Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday, September 29

Boy have we been lucky to generally have such calm seas recently. Add in a plethora of wildlife to watch and it was another successful day in the Gulf of Maine today! We saw 2 ocean sunfish, 9 humpback whales (in pairs and even a group of 4) and a pod of ~25 Atlantic white-sided dolphins during our trip.
Ocean sunfish
Can you spot all 4 humpback whales in this image?
Tight-knit grouping of Atlantic white-sided dolphins
The humpback whales we recognized included Spoon, Sword, Shuffleboard, A-plus, Reaper, Othello and Pitcher.
Sword and Spoon
A-plus and Shuffleboard
Pitcher
Some of our humpback whales were resting, others slowly traveling along and one even flipper-slapped multiple times. As if these moments weren't special enough we got a chance to check out some inter-species associations as our group of dolphins were associated with our group of 4 humpback whales!
Large flipper high in the air
Humpback whales and dolphins!
Humpback whale still flipper-slapping as the dolphins remained associated with these larger mammals

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursdsay, September 28

With a school group from Vermont on board today, we ventured out in search of whales. After a 3.5 hour bus ride, we were really hoping to be able to show these green mountain natives some of what we have here in the great blue sea. Thankfully, the whales cooperated and we were successful! Thirteen humpback whales were spotted including Sword, Patches, Owl and her calf, Echo, Shuffleboard and Othello!  One of the  humpback whales was breaching at a distance, but of course stopped once we got close...Murphy's Law... We also saw a group of harbor porpoises on our way out, as well as a grey seal!  Our students also got a little history lesson as we passed in between the Isles of Shoals on our way home.
Sword

Patches (the whale on our brochure cover!)

Owl and her calf

Humpback diving

Echo- see the orca teeth marks on the lower left side??

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 27

I don't think I have worn shorts and a t-shirt on a late September whale watch ever before! The weather has been pretty atypical this fall with lots of fog and then temps in the 80's! Our trip today was beautiful with clear skies and calm seas. Nine humpback whales were seen along with some Atlantic white sided dolphins, a couple of minke whales and harbor seals!
Jabiru

Spoon with leaping dolphin!

Trio of whales

Churn

Humpback diving

Humpback and dolphins under the boat
 We even were treated to a lovely tour of the Isles of Shoals as we passed through them on our way home!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday, September 26

The humpbacks are still around! In spite of our foggy start, we found nine humpback whales (one trio and three pairs), three minke whales, a small pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins, a couple of harbor seals and even a quick look at a shark today! The humpbacks were the highlight as most of them were sleepy, not moving quickly and allowing us some incredible views!  Our trio also began to flipper-slap from a distance! Owl and her calf were seen, being escorted by the dolphins for a bit, and in true Owl style, she chose to pay us a visit, swimming over to us to check us out! We love this whale!
Reaper

Echo

Spoon and Cardhu

Owl
Atlantic white sided dolphins

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 25

We had a school trip today and stellar sea conditions to go along with it! There was a variety of life to be seen including 12 humpback whales, 4 minke whales, a fin whale and a small pod of 10-12 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.
Whale tail

A sleek fin whale
Dolphins
Most of the humpback whales were resting at the surface and the calm seas made for incredible looks at all of the mammals sighted today!
Could the ocean be any calmer? I don't think so!
Four humpback whales all napping at the surface
Spy-hop!
A familiar whale, Patches, was sighted today!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday, September 24

Finally, after a week of waiting for the weather to break, we got back out on the water today. Considering our last whale watch was spent searching for life in thick fog today was a fantastic change in scenery. Our final numbers for the day included 13 humpback whales, 4 minke whales and 6 harbor seals. Most of our humpback whale sightings were trios and almost all were napping.
Three humpback whales
Humpback whale snout
Harbor seal
Thanks to the most beautifully calm seas we got some incredible looks at so many of our sightings.
The water was so calm you could see this whale's entire flipper below the surface!
Diving humpback whale
Humpback whale surfacing for a breath of air
Because we had so many relaxed whales getting tail shots were few and far between but we do have a few whales IDed. Some of the whales sighted today included Shuffleboard, Churn, Echo, A-plus, Daffodil, Reaper and Owl and her calf.
Shuffleboard
Echo
Owl and her calf

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, September 17

The fog finally defeated us today. No large whales were seen in the 1/4 to 1/2 mile visibility we had during the entire trip, but we did see 8 ocean sunfish, 5 harbor seals and a bunch of pelagic birds including northern gannets, Wilson's storm petrels, red necked phalaropes, Corys shearwaters, eiders, a Bonaparte's gull, loon and 2 scoters!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday, September 16

Today started just as it had yesterday with plenty of fog. Except today the fog was even thicker!
The fog was so thick you could BARELY see White Island Lighthouse as we passed through the Isles of Shoals this morning
We headed offshore to where we had luck with whales yesterday and even though the fog lingered longer than we had hoped we saw life throughout our trip! In total, we saw 9 ocean sunfish, 2 minke whales, blue fin tuna chasing down bait fish and 3 fin whales.
Ocean sunfish just beyond the Shoals
Minke whale
Fin whale!
The ocean was so calm that any disturbance triggered our eyes and we were ready to react to what was causing it.
Another one of the many ocean sunfish sighted today
Second minke whale of the day
We again thank our passengers who were eagerly keeping an eye out for activity and for our offshore charter fishing friends who were keeping an eye around them when capable! During our travels home we were privy to some gorgeous looks at 3 fin whales, including a pair, in such beautiful seas.
Fin whale pair in the calmest of ocean conditions (above and below)