Friday, July 11, 2014

Thursday, July 10

What we all love about our job is how drastically different one trip can be from another. Whales move in, whales move out, and the unknown for any given trip is what keeps us all coming back for more. Today was just like that. We never truly know what we are going to find, see and experience. While we have a good sense as to where whales may be that only goes so far for the whales are the utmost decision makers. They are the ones to decide to stay in an area and potentially what they may be doing when we get there. This morning we saw between 15-20 Humpback whales and this afternoon 10, along with 10 Minke whales as well. These whales were far from home and moved quite a good distance even just between our morning and afternoon trips. The last time we had such high numbers of Humpback whales close enough by they remained around for ~72hrs before venturing off in some unknown direction. Who knows if these whales will stay put, move closer, or once again move further away but until then we certainly were lucky enough to see some incredible feeding behaviors from so many animals.

This morning we got a chance to watch whales create bubble clouds, kick feed, and even a few distance breaches out of the water. With so many whales around we eased our way around getting looks at plenty of the whales close by us. We have been able to identify most of the whales that were close to us which included Stub, Level, Glyph, Wyoming, Nimbus, Bisou and Treasure.
Stub creating quite the disturbance on the water
Kicking feeding being done by this Humpback whale
One of the pairs of whales we saw feeding
Birds and whales trying to eat lots of fish!
Definitely sightings unusual to see especially when almost all the whales we saw were partaking in the same behaviors of actively feeding. Can you even begin to imagine how much food must be around to keep these whales doing what they are doing?

This afternoon we traveled miles from where we had been this morning only to come across a few of the exact same whales we had spent time with during our morning trip. Whales have tails and they certainly have no problem using them to venture off in any direction they so desire! We got some amazing looks as Bisou, Level and Jumanji who were cooperatively feeding by creating bubble nets and making tail slashes through the water. 
This is actually 3 Humpback whales as a couple of them surface with their mouths open
Bisou the Humpback whale
The bubble net created by this Humpback whale while its mouth is open and then closed (above and below) trapping in all the fish in its mouth while then spitting all the ocean water back out!

To top off an already incredible time spent with wild animals today we ended our trip with Anvil and her calf.
Anvil filtering out plenty of salt water while her calf swims alongside her
This is the first time all season we have seen a mother/calf Humpback whale pair so it was certainly a special treat. Mom alternated doing some feeding herself before her and her calf would nurse for a bit only to then return to doing some more feeding behaviors.
Some kick feeding being done by Mom
These behaviors from so many whales is something you do not get a chance to see everyday or for that matter each and every time you go out whale watching. Who knows what may happen in the next few days as for now these incredible moments are certainly memorable.
Quite the beautiful day

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