Monday, October 1, 2012

Sunday September 30

Have you ever wondered what whales do in the rain?  They do the exact same things they are seen doing when the sun is shining and the sky is blue!  Since whales are already surrounded by vast amounts of water to begin with, more falling from the sky does not seem to affect them one bit.  Turns out the only thing rain seems to affect out on the ocean is us humans as we seem to be the only mammals out there that try to avoid those rain drops.  There was not much wind to speak of as we headed further offshore but the ocean was providing a good-sized swell, a reminder of how much the ocean had been churned up just 24hrs beforehand, but with our hardy passengers who didn't mind the rain we were off in search of some whale activity.

With decent visibility we headed to where we had seen whales during our last trip out and slowed down to take a look around.  Within a few minutes we had spotted a whale.  It was a Minke whale.  This whale initially seemed to be circling around the area as it was sporadically surfacing all around the boat (very typical of Minke whale behavior) every few minutes.  Soon however, this animal started to spend more and more time in the depths of the ocean and so we decided to continue on our way.  Once we had eased our way out of the area we continued on to see what else may be spending some time in the general area.  Soon we saw a spout.  Moments later another spout became visible.  There were two whales up ahead of us.

Spoon was still in the area and still sleeping.  However, just alongside Spoon hovered another large Humpback whale.  It was Chromosome! 
Spoon just barely raising her tail above the water before swimming further down into the ocean

We very briefly saw Chromosome on Jeffreys Ledge September 1 so it was a very nice surprise seeing this whale back in the area and swimming in tandem with Spoon.  Since both whales were napping at the surface (barely moving and constantly remaining above the waterline) we were able to get some incredible looks at these adult whales. 
Spoon and Chromosome resting at the surface

Spoon was first sighted in 1977 and Chromosome first sighted in the Gulf of Maine in 1991, making these animals at least 35 years old and 21 years old!  It was great to see two older whales in the area before it was time to head back for home.
Chromosome going on a deeper dive as Spoon still hovers at the surface

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