Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday July 19

We were once again treated to some very nice sightings today during both of our whale watches.  This morning our Minke whales and 2 Fin whales were being a bit elusive as we were barely able to get looks at any of them before they vanished under the sea.  Eventually we ended up spending time with a Humpback whale. 
Very interesting back and dorsal fin from this Humpback whale
We are still not quite sure who this whale is as even though we have spotted it a few times over the course of this past week we have yet to see its tail.  This animal does have quite a bit of scarring and marks along its body so we know eventually we will determine it's identity but until then we will look forward to spotting it once again.

We also got the chance to spend time with a pair of Humpback whales before heading home.  It was Boomerang and her calf.  Boomerang was first seen in 1991, making this whale at least 21 years old, and I do believe this is her first calf! 
Boomerang and her calf
Boomerang's calf's tail!
We can now confirm Boomerang is a female and were elated to get the chance to spend time with her and her first offspring!

On our ride in, even though we were out of time, we ventured over to a couple more Humpback whales to snap a few photos to obtain identification shots of these mammals.  To our delight it was Valley and Dice swimming through the ocean together.  Dice was last seen on Jeffreys Ledge in 2009 and of course enjoyed the fact that this animal has returned to the area once again to find some food.

Our afternoon trip took us to the same area from this morning.  Interestingly enough almost all the whales we saw this afternoon were none of the same whales we had spent time with this morning!  Only Valley and Dice were "repeats" but they were no longer associated with each other.  Actually during the time we spent in the area we had a few different pairings of whales.  First we spent time with Geometry (thanks Orla for the ID!) and Mudskipper. 
All the whales were spending a bit of time under the water so when we saw the pair return up to the surface out in the distance we thought, "Geez these whales are on the move!"  Once we made our way over and watched the pair go on a deeper dive we realized these were not the same whales we had been watching.  There was another pair of Humpback whales in the area!  It was Badge and Flamingo meandering around together.

Badge and Flamingo continue traveling together as they surface for some air

We had it this time.  So there were two pairs of whales.  Moments later we saw another spout but wait it was a different dorsal fin than any of the others we had seen!  Low and behold there was another Humpback whale.  Valley was near by.  At one point our two pairs (Geometry with Mudskipper and Flamingo with Badge) as well as Valley were all at the surface giving us a chance to watch all these whales swim around.
Valley on her way into the depths of the ocean

With quite the chaotic excitement  and a little bit more time left in our trip we left our 5 whales and moved to a few more spouts we had been keeping an eye out on in the distance.  Two more Humpback whales were in the area.  But alas the next whale to surface wasn't a Humpback whale.  A Fin whale suddenly made itself known.  It was Dingle, a very well-known Fin whale that certainly likes to spend time on Jeffreys Ledge.  As quickly as Dingle had surfaced it disappeared and there we sat awaiting for the next spout to be seen. 
Dingle as it passes us by!
Soon the pair of Humpback whales had resurfaced.  Even at an angle we captured enough photographic "evidence" to be able to identify these two whales as Dice and Doric. 
Whales continue to move in and move out of the area as we seem to constantly be seeing a mixture of first-time whale sightings for the season along with some repeat visitors to the area.  Such a plethora of excitement as we see what Jeffreys Ledge has in store for us tomorrow.

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