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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday July 5

The weather was spot on today as throughout our travels, both during our morning and afternoon trips, the sea was as calm as calm could be and the temperature just right!  Add into the mix some great whales sightings and you have yourself a wonderful Thursday.

This morning we had a few sneaky Minke whales popping up.  We would see them out in the distance, make our way over to the area, and then poof gone.  This didn't happen just once, it kept on happening almost every time we attempted to watch one.  Eventually we got a couple good looks at our Minke whales as we traveled throughout areas of Jeffreys Ledge where we've recently been spending time with the whales.  We ended up doing a bit of searching as the whales clearly had moved (which is sometimes the result after passing through the area and seeing no sign of whale life anywhere) and so we ventured on.  We did end up spending time with two Fin whales in addition to our elusive Minke whales over the course of our trip. 
Fin whale
Both Fin whales spent a bit of time circling the area before continuing on as a few times we had to travel towards the whale as it had moved a bit before coming back up for another breath.  With some very nice looks at our whales it was soon time to get ready for the afternoon trip.
One large portion of this Fin whale as it swims from right to left!


This afternoon we decided to head to a different section of Jeffreys Ledge to search for whale activity since it was such a nice day.  Our first two animals were Minke whales as we ended up getting some very nice looks while these animals were circling the area (and the boat) allowing all of our passengers to see such a whale.
Minke whale
A few hours earlier we could barely spend more than a few minutes in an area where Minke whales were before they disappearred.  Now they were barely spending any time underneath the water.  Oh Mother Nature, you certainly do enjoy keeping us on our toes!
Crazy close look as this Minke whale decides to bring lots of its body above the waterline (swimming from right to left)

Our friends aboard the Prince of Whales made mention of more whales further offshore and so we decided to head that way to see if anything would still be around by the time we got there.  With the glass-calm ocean conditions against the constant splashing of the water we quickly knew we had spotted the activity.  It was a small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins! 
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
But dolphins weren't the only whales around.  By the time we made our way offshore we got the chance to see the dolphins swimming with a Fin whale.  Better yet, that Fin whale was Ladder!  Seeing these two species together is definitely not commonplace and is such an incredible sight. 
The tiny dorsal fin of an Atlantic white-sided dolphin (left) as Ladder the Fin whale surfaces for a breath of air
Ladder surfacing close to the boat as this photo was taken through the pilothouse window, over our passengers heads, to the whale itself!
Ladder once more surfacing along side the boat
As we continued spending time in the area we realized there was more whale-life around!  Another Minke whale was close by and we saw another Fin whale move towards Ladder.  Soon Ladder, this second Fin whale, AND the dolphins were all swimming together!  What?!?!?  So completely unexpected to see and such an experience. 
Ladder
Second Fin whale joining in on all the "whale fun"
Only 20-25% of the time we are whale watching (mid-May through mid-October) do we get the opportunity to see Atlantic white-sided dolphins just on their own so to see them intermingled between two of the second largest animals on the planet was quite special and quite rare.

It was such a beautiful day out on the ocean today and the whales made it even more exciting.  Hope you too will get the chance to come join us for a future trip in search of the unexpected!

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