Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday July 16

It was close to 80 degrees at the harbor as we left for our morning expedition, and we were thankful for a slight sea breeze to keep us cooler with the increasing temperatures on land.  We started right past the Isles of Shoals with a sighting of a grey seal and harbor seal coasting along the surface of the water.  We were about 6 miles past the Islands, when we came upon our first Minke whale sighting of the day.

As we were watching this whale, a few more minke whales moved into the area.  There were also several juvenile and adult Northern Gannets diving in the water taking advantage of all the food that was around.  

As we were watching several Minke whales, we spotted a spout from a larger whale about a mile away from where we were and after spending quality time with the minke whales, we decided to head over to where the larger whale was to see who may be there.  Soon after we arrived, we realized that we had a very large Fin whale.  Comet was still in the area and she was spending lots of time along the surface taking a break from all her feeding during the early morning hours.  

Comet showing her scars that gave her name
We also saw several other minke whales on our return trip home and travelled through the Isles of Shoals on our way home.  The weather and the whales could not have been better this morning and we were anxious to get back out in the afternoon.

Once again, we were happy to leave the dock in the afternoon in hopes of finding cooler temperatures. We started with a few minke whale sightings close to the Isles of Shoals.  The minke whale sightings have been plentiful as of late and it's always a great way to start a trip.  With flat calm sea conditions, we could get great views of almost their entire body from underneath the water's surface.  

As we were watching the minke whales, a passenger let us know that he may have seen a spout from a larger whale off our right side.  After looking out that way for a few seconds, sure enough, there was a larger whale about a mile away and we decided to do a survey of that area in hopes of relocating the whale.  
It turned out that we found Comet the Fin whale once again this afternoon and after taking quite a long first dive, she then changed her behavior and spent more time along the surface giving everyone aboard just an idea as to how big she really is.

 While watching Comet, we received reports of other potential whale activity about 8 miles away and we decided to try our luck and continue offshore to see what or who else we could find during our trip.   We were about 23  miles from Rye when we spotted another spout from a large whale and it turned out to be a Humpback whale.  No one quite knows where she has spent the last couple of weeks, but Pinball was back on Jeffrey's Ledge.  She was circling around the area, and exhibiting behaviors including kick feeding, bubble clouds and a snaking motion that looked like she was trying to help herself in an attempt to digest food.  As we were watching her, a Corey's shearwater flew right over her and for any our bird watcher friends, that is the first Corey Shearwater sighting this season.  What a great way to end our trip and our day of whale watching.

With the temperatures continuing to be quite warm throughout the remainder of the week, we hope you come join us to cool off.

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