Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday August 23

It didn't matter if it was our morning or afternoon trip as we had a "Grand Slam" of whale species on both of our offshore adventures today!  This morning we saw 6 different Fin whales, some circling, some spending plenty of time under the water, and yet all the while still getting the chance to see just how impressive in size these whales truly are.  We then shifted gears a little as we got the chance to spend time with a group of toothed whales.  There were 30-40 Atlantic white-sided dolphins ahead of us.  This particular group was spread out in the general area consisting of smaller groups, sub-pods, as these whales continued to move through the water together.  We ended up with one of these smaller groups circling a tight area (probably chasing after some fish in the water) allowing for us to get some great looks at these agile mammals.

Next we were back to baleen whales as more Fin whales were sighted on Jeffreys Ledge.  These whales were on the move and actually heading towards an area where another species was. 
One of the many Fin whales we saw during our travels today
A Humpback whale was also spending some time out in this particular section of the ledge.  Anyone want to take a wild guess as to which whale it was??  Crystal of course!  Another day to add to the time this whale is spending in our small section of the Gulf of Maine.  We once again got some great looks as Crystal was just circling around the area.
Our morning trip was almost complete after spotting 13 Minke whales over the course of our travels when we got some great looks at one more Fin whale on our ride home.  This animal surfaced close by as we were heading back towards Rye Harbor and soon realized this whale was probably as mellow as many of our passengers were.  This whale was catching a quick nap!  This Fin whale continuously stayed just below the water's edge barely moving forward; a good indication of a resting whale! 
Uniquely scarred Fin whale going on a deep dive after a quick afternoon nap!
This whale remained like this for a few minutes and only after this whale woke itself up and went on a deeper dive did we ease out of the area and continue with our travels back to the mainland all the while basking in the warm sunshine of the afternoon hours.

This afternoon we were off to check out Jeffreys Ledge once again.  On our travels out we came across a few Fin whales scattered in all directions around the boat but soon saw signs of other whale activity.  Constant splashing was out in the distance.  Knowing dolphins can disappear soon after they appear if gone unwatched, we decided to make our way in their direction before they swam off.   This group was creating quite the ruckus, zipping and zagging in all directions, definitely chasing down food!  This particular group gave our passengers once again the extra treat of seeing such a quick-moving species.
Who doesn't love seeing a wild dolphin?
After leaving the dolphins we got the chance to see a few Fin whales surface nearby as we wanted to make our way to yet another species of whale that our Blue Ocean Society affiliated whale watching boats had reported.  Amongst more Fin whales, including #0354, we made our way to a Humpback whale.  It was Pumpkin Seed.
Pumpkin Seed's back and dorsal fin (above) and tail (below)

This whale was definitely eating some food this afternoon as we saw lots of bubble clouds rise to the surface created by this whale somewhere in the ocean depths.

Before heading for home we also went and checked out the other Humpback whale swimming around on its own.  Past the couple Minke whales, and 2 other Fin whales in the area, we made our way to Crystal still going strong.  A nice way to wrap up the day for just before we left we also got a quick look as Crystal slapped its tail on the water, creating all sorts of saltwater to burst into the sky.

Lots of vertical water as Crystal whacks its large tail on the surface of the ocean!
Even from this slightly angled photo we are enjoying this familiar tail.  Crystal once again

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