Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday June 29

This morning brought a little bit of everything in terms of weather, everything that is except wind.  Clouds, rain, sprinkles, and eventually the sun finally came out.  Luckily whales are constantly surrounded by vast amounts of water so a few rain drops here and there do nothing to affect them, they just cause us humans to put on the jackets and pull up the hoods.  We got the chance to get some incredible looks at mulitple Minke whales and Fin whales this morning through, and around, the raindrops.
A very unique dorsal fin and marking on this Fin whale
Rain doesn't affect Minke whales either!
Fin whale just breaking the surface as it comes up from the depths of the ocean for some air
The sunshine continued for our afternoon trip and while the wind was barely even noticeable on the ocean this morning, this afternoon it continued to pick up the further offshore we went as the day progressed.  We also ended up getting the chance to spend time with multiple Fin whales this afternoon but wow, they never stayed in one spot for long!  Our whales were constantly shifting around in every which direction possible.  However, with some good predictions of boat placement, and a little bit of luck, we ended up getting some really nice looks at both of our Fin whales.  Best part was we were able to positively identify both animals!  Our first Fin whale sighting of the trip was #0402. 
This whale was first seen on Jeffreys Ledge in 2004 and it wasn't until 2010 that we learned its gender.  #0402 is a female as she was seen in 2010 moving around Jeffreys Ledge with her calf!  While see was alone today we are thrilled to have her back on the Ledge!
The spout from #0402 gets pushed away by the wind we were surrounded by this afternoon

Our other whale was being just as "skirmish" at first.  Constantly moving around and spending a bit of extra time under the water it took a bit of time to get some looks at this whale.  The dorsal fin looked familiar but it wasn't until later on that I realized who this was.  It was Ladder!!!! 
Seeing the less obvious side (non-scarred side) of this animal tried to throw us for a loop but sorry Ladder we still figured you out!  Today documented one of the few instances Ladder was sighted swimming on its own as opposed to usually being seen in association with another Fin whale.  We last saw Ladder June 9 so it has been almost 3 weeks to the day since we last saw this adult animal.  What a great surprise and a great way to wrap up our afternoon!

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