Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday, June 22

Whales here. Whales there. Whales everywhere. We were once again treated to not only plenty of whales but plenty of whale activity today. This morning we watched many Humpback whales create bubble nets, flipper slap, do some kick-feeding and even saw a few whales jump clear out of the water.
A bubble net created by these two Humpback whales is a feeding mechanism used to catch lots of fish!
Humpback whales will also smack their tails on the surface to help scare or stun fish which they then quickly scoop up before the fish try to swim away!
Flipper and tail above the water from this Humpback whale
We counted 15 Humpback whales out on Jeffreys Ledge this morning including Tear, Fern, Lariat, Harrow, Firefly, Joy, Fracture and Pogo. Amongst all of this activity we even had some surprise visitors cruise through the area. A small group of about 6-8 Atlantic white-sided dolphins suddenly appeared beyond a few whales we were spending time with.
One of the few Atlantic white-sided dolphins in the area
We got some looks as they moved through the mix of larger whale activity which meant we had to slowly maneuver around to keep track with the dolphins and whales all nearby.

Tear the Humpback whale
So many bubble nets made today
Pogo tail breaching
This afternoon we were once again back in the same area. The whales had shifted a bit but soon plenty of whale spouts were being seen. So many you literally did not know where to look. You would hear one spout and turn your head in one direction only to be turning your head in another direction just as quickly when another whale would surface close by. Even just watching a single whale would turn into 3 or 4 or more as you would just see a spout in the distance, then another, and another.
How many whales can you find in this photo?
Instead of trying to weave our way through the mass of whale activity we decided to sit tight and let the whales do their thing. This ended up working out fantastically as whales would randomly surface all around the boat.
Lariat the Humpback whale
Almost every single one of the 20 Humpback whales we saw this afternoon (whales included: Pisces, Joy, Tear, Lariat, Coral, Ampersand, Duo and Metronome to name a few) were doing some sort of feeding behavior. Whether it was more tail slaps, bubble clouds, bubble nets, or filtering out water, things were happening in every which direction.
Joy the Humpback whale
Upper and lower jaw of this whale coming up catching fish
Can you arch your back as much as this Humpback whale is?
A few times we even watched these whales swim so closely past one another you could see how abruptly one would suddenly alter course. So much food for the whales to focus on!
Not enough to look at close by? Take a moment to look out in the distance and this it what we kept seeing
This whale apparently decided to come check us our for a little while which definitely always works with us!
One never knows what a whale watching trip will hold. Whether it be how many whales, where they are, or what they are doing, we are in search of wild animals and they run the show. There is no guarantee what we saw today will happen again tomorrow or really for that matter what any given day will bring. That is really the enticing and phenomenal aspect about wildlife. Only the wildlife knows what they are going to be doing when. We just get to be the spectators to some quite incredible mammals on earth.
Until then...

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