The weather simply does not get any better than it was for our morning adventure out to Jeffrey's Ledge.
Flat calm seas and clear blue skies made for great whale spotting conditions. We started a little inshore of the ledge with a couple of Minke whales that were swimming close by the boat. Minke whales are the smallest of the baleen whales in our study area, but they still have average lengths of about 20 feet long and are much larger than us humans. As they swam around us, they gave us an idea as to just how small we are in comparison to everything we see out on the open ocean.
Once we decided to continue offshore, we spotted a spout a couple of miles ahead of where we were. When we got closer to where the whale was, it went down on a deep dive and we realized that we had a very large Fin whale in our area. On average, fin whales will stay underneath the water anywhere from 2-10 minute dive intervals before returning to the surface to take a few breaths along the surface. On occasion if they are migrating to different areas to feed, they will hold their breath for a little longer to maximize their travels. When this fin whale did resurface, it had been down for over 14 minutes and had travelled about 1.5 miles away. before we were able to get closer, the fin whale had gone on another deep dive, so we decided to continue exploring other areas, where that whale had traveling on its mind.
In total for the morning we ended up with 9 minke whales, 2 harbor seals, 1 quick look at a Loggerhead turtle, and 1 fin whale.
|This minke whale sustained an injury after an unfortunate human interaction|
and now lacks a dorsal fin. Thankfully it's wound is healing well.
As we continued past the Isles of Shoals and towards Jeffrey's ledge, we encounter 2 small pods of Atlantic white sided dolphins. We had excellent conditions for dolphins and what a nice group it was. While watching the dolphins, we received a radio call from our friends from the Prince of Whales, that they had found a couple of Fin whales along with a single adult Humpback whale about 6 miles from our present location. We spent a few more minutes with the dolphins, then decided to head south to see if we could relocate any of the whales they had spent time with.
|Ebony going on a deeper dive|
|Ebony's all Black Tail|