Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018

This morning we remained well inshore of Jeffreys Ledge. We had 8 minke whales throughout our travels. Additionally, we spent time with four humpback whales. We started with Clamp before spending time with napping whales Nine and Milkyway. We ended our trip with Hornbill.
Clamp (above and below)

Nine randomly tail-breached in between its napping sessions
This afternoon we decided to venture to other areas, avoid the congestion of multiple whale watching vessels in the area, and see if other individual whales were around. Thanks to our fishing friends we spent time with Sedge the humpback whale. This whale was busy circling around never moving far from us. What fantastic looks!
Sedge (above and below)

We also had a total of 5 minke whales during this trip. The bird life was out and about as well this afternoon. We saw so many Wilson's storm petrels, more than we have seen in a long time this season. They were fluttering here, there and everywhere.
Wilson's storm petrel
Great shearwater and a Wilson's storm petrel
More petrels!
The day wrapped up as we headed for home. A napping fin whale was occasionally surfacing which we checked out for a quick bit.
Sleek body of a fin whale

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday, July 14, 2018

On both of our trips today we saw minke whales, fin whales and humpback whales. This morning we started whale watching before we even got past the Isles of Shoals. A mellow fin whale was roaming around, followed by a minke whale.
Minke whale inside the Isles of Shoals
Further offshore we saw two more minke whales before the trip ended with two humpback whales. Clamp and Hornbill were busy darting around the area.
Hornbill
Clamp circling at the surface
This afternoon our trip started even closer to home. We were less than a mile outside of the harbor when a minke whale popped up. After a few looks we continued on and ended up coming across two fin whales.
Fin whale with the Isles of Shoals in the background
One of our fin whales is a whale first documented by Blue Ocean Society researchers in 2007; #0718.
Fin whale #0718
We then spent time with Clamp the humpback whale creating a few bubble clouds and even lob-tailing once.
Clamp lob-tailing
Hornbill, on the other hand, was on the move and once we caught up to this whale there were two additional minke whales in the area. Some great looks at the variety of life on both of our trips today in the Gulf of Maine!
Hornbill

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday, July 13, 2018

Yes, it is Friday the 13th.  Thankfully, the whales didn't seem to notice.


The wind was a little stiffer than predicted this morning but that didn’t stop us from finding whales! We started out with one, then two, and finally three humpback whales all in the same neighborhood. Sedge, Satula and Pinball were moving around a lot but it seemed that at least one of them was usually at the surface. 
Satula near a boat fishing for tuna
Pinball!

Sedge
They certainly kept us on our toes as they moved in one direction, and then minutes later would be in the opposite direction!  A minke whale also surprised us with a close look before we turned for home. But to our surprise, we weren’t done whale watching yet.  As we approached the Isles of Shoals, Captain Jonathan saw a minke whale breaching repeatedly in the distance. 
That tiny white speck on the horizon is a breaching minke whale!
As we got closer, it stopped breaching but it did start screaming around at a high speed, creating quite the splashes.  Then it was time to go home…or so we thought. A fin whale surfaced close to us and this was the best look at a whale we had all morning! Fin whale #0282 swam right alongside us giving us all great views of its unique markings.
Fin whale #0282- Check out that lovely swirly marking on its back!

Fin whale #0282

 This afternoon was a little different. We ventured back to the area where we had the trio of humpbacks on the morning trip, only to find just one still there, Sedge. 
Sedge
We got a few looks at him before going off in search of the other blows that we had seen as we moved into the area. Unfortunately, those whales must have been on the move since we never relocated them.  As we continued to search the area, we found an active pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins which are always fun to see!  A harbor seal came close to the boat, and a few minke whales were spotted in transit.  We just never know what to expect from our wildlife which keeps our trips interesting!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Lots of diversity on the Ledge today! Several minke whales, three fin whales, a humpback whale and even some harbor porpoise were spotted on the morning trip. 
Minke whale
Although the fin whales were a bit elusive, we were surprised to see two of them together since fin whales are often seen alone.
Fin whale
Hornbill the humpback whale was awesome as he surfaced close to the boat repeatedly! His long white flippers were clearly visible just below the waves.  
Hornbill above and below

The seas improved over the course of the trip, and even on our way home, we passed some harbor porpoises and a small minke whale close to shore!


This afternoon, we located the pair of fin whales again, and yet again, they were on the aloof side, not allowing us to get any looks at all. Whales will be whales! Hornbill the humpback was also seen and after a bit of running around, he settled into an area where he was deep-feeding by blowing bubble clouds to condense his prey. Although he wasn’t lifting his tail much this afternoon, we did get to see it a couple of times!  

Hornbill 
Hornbill 

 A harbor seal surfaced close to the boat and it was soon joined by a great shearwater that landed right next to it! The bird quickly realized that the seal didn’t have any snacks for it and abruptly took off. A couple of minke whales were darting around and the pair of fin whales reappeared, and then disappeared just as quickly. We started to head north to a report of another whale about 10 miles away, but were soon waylaid by a pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins!  To our surprise, a fin whale was also hanging out with the dolphins so we finally got a decent view of a fin whale today!



Fin whale
Atlantic white sided dolphins
I also want to give a shout out to our intern, Austin, who spotted most of the whales before the captain or crew did! Way to go, Austin!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

This morning the wind churned up the ocean for a few hours. Even though there was a bit extra motion of the ocean the whales were far from bothered. We saw 3 fin whales, 2 minke whales, a small pod of 4-5 Atlantic white-sided dolphins and Hornbill the humpback whale.
Fin whale swimming through the waves
Some whales were staying put while others were on the move but there was a variety of life to be seen.
Fin whale
Hornbill the humpback whale (above and below)

Fin whale
This afternoon we saw 3 minke whales and 2 fin whales. One of the fin whales we spent time with was a new visitor for the season. Fin whale #0902 decided to swim on into the area!
Fin whale #0902
Another fin whale sighted this afternoon. See just how differently the shape of a fin whale's dorsal fin can be be?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer is in full swing and the whales seem to be too! This morning we saw 6 fin whales during our travels. At one point we were watching a pair on the move and in the blink of an eye suddenly there were three!
Two of the three fin whales at the surface together!
Fin whale
Fin whale spout
We also spotted 4 minke whales and a pair of humpback whales. Humpback whales Milkyway and Nine were occasionally napping and Nine had no problem checking out all angles of the boat!
Humpback whales hovering next to us
While we floated on the surface with our engines off this whale spent time under us! Wow.
Look at the sheer size of this whale! And they aren't even some of the biggest ones in the ocean!
Can you find the "rainbow" blow?
This afternoon we saw 2 minke whales and 3 humpback whales. Doublet was busy traveling along and this time we found Nine and Milkyway napping at the surface.
Doublet
When whales rest they barely make any forward progress so while they bobbed up and down with the waves so did we just watching them relax on this wonderful afternoon day!
Milkyway and Nine

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018

The crew has many, many, MANY years of whale watching under our belts. We pride ourselves in the passion we have for these incredible mammals and do all that we can to share that excitement with our passengers on a daily basis. But when a trip takes our breath away you know it is definitely one for the memory books. This morning the whales did just that. The day started with multiple minke and fin whales. In total, there were 11 minke whales and 4 fin whales.
Minke whale
Fin whale
One of the fin whales was #9724! Additionally, we saw a lion's mane jellyfish and 2 humpback whales.
Lion's Mane jellyfish
Today, it was the humpback whales that left us speechless. Nine and Milkyway were so curious and chill our engines were off for over an hour! These two whales were lolly-gagging next to us, under us, napping along side us; you name the location, the whales were there! Having two adult females being so intrigued and relaxed by our presence took our breath away.
Humpback whale eerily and calmly surfacing next to the boat
Curious behavior from this whale
Pair of humpback whales hovering next to the boat!
Spy hop
This type of behavior is not often seen and definitely not for the amount of time they kept us "hostage" today! Mesmerizing to say the least...
Just hanging out 😁
Suddenly, these medium-sized whales don't look so "medium"
Wild whale watching you watch it
This afternoon the fin whales put on their own show. We saw 4 of these massive mammals including familiar whales #9709 and #9724.
Fin whale deciding to swim in towards us; what is with the whales today?!?!
Two of our fin whales were napping allowing for some fin-tastic looks at the second largest animals on the planet. We also spotted 4 minke whales to round out the day!
Fin whale surfacing
#9709
#9724