Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday July 21

This season has shown time and time again that whales are unpredictable. They appear they disappear. They show up in one place and in no time suddenly are found miles away from their previous known location. Whales move and as they do so we attempt to predict their movements and check out areas of Jeffreys Ledge that might be conducive to a whale that can easily eat a million calories a day! Today showcased the sometimes random/chaotic/unknown agendas these wild whales have.

This morning we began our trip with a Minke whale just beyond the Isles of Shoals. After only a couple of looks at this whale a spout was sighted not far away. A Fin whales was only 8 miles from Rye Harbor! It didn't take long to realize who this whale was. It was a whale we've been seeing multiple times this season...Comet! While she was charging around the area, constantly changing directions, we got some amazing looks at this large female as multiple times she would surface right next to us and swim alongside us during her entire time at the surface! Wow.
Comet surfacing right next to the boat!

What a Fin whale looks like when it surfaces right next to the pulpit! Believe me, there were a lot of surprise reactions from some of our passengers at the front part of the boat...Awesome.
We did some exploring after leaving Comet to continue on with her day but turns out she ended up heading our way. While spending time a bit further offshore Comet once again surfaced close by allowing for yet another look at one of the second largest animals ever to roam the earth!
Comet swimming along off the coast of Maine

Hello again Comet!
This afternoon we had all intentions of spending time with Comet, except for one thing. She disappeared! In a matter of hours, and multiple whale watching boats looking for her, no one could find her. Maybe she swam on out of the area, maybe she was heading towards other areas of Jeffreys Ledge, only Comet knew her actual travel plans. After learning this news we went for our next best option: head to where we had seen whales most recently. In this case it was going to be quite further offshore. It was a plan as good as any...head to where we had seen Pinball a few days ago. Last time we were there (yesterday morning) we came up short. We found no whales and traveled lots of miles. We knew it was a gamble to take. And yet we figured now was as good as time as any. Sometimes our adventures to areas less traveled turn up short since we are in pursuit of wild animals but today our gut instincts were right. We ended up finding multiple Minke whales and 2 Humpback whales. Pinball, another frequent visitor to Jeffreys Ledge, was still around. 
Pinball swimming just off our starboard side

Pinball's tail
This whale was making a few bubble clouds and even leaving some brown defecation (yep, whale poop!) at the surface. What made things even more exciting was that as we spent time watching Pinball suddenly another whale surfaced out in the distance. Soon Pinball and this other whale were almost next to each other. Who was this mystery Humpback whale? As we saw this whale raise its tail and go on a deeper dive we quickly knew a new visitor was on Jeffreys Ledge. Sword was swimming along with Pinball! What a surprise.
Even without seeing this whale's entire tail there are enough markings to recognize this whale as being Sword the Humpback whale!

Unbeknown to my knowledge three whales were captured in this photograph. Two Humpback whales and a Minke whale can be depicted (and are so labeled) only after looking through the day's photos once back on land.
Even though some whales can weigh 20+ tons it is incredible to see them effortlessly move through the water which can cause them to sometimes appear, or disappear, just as quickly. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but once again it was a pleasure showcasing to our passengers the amazingness wildlife has to offer on Jeffreys Ledge.

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