One of the fin whales we identified as Ladder. Ladder is an adult male fin whale, first seen in the Gulf of Maine in 1984. Since then Ladder has been seen from Bar Harbor, ME, Jeffreys Ledge (where we were today), and off the coast of Boston, MA. For the past 12 years running Ladder has been sighted on Jeffreys Ledge by the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation.
|In this picture of the fin whale Ladder, the white lower jaw can be seen. This whale is just starting to be exhale, as you can see from the tiny puff right above the blow holes.|
|Here is Ladder's dorsal fin. You can also see the scar just in front of the dorsal fin. At one point Ladder must have been struck by a boat, since these scars appear to have been made by a boat propeller.|
In the afternoon we also ran into an adult female humpback whale named Ebony. We've been seeing Ebony a lot later, it seems she's been using Jeffreys Ledge for a couple of weeks now. Ebony was first seen in 1980 or 1981 and has had at least 10 calves since then. The first calf was born in 1983, and her most recent was born in 2007.
|Ebony has a large healed scar on her right side which can be seen here. This scar looks like it might have been caused by a rope from fishing gear.|
Early in the afternoon we were also lucky enough to see some atlantic white sided dolphins. We only see dolphins on about 25% of our trips. This is probably because these animals are very fast and move around quite a bit in a given day searching for fish to eat. Dolphins are always a great way to start off a trip and were impressive to watch as they deftly maneuvered through the water and around the boat. There were even a couple of baby dolphins in the group we were watching, easily identified as tiny animals swimming next to their mothers.
|Dolphins are mammals just like humans and breath air. You can see this dolphin exhaling just before coming to the surface and then quickly inhaling. This is exactly how good human swimmers do it!|
|You can see how calm it was today as this dolphin breaks the glassy surface.|
|This is a mom and calf dolphin pair. Calves may stay with their mother for several years even after they are weaned. Calves tend to swim right next to their mother perhaps for protection and perhaps to get a little hydrodynamic boost.|