Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 30

The ocean definitely took us for a ride today.  The wind was a bit more than predicted but even with the roller coaster seas, we found whales, dolphins, harbor porpoises and seals throughout the day! 

This morning, after passing by some harbor porpoises and harbor seals, we spotted a minke whale. We saw this whale a couple of times but then saw a larger whale not too far away. As we headed for what turned out to be a fin whale, our intern Hannah spotted a pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins! Fantastic!! We tried to keep track of the fin whale while we checked out the dolphins. These dolphins were pretty active and soon were surrounding the boat! 

 We didn’t want to lose the fin whale so we headed out in search of it. It seemed that there were actually 3 fin whales in the area- a pair and a solo one!  We stayed with the pair (“Dingle” and his friend from the past couple days), and as we waited for them to surface, we noticed the dolphins were heading our way! They were also interested in the fin whales! The group of toothed and baleen whales hung out together for a bit before going along their separate ways!   Even after many years of whale watching on both US coasts, my favorite thing to watch is fin whales and dolphins together!  Not only is the activity incredible, but the size difference is amazing.

Dingle approaching his friend

This afternoon, the wind continued to howl making for some interesting sea conditions.  We headed out to see what the conditions would be like, and were pleased to find that the steep waves in the shallow inshore water seemed to lessen as we got further offshore, in the deeper water.  We spotted some minke whales and a number of harbor porpoises before getting a report from some other whale watch boats ahead of us. It seemed that our pair of fin whales from the morning trip was still in the area!  Although these big whales were a bit busy at the start, they eventually mellowed and gave us some great looks! In the meantime we were treated to wave-surfing porpoises and a minke whale!  We even saw a tiny bit of Dingle’s fluke as he cruised a wave next to us!
Fin whale spout with a bit of a rainbow!

Fin whale "Dingle" surfing through a wave

Fin whales "Dingle" and his friend
 It was really fun to see what whales do in wavy sea conditions!  So what we thought might be a tricky day turned out to be a really fun one!  One of our passengers told us that she had been on 5 whale watches before and had never seen a whale. Today was her lucky day!  Congratulations!

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