Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday June 30

The day was filled with more Fin whale and Minke whale sightings during both trips today.  This morning we started our trip with a very familiar whale, it was Ladder again.  Even before seeing this whale go on a deeper dive we knew who was nearby just from capturing the smallest portion of this whale's body above the surface.
The dorsal  fin and beginnings of Ladder's scar pattern just breaks the surface
Ladder was definitely on the move as this whale was constantly heading in the same direction each time it surfaced.  We were able to get some great looks at this adult Fin whale (thanks to our great Captain and his "whale-sense!") before heading to other areas of Jeffreys Ledge.
After spending time with some different Minke whales we ended up coming upon another Fin whale.  This whale was definitely utilizing the area as this whale was relatively staying in the general area each time it returned up from the depths of the ocean.  We were far from home and needed to start the journey back but we were able to get some nice looks at this whale who we were able to match to our Fin Whale Catalog as being #0417!  How exciting to have another Fin whale sighting match an animal in our catalog!

This afternoon we also started with a Fin whale but this whale was taking such short dives as it was literally returning to the surface every 2-3 minutes!  We were able to enjoy this whale from all sides of the boat as this animal kept surfacing every which direction not far from the boat!  Turns out it was one of the same Fin whales we had gotten the chance to see yesterday.  Great to know this animal is still swimming around Jeffreys going after lots of food in the water!
No official ID # yet but this whale can still easily be identified from other Fin whales we spot!

With Minke whales surfacing all throughout the afternoon, we documented 9 different Minkes, we also got the chance to spend time with another Fin whale.  As we made our way towards a spout in the distance we quickly realized there were two spouts; two Fin whales were swimming together!  They continued to follow alongside each other for two different surfacings and then on the third time they split apart.  One whale surfaced behind us and one off our port side.  We made our way to the animal a bit closer to us and got the chance to watch this whale do some filitering as this animal surfaced a couple times with a mouthful of food and ocean water inside its mouth!

Fin whale's right profile. Note the lower portion of the jaw line is bright white!

As seems to be the case oh so often, each sighting provides different behaviors, different experiences, and most importantly different memories for all when having the opportunity to witness such enormous mammals just going about their day!  Wonder what memories are to come tomorrow... Only time will tell!

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