Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday, July 30

It was quite a nice day on the ocean today.  Blue skies and clam winds were a perfect combination and despite a small fog bank that we encountered for a short time in the morning, the weather remained that way throughout the whole day.

Our morning was filled with several Minke whale sightings.  These whales were slightly sporadic with their movement, but we were able to get great look at a couple of them as they started to settle on some food for a mid morning meal.  We were also surprised to find a Blue Shark as well and the kids onboard were certainly impressed by its size.

On our way home, we made a quick stop at Boon Island and were able to see several grey and harbor seals resting on the rocks.  We even found a baby harbor seal lounging on a log and taking a break from all that swimming.

Our afternoon was very similar in sightings, except instead of a blue shark and seals, we were treated to a great pod of harbor porpoise.  Harbor porpoise are among the smallest of whales species that we see in our study area in the Gulf of Maine reaching lengths of 3-4 feet long.  They are also sometimes elusive around boats and therefore can be difficult to track.  Today was quite different, where we were able to spend quality time with them and get some great looks as well.  

Before heading home we stopped to pick up a few pieces of marine debris in the water.  Even though we cannot possibly pick up every piece of marine debris that we see while on the ocean, we do try to pick up large aggregations of balloons or single large ones that we may see, especially if they are in an area where we are watching whales.  Often times marine life will mistake balloons for food along the water's surface and eating these items can prove to be life threatening where they can become lodged in their digestive tract.  I found it ironic that one of the balloons we picked up was of a fish.  Please remember to place any and all trash in the proper place and dispose of balloons appropriately. It could truly save a life.

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