Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday August 4

This morning we came across a Minke whale before we even got to Jeffreys Ledge. This whale kept surfacing on either side of the boat but would only take a single breath every few minutes making predicting where and when this whale was going to surface next a bit challenging. As we spent time with this whale, out of the blue, another Minke whale was seen moving in towards our direction. This whale was at the surface much more frequently and thus ended up being much more conducive to whale watching as we got the chance to spend some quality time with this animal as it moved around the area.
Morning Minke whale sighting (above and below)
After getting some great looks at this whale we ventured further offshore to search for other animals. We did plenty of searching but were unable to find anything else. Wild animals certainly do a great job of not being seen when they chose so all we can do is try and hope it works out!

This afternoon before we were a mile from home we had a sighting. It was a fish; an Ocean sunfish was just outside of Rye Harbor! This fish was on the move so we spent most of the time seeing the tell-tale sign of its dorsal fin waving up and down on the ocean's surface as this fish moved through the water.
Only the tip of this Ocean sunfish's fin can be seen above the waterline as the rest of this fish resides just below
Less than 10 miles from home we ended up stopping yet again. This time it was a Minke whale. This whale was also doing a great job surfacing on either side of the boat (completely by chance as this whale would alter course constantly) and we watched this whale swim around us for a bit. 
Afternoon Minke whale
We were then hearing of more whale activity not too far away, thanks to our friends also out on the water, and so we pressed on after getting some nice looks at this Minke whale. A small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were being reported only a few miles away. After maneuvering into the area and taking a good look around, small fins suddenly appeared near by! We had found this group of 6-10 whales on the move.
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
And when I say on the move I mean these whales were cruising! They were moving so quickly and easily through the water they would create quite the disturbance as they swam at the surface. What a fun sighting to see these marine mammals book-it through the area!
Lots of white water is at the surface as these dolphins charge through the area at such a quick speed!
These whales were on a mission and eventually continued on their way leaving us to go search for more whales.  Before running out of time we were once again heading to a report of more toothed-whales. More dolphins were in the area! 
Another pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins beyond Appledore Island!
This group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were behaving quite differently than our first pod for they were definitely doing some feeding. These whales were constantly darting in a tight circle and had a few terns flying above them (hoping for any leftover scraps!) as these whales were going after some late lunch items. This group had about 20 whales moving through the water together, including some youngsters in the mix. 
Even though this is the back half of these dolphins bodies check out the drastic size difference of all three whales!
Not only were we fortunate enough to see one group of dolphins but two different pods all in one trip was quite the rarity considering we typically only see Atlantic white-sided dolphins on 20-25% of our whale watches!
Dolphin fins at the surface!

Today certainly was another unexpected day of sightings as whales moved in, out, and around the area!

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