relatively small minke whale was moving about.
This particular minke whale appeared to be much smaller than ones we normally encounter
After a few looks at this "nugget" we headed further offshore and saw 3 fin whales. We had one fin whale napping and even fin whale #0282 nearby.
The tip of the tail of one of our fin whales today!
Fin whale #0282
Our last whales of the trip were two humpback whales. Hornbill and Gondolier are still spending time in the Jeffreys Ledge area!
Humpback whale tail
We thought our sightings were over but not quite yet. During our trip home we found 5 basking sharks!
Two basking shark dorsal fins at the surface near the Isles of Shoals
This afternoon we started the trip in search of some basking sharks and found just that! We checked out one of these large sharks before heading further offshore.
Basking shark dorsal fin
During our travels we found 3 minke whales and even Hornbill the humpback whale again.
This time on our travels home we let Mother Nature showcase some other impressive sights with the cool cloud formations we saw as the weather rolled out offshore.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday, June 26

Today we saw multiple species of whales and an added bonus of basking sharks on both of our trips! This morning we saw 3 fin whales, 3 minke whales, 2 humpback whales and 7 basking sharks.
Fin whale
Fin whale exhaling
Humpback whale tail
We got some great looks at all of the different types of whales we saw including Dingle the fin whale and humpback whales Hornbill and Gondolier.
Dingle the fin whale
Hornbill the humpback whale
Gondolier the humpback whale
On on travels back to the mainland we found ourselves surrounded by 5 basking sharks just beyond the Isles of Shoals. What a fun surprise!
Close-up look at a basking shark so close to the boat
Basking shark wandering through the water beyond the Isles of Shoals. Don't worry. These fish have no major teeth. They are filter feeders and are only "dangerous" to the plankton they eat!
Basking shark with White Island Lighthouse in the background
Basking shark swimming at the surface. The fin on the left is the tail fin and on the right is its dorsal fin
This afternoon we headed straight to our basking shark "hot spot" in hopes one of these large sharks were still moseying around. We soon checked out one of the two basking sharks we sighted in the same general area.
Basking shark fin beyond the Isles once again!
Basking shark dorsal fin
As we moved further offshore we saw 3 fin whales, 3 minke whales and Hornbill and Gondolier the humpback whales again. There was certainly plenty of wildlife to enjoy today!
Fin whale diving


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, June 25

This morning we found one fin whale after another. Among the 7 fin whales we saw in total there were also 9 minke whales throughout our travels and Hornbill the humpback whale.
The first of many fin whales to come for the day
The white lower jaw found on the right-hand side of all fin whales
Hornbill the humpback whale
With barely any wind on the water the ocean provided pristine conditions to not only search for, but also watch, these beautiful creatures. We found a fin whale napping, blue fin tuna leaping out of the water and a very familiar minke whale: Scar!
Scar minke whale!
This afternoon we saw 4 fin whales offshore and a minke whale inside the Isles of Shoals! Some of our fin whales were doing a great job holding their breaths but we got some great views of these massive creatures.
Large fin whale
Another fin whale. These whales are soooooo long!

Fin whale with the state of Maine in the background

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday, June 24

This morning, the wind was still cranking off shore and thunderstorms were imminent so we decided to stay in the harbor. By the afternoon, the sun was out and the seas flattened out nicely! What a difference a few hours can make!

We came across quite a variety of marine life near Jeffreys Ledge. Four or five huge fin whales were spotted including the familiar #9618. 

Several minke whales were also seen and although a bit elusive, we did get great views of one of them. 

Basking sharks (the 2nd largest species of shark) were grouped up as well and one of them came right to the boat, giving most of us a really great view of just how big they are! 

 On our way in, another fin whale and a few minkes were seen along with a small and elusive pod of harbor porpoises.  Such a wonderful variety of ocean wildlife today!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday, June 23

The hazy skies and reduced visibility made our job a little more difficult than usual today. Luckily, we spotted a humpback whale named Gondolier just as we were about to move our search to a different area. Short dive times gave us plenty of opportunities to view this animal as he circled around the area. 

On our way home, we got some quick looks at a minke whale, too.   Then as we continued on, a few lucky folks (maybe just our interns and mate) saw something most unusual. A basking shark breached inches from the boat as we were heading at full speed.  It was close enough that the splash soaked the back deck! We've seen basking sharks breach before but NEVER that close! What will we see next??

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22

Today it one fin whale after another! This morning we took a great group of students out from Indian River. We ended up finding 5 fin whales and 6 minke whales.
First fin whale of the day: #9724
Some of our morning whales were being a bit elusive but when you have (literally) a boatload of enthusiastic eagle-eyed kiddos we had no problem relocating anything we came across!
Fin whale spout
Another morning fin whale
This afternoon we started our sightings with a pair of fin whales just beyond the Isles of Shoals!
Beautiful chevron pattern from one of our afternoon fin whales
Fin whale
The sightings kept coming after that. More and more fin whales, 9 in total(!) and even a couple humpback whales; thanks Captain Brad.
Fin whale exhalation
Nature certainly has some magical moments
Our humpback whale sightings included a quick distant look at Hornbill while we watched Gondolier circle around creating a few bubble clouds.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday June 21, 2017  Mother nature kept us onshore for the past few days, but today was a beautiful day to spend on the ocean!  Throughout the day we saw at least a dozen basking sharks feeding in the area.  On our morning trip we were treated to sightings of 7 Fin whales, 5 Minke whales and a Humpback named Hornbill.  Our afternoon trip brought more fantastic Fin whale sightings.