|Pinball's tail and her calf's back and dorsal fin|
Once our pair had moved further away from the boat we started the engines and eased our way out of the area to go check out the other spouts we were seeing just out in the distance. We got the chance to see two different Fin whales as they were making their way through the area. No wonder there were whales around. We were going over HUGE patches of bait!
|We were in less than 200ft of water and sometimes the food encompassed the entire water column!|
Not only had we witnessed Pinball making bubble clouds to corral the schooling fish, we also witnessed a large Fin whale creating its own massive cloud of bubbles! The population of Atlantic Humpback whales are known to make bubble clouds to catch their food but to see similar clouds being caused from a Fin whale... really??? While we don't really know what/why this particular Fin whale was doing under the water we saw quite a large cloud of bubbles appear just before it would return to the surface for a breath of air (which is extremely similar to what a Humpback whale does as well when it is feeding further down in the water column). Maybe Fin whales in the Gulf of Maine are learning some techniques from the Humpback whale population they share the area with? It was something completely unique and very exciting as we wonder about the mysteries that still exist with some of these majestic mammals.
|The super unique chevron pattern (silver/gray shading pattern) from this Fin whale as it swims from left to right|
Our ride home took a slight detour as our "eagle-eyed" captain spotted splashing out in the distance. Though we had heard of dolphins moving through the area earlier in the morning we also knew those whales were on the move. We thought we were out of luck since Atlantic white-sided dolphins are such fast swimmers they can easily be out of sight in a very short period of time. But alas we saw the tell-tale sign of splashes!
|Atlantic white-sided dolphin|
|Dolphins on the move!|
This afternoon we first stopped on an extremely cooperative Minke whale. This animal kept surfacing on either side of the boat giving folks all around the boat views of this mammal.
|Minke whale as it rises to the surface for a breath of air. Can you spot the Minke mittens in the two photos(above and below)? |
|Dyad going on a deeper dive|
|Dyad's black and white pigmentation pattern|