Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday September 21

After being on land all week we had no idea what Jeffreys Ledge would hold in store for us as we were off in search of whales today.  Shortly after passing through the Isles of Shoals we were surprised to see a large spout suddenly appear.  A Fin whale was moving through the area. 

First Fin whale of the day
Turns out there were two Fin whales in the general vicinity but we decided to spend time with one that continued to remain a bit closer to us.  After getting some nice looks we decided to head towards Jeffreys Ledge where we had seen whale activity earlier in the week. 

As we continued to travel along our friends from the Prince of Whales called to report lots of whale activity near their vessel.  We decided to alter course and head towards the report in hopes that something would still be swimming around once we got there.  Once in the area we certainly had plenty to look at.  Our friends had brought us to an area where whales were everywhere!  Everything was circling around, surfacing sporadically, constantly making tight, tight turns!  Almost everything we saw was actively feeding.

Fin whales were surfacing with lower jaws bellowed out, surfacing with such force, there would be constant white-water around them... a huge indication of filtering and food constantly being trapped inside their large mouths! 

Fin whale showcasing so much of its body as it returns up from the depths of the ocean that not only can you see the swirly gray pattern (known as the chevron) but it also indicates lots of filtering is going on and thus current feeding is occurring by this animal!

One of the many Fin whales in the area swimming by

A few Fin whales were even paired up amazingly keeping in sync with each other as they shifted to the left and to the right with each breath of air.  In the mix of at least 7 Fin whales charging around there were also 3 Humpback whales doing the exact same thing.

The Humpback whales were also surfacing with lower jaws extended out and even saw a couple open-mouth lunges as they broke through the surface of the ocean.  It was truly whale pandemonium everywhere!  Whales were spending minutes under the water so at any given time you could see a visible spout from some mammoth whale continuing to circle around the area.
Cinder the Humpback whale

Humpback whale creating lots of white water as it surfaced filtering out plenty of salt water!

A new visitor to our area this season!  Great to see you doing some feeding Kilter the Humpback whale
With so much going on you didn't even know where to look as your eyes would constantly be catching whale-movement in some direction out on the water.  With all the whales constantly changing direction it was even a bit challenging to capture so many of these incredible moments on camera!  I will be the first one to tell you that these pictures do not do the trip justice!  What a great day out on the open ocean today.  Granted it was a bit chilly (keep in mind the ocean typically causes temperatures to be 10-15 degrees cooler out on the water than on land) but the whales continue to do what they do: search, chase, and eat lots of food!  Sure will be interesting to see what tomorrow has in store for us!

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