Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday August 5

We had no rain this morning but surely felt like we experienced just about every other weather phenomenon as we made our way towards, and once we got on, Jeffreys Ledge today.  We left the mainland in hazy conditions and were off in search of whales.  We made our way to an area where we had success with whale sightings yesterday afternoon and once we got to the area the haze continued and we weren't seeing any spouts from whales.  No worries as there is always a backup plan!  We started heading to an area where there were reports of whales just hours earlier.  Once we got there we found no whales, just fog!  The fog began to roll in and out as we scoured the ocean for as far as we could see before the fog engulfed the area further out.  Still no whales.  I can imagine our passengers were starting to get a bit concerned/antsy as we had been on the water for quite some time and still no whales.  Alas, our second stop was only part-one of our other plan.  We made our way to an area where there have been plenty of whales around over the course of the week and after maneuvering through the waves and fog we once again slowed the boat down and took a good look around.  Smiles of giddiness floated around the boat as our passengers heard, and saw, a spout just a bit away from us!  A Fin whale was in the area.  This animal took so many breaths while we were next to it that everyone got a great chance to see this huge whale.

Fin whale in the fog
A deeper dive and once again we began to peer through the foggy conditions.  A few moments later the fog began to clear and we started seeing further and further towards the horizon all around the boat.  Our whale had resurfaced out in the distance; this whale was on the move!  After its next surfacing we knew we would have a hard time keep up with this animal's movements through the area and since we had a lots more ocean to look at we decided to stay put.  That worked out fantastically as another Fin whale surfaced soon just off our starboard side!  This particular whale was just circling around the area giving us the opportunity to get some great looks at both sides of this whale! 
The left side (above) and right side (below) of one Fin whale we spent time with today

The longer we stayed in the area the more whale spouts we began seeing.  We had at least 5 Fin whales around and even 3 Blue sharks in the area!  A few times with the whales surfacing patterns it was a bit tricky to distinguish just which whales were surfacing where but what a great problem to have!  We were surrounded by a handful of the second largest animals on the planet!

Fin whale spout as you can even pick out this whale's flipper (green triangular-shaped object) since this whale was near the boat
In all the commotion from our Fin whales we noticed another spout, originally thinking yet another Fin whale was around, but that wasn't the case at all.  We soon saw a large tail rise above the surface.  A Humpback whale was also spending time out here.  It took a bit of time to make our way over to this other species as Fin whales kept surfacing in every which direction. 
Dingle the Fin whale was one of our many whales in the area this morning
Eventually we got a chance to see our Humpback whale which was quickly identified as Banyan, a 14 year old whale, due to its unique pigmentation pattern and massive amounts of scars throughout the tail-region of this whale. 

Distant look at Banyan

Many thanks to our passengers as your patience and excitement was truly felt during our travels today! 

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