Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday September 15

While there certainly were plenty of whale spouts to be seen today the whales themselves were being a bit on the tricky side.  Our first two whales were very much inshore of Jeffreys Ledge and spending a bit of time below the waterline.  With reports of more whale activity further offshore we counted our losses and pressed on.  Recent whale reports are always enjoyed for the sooner we get to an area the better chance we have of relocating anything that may still be around.  We continued on towards the ledge and first came across a Humpback whale.  This whale was slowly moving through the water but not necessary surfacing very often.  But our luck quickly changed when Jabiru decided to swim along side the boat effortlessly maneuvering through the water.  Even though we didn't get a great look at the underside of this whale's tail (what we typically use to positively identify individual Humpback whales) the unique marks and scars on this whale's back was plenty enough to indeed verify this was Jabiru.  Great to see this whale is still spending some time on Jeffreys Ledge this season.
Jabiru and it's very distinct markings seen along the back of this animal

After some nice looks at Jabiru we were off again to investigate another spout further offshore.  A few miles away that single spout turned into lots of whale life!  Three Fin whales suddenly surfaced together while two other Fin whales were seen beyond the trio.  The group dissipated their associations almost as quickly as we initially spotted them as we continued to ease our way into the area of so many whales.  With plenty of animals around we slowly made our way to a few exhalations we were seeing close by.  Out of the total of 6 Fin whales in the area we were able to get some looks at a few of them.
One Fin whale moving around the area

Everything seemed to be circling around and was also spending plenty of time in the depths of the ocean.  However, with a bit of patience and some predictions of whale movements we ended up spending time with a VERY relaxed Fin whale.  This particular whale was taking a nap.  For the majority of the time we, and the whale, stayed parallel with each other (almost stationary) as we floated on the surface and this whale remained suspended just below the water. 
Fin whale slowly breaking the surface to get a good breath of air before continuing on with it's napping behaviors

The whale was angled so perfectly with the shining sun that we could literally see the entire length of this animal due to the green sheen the underbelly of this whale was creating.  The length of this whale was so large it was literally impossible to capture a picture of the whole whale in any single snapshot.  Even without a visual of this sleeping Fin whale it was a great moment and an awesome look at one large, large species!
Our Fin whale finally awake enough to head down on a deeper dive

The boat was chalk full of returning passengers, whale enthusiasts, excited first-time whale spotters, and even returning Blue Ocean Society interns today!  The excitement of so many of our passengers was certainly felt all around the boat today making the trip a special experience all on its own.  Thanks to all who joined us and continue to share in our own excitement of these wild beings year in and year out!

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