Our morning started with a whale inshore of Jeffreys Ledge. Being that it had surfaced not terribly far from the boat there was clearly enough body to know there was a good-sized whale nearby but never saw a dorsal fin. Odd, but not completely unusual. Only after this whale's next surfacing did we even realize what species we were watching. A Minke whale was near by, a type of whale that normally has a pointed dorsal fin, was very much without. A quick zoom in from a photo and a look at the other side of this animal clearly explained the reasoning behind our unusual looking mammal.
|The right side of our Minke whale (swimming from left to right)|
|The left side of our Minke whale (swimming from right to left)|
Further offshore we came across a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins that were just milling about the area. This group of 8-10 whales gave our passengers some very nice looks as they weren't moving in quick motions which can sometimes be the case when we come across this type of whale. A few more looks and we were off again towards Jeffreys Ledge.
We next stopped on a couple more Minke whales before seeing a Fin whale and Humpback whale surface near each other. The Fin whale disappear almost as soon as it was seen so we stayed with the Humpback whale. This animal too was lacking a dorsal fin! The indentation and scar near the area indicates that at one point in time this whale did have a dorsal fin but for whatever reason now lacks it.
|No dorsal fin from this whale either!|
We were just about to alter course and go exploring when out in the distance there was a massive splash! Another occurred moments later making it a very easy decision to go investigate just what was creating such the activity. The jumping ceased but then the lob-tailing began and even from a distance we knew exactly who was behind the aerial activity. It was Valley the Humpback whale. Though she stopped (yep, Valley is an adult female!) jumping seeing such an enormous whale launch herself out of the water is a sight. As we made our way into the area she apparently wasn't quite done with the active behaviors though.
|Humpback whale lob-tailing out in the distance|
|More rolling from Valley!|
large flipper and belly with lines (pleats) that help to provide more
surface area inside this whale's mouth when feeding|
|Another pod of dolphins!|
|The unique coloration pattern and reason for the name Atlantic white-sided dolphins|
We then pressed on to where a few other whale watching boats were in the vicinity of more whale activity. By the time we arrived into the area many of the boats were enjoying some last looks before having to head home so we hung back allowing the boats, and most importantly the whales, plenty of space before we eased our way into the area. Our first looks ended up being a Fin whale in the area.
|Valley's rounded dorsal fin in the background as Kohoutek also swims nearby|
|Valley (above) and Kohoutek (below)|
|Valley's back and Kohoutek's flipper!|
|Nile's very hooked-shaped dorsal fin|
|Barb following suit behind Nile as these two whales turn in towards the boat!|
of food being picked up on our fish finder throughout the water column
ranging from just below the ocean's surface towards the bottom 179ft
|Kohoutek surfaces swimming in one direction as Barb (in the foreground) surfaces going in the other direction!|
These wild whales are sure keeping us enthralled as to their whereabouts and activities while out on Jeffreys Ledge. We shall see what tomorrow brings!