Saturday, June 30, 2018

Saturday, June 30, 2018

This morning we saw 8 minke whales and 2 humpback whales. Our minke whales were scattered all throughout the trip.
One of the many minke whales sighted this morning
We also got the chance to spend time with Gondolier and Pinball the humpbacks whales. Even though a good-sized swell remained the surface was calm allowing for great viewing conditions of our whales.
Gondolier
Pinball (above and below)

Perhaps the most special sighting of the morning for the crew however, was a certain minke whale we found on our travels home. Referred to as "Finke" by the Granite State crew, this whale has had a rough life. Not only is it missing its dorsal fin but it has multiple scars from multiple human-related impacts. Luckily this whale still lives even after being struck by a boat. We haven't seen this whale in a couple years so it was a wonderful surprise to see it today!
"Finke' the minke! You can see even on a nice day it is tough to spot this whale!
This afternoon we saw a pod of 6 Atlantic white-sided dolphins briefly, 2 fin whales, 4 minke whales and 2 humpback whales. One of our fin whales was #9709, a known adult female.
Fin whale #9709
Gondolier and Pinball continued to be in the area as we watched them create a few bubble clouds before wrapping up another successful day in the Gulf of Maine.
Pinball
Gondolier

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018


We took the day off from whale watching yesterday to let the wind and rain pass by. By “day off”, I really mean we got caught up on boat maintenance and paperwork! 

Today we were refreshed and eager to get back on the ocean searching for whales. The morning trip found three humpback whales: Nine, Pinball and Hornbill as well as some minke whales and a harbor seal. Out of the three, Pinball was sighted the most often as she surfaced frequently to breath and even dove right behind the boat! 
Pinball
Pinball coming in for a close look at us!
Hornbill came in from nowhere and spent a few moments with Pinball before heading off on his own.  
Hornbill
I don’t think I’ve ever seen two of our Adoptable Whales is such close proximity to each other!! Nine, who was seen first, was great but then decided to swim off to the south.
Nine


This afternoon, we started our trip with a group of about 25 Atlantic white sided dolphins just south of the Isles of Shoals. The glassy calm seas were perfect for dolphin viewing as they swam right alongside our boat! Dolphins are only seen on about 20-25% of our trips so we were excited to spot this pod!  


Further out, we came upon a humpback whale named Sedge, and then Pinball again! Our third humpback whale was Gondolier!  Our guests often ask if the morning trip is better than the afternoon trip, or vice versa, but really, we never know what (or who) we will find from trip to trip!  We also had a quick look at a grey seal.
Sedge


Pinball

Spout!

Gondolier
Bird sightings are picking up as well. Today we say Wilson’s storm petrels, northern gannets, great shearwaters, sooty shearwaters, a red necked phalarope in addition to the usual gulls and terns.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Today we were fortunate enough to see toothed-whales and baleen whales on both of our trips! This morning we saw a pod of ~50 Atlantic white-sided dolphins and 4 humpback whales.
Atlantic white-sided dolphins (above and below)


More spouts were out in the distance from multiple humpback whales but we spent our time with Spoon and her 2018 calf and Sedge.
Spoon and her calf
Sedge
Spoon's calf was rolling around at the surface a bit flipper slapping, spy-hopping and even breaching once randomly!
Spoon's calf spy-hopping! 
This afternoon we saw 2 minke whales, 3 small pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins, a fin whale and 5 humpback whales.
More Atlantic white-sided dolphins sighted this afternoon!
Some whales were spending more time at the surface than others but we got some great looks at Wigwam and her 2018 calf and Clamp the humpback whales.
Clamp
Wigwam's calf was being a little squirmy at the surface, rolling around, flipper slapping and also spy-hopping.
A spy-hop from Wigwam's calf!
Wigwam at the surface while her calf begins to raise its flipper in the air

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

This morning our trip started with a large fin whale. This whale was heading in the opposite direction we were hoping to go so after a few looks at this massive mammal we pressed on towards Jeffreys Ledge.
Fin whale
We were able to spend time with Gondolier and Sedge the humpback whales. As these whales were busy moving around, busy searching for food, we even saw a minke whale moving through the area with 4 in total for the trip.
Gondolier
Sedge
This afternoon we ended up finding 7 humpback whales and 3 minke whales. Our humpback whales were creating plenty of bubble clouds, taking advantage of the productivity in the Gulf of Maine, and feasting on fish. Doublet, Pinball, Clamp, Sedge, Doric and Spoon and her 2018 calf were the individuals we got a chance to spend time with.
Doublet
Pinball

Spoon and her calf
Spoon's tail

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday, June 24, 2018

What a day today. So many special sightings with great whales. This morning we saw a total of 5 humpback whales. We started with Doublet moving here, there and everywhere.
Doublet
We then came across Spoon and her 2018 calf. The calf even began to jump out of the water and continued this behavior for a bit.
Spoon's calf catching some air!
With boat traffic increasing in the area we left this pair and checked out one of the other humpback whales in the area. Sedge the humpback was one of those whales.
Sedge
This afternoon we started with a minke whale just a few miles from the harbor. From there we remained well inshore of Jeffreys Ledge and attempted to check out 2 fin whales. These massive mammals were no doubt being elusive but when you have the second largest animals on Earth you have to try to get a look.
What a sneaky fin whale looks like. This whale barely showed ANY of its body at the surface!
Eventually we cut our losses and went to check out a humpback whale in the area. Well, we were almost immediately distracted when a different humpback whale came out of nowhere breaching to make its presence known! We watched this whale continue this behavior for quite some time. Different whales breaching on boat trips today? For real?!? Speechless.
Hello breaching whale!
Moment captured while this whale was smacking its flipper on the surface of the ocean
Sky high breach!
Only recently was I able to finally match this whale. It was Scylla's 2016 calf.
One last breaching photo of Scylla's 2016 calf
Want to learn something even more fascinating? The whale we ended our trip on this afternoon was Scylla herself, moving through the area on her own accord while her past offspring had only just been nearby. Yep. Speechless.
Scylla

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The strong winds in the forecast kept us on land this afternoon but it didn't deter us from searching for whales this morning. Amid the ocean waves getting bigger and a good rain shower that traveled with us for most of the way home the ocean was chalk full of marine mammals! We saw 3 harbor seals, 4 pods of harbor porpoises, a large fin whale and that was only miles from home!
Can you find the seal peaking out?
Fin whale
Further offshore we saw 2 small pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins (approximately 12 individuals in the first pod and 8-10 in the second group), 2 minke whales and 4 humpback whales.
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
We spent time with three of the humpback whales in the area which included Gondolier and Wigwam and her 2018 calf.
Gondolier
The calf stole the show today. Thanks to our Blue Ocean Society interns, Theresa and Austin, they recorded the calf breach 50 times! Wow. That's a lot of energy!
One of the many breaches from the calf this morning!

Friday, June 22, 2018


The northeast wind was a bit fierce as we left the dock but thankfully it died right out. After a little searching, we found a few humpback whales, Wilson’s storm petrels, great shearwaters, sooty shearwaters and northern gannets. The first humpback was adoptable whale, Satula. 


He was blowing deep bubble clouds to corral his prey.  Next was Gondolier:


 and finally Clamp. She was also feeding using bubble clouds!  

The morning trip turned out much better than I had expected! Just goes to show, you can never have expectations of what you will, or will not, see!


The afternoon trip was beautiful. Several minke whales were seen included one that came up right in front of our boat!  We also got looks at three humpback whales and spotted even more whales in the distance! Pinball, another adoptable whale was taking short dives and surfacing frequently. 


Then Wigwam and her calf showed us just what mom/calf pairs do: Mom will venture off to feed while the calf is left to its own devices. While Wigwam was away, the calf played!  The youngster stayed with our boat checking us out!  Just before Wigwam returned, threw its tail out of the water, creating a nice splash. The calf did that a couple times before it met up with mom and they went on their way.