Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday July 27

The good news of the morning...there was sunshine! Rain was nowhere in sight and with the wind finally calming down, we were able to head out to Jeffreys Ledge this morning. The not so good news...where were the whales? Both ourselves and our friends on the Captain's Lady 3 were out in search of whales this morning. Knowing that none of us had been out on the water in a couple of days meant we were out on a scouting mission to explore as many areas of Jeffreys Ledge as possible between our two boats giving us greater chances of finding whale activity. Keep in mind even though whales are large mammals the ocean they reside in is a whole lot larger so the more people out looking most definitely helps to maximize the searching efforts!  Well we looked, and looked, and looked some more. We had stopped in an area in the morning as many of our passengers were adamantly pointing close by. A whale! Unfortunately, this Minke whale wanted nothing to do with us. It surfaced only a couple of times and after a while we cut our losses and continued on.  However, we were coming up short everywhere else we were traveling. There were just no signs of whales. We decided our best bet was to head back to the area where we had seen the Minke whale hours ago and hope it was spending more time on the surface so that all of our passengers could get a chance to see a wild whale. Once back in the area we slowed down and took a really, really, really good look around. All was quiet. We were almost out of time when out of nowhere we saw a spout! A Fin whale was at the surface, and not far away at all! Where had this whale been only hours ago when we had stopped and looked around this area earlier? Where had it been as we eased our way into the area in the slight hope we might re-find our Minke whale from just minutes earlier? While we cannot answer these questions (only the whale knows) we were elated to have a whale in our midst. Not only did it turn out to be a familiar fin, we got some absolutely incredible looks at this whale as it swam right next to us multiple times! Dingle the Fin whale was back in the area!
Dingle's white lower jaw can be seen as this whale swims at the surface to get some air

Dingle's dorsal fin and part of its body
We last saw this particular whale July 6! Three weeks later it surprises us by being only 13 miles from home! What a great turn of events as our morning trip ended in a wonderful success.

This afternoon we were off again to where Dingle had been from the morning trip. This time however it was not Dingle we watched. Another Fin whale had come into the area. It was another familiar Fin whale. Comet was spending time in the area as well! 
We got some incredible looks at this whale too as Comet spent a good amount of time on the ocean's surface when it came up for some breaths of air. 
This is not even all of Comet's body at the surface; what a large whale!
Due in part to Comet's maneuvering in the water, and probably a bit to do with the swell, we were fortunate enough to catch a few looks at a Fin whale's tail! 
Check out the back part of Comet's body all the way down to this whale's tail seen just above the waterline!

Comet once again bringing her tail to the ocean's surface; an incredibly rare treat to see from a Fin whale!

Comet's tail broke the surface a few times as it could be seen just above the waterline as this large whale moved around the ocean. Incredible.

One again Jeffreys Ledge held us in suspense as the whales seem to appear, and sometimes disappear, just as quickly this season! We'll be back out expecting the unexpected tomorrow!

Fin whales certainly are large, amazing, graceful mammals, like Dingle seen here.

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