Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday, August 19

Minke whales here, Minke whales there, Minke whales everywhere! Today we were full of Minke whale sightings (amongst some other awesome sight!). This morning we saw 9 Minke whales, 6 Ocean sunfish and even a Blue shark.
Minke whale
Most of our Minke whales were moving around on their own but we were fortunate enough to find not only one pair of Minke whales but TWO!
One Minke whale already at the surface while the second whale begins to break the surface right next to it!
Rarely do we ever see Minke whales on the move together so to see two different pairs spending time with each other was definitely a special treat.
Our second pair of Minke whales were synchronizing their movements in amazing fashion!

Gorgeous ocean conditions to watch not just one, but two Minke whales on the move together!
Minke whale at the surface
Not only were there plenty of Minke whales around there were lots of Ocean sunfish at the surface too!
This Ocean sunfish was spotted moments after leaving the harbor this morning. Our first sighting of the day seconds after getting into the open ocean! No worries, this fish was just passing by the lobster buoy.
In just one trip we saw 6 different Ocean sunfish, by far the most we have seen during any given trip this whole season!
Ocean sunfish swimming away from us
Granted for a few of the Ocean sunfish we saw we just pressed on as we kept seeing their fins flopping on the calm ocean surface. While we did check out a few of these interesting looking fish we did make sure to point out the ones we saw, whether we stopped or not, as it was great to see just how much marine life was around today.
Another one of our Ocean sunfish, this time swimming right for us!
To wrap up the great morning we also got a quick look at a Blue shark swimming by us.
The fins of a Blue shark. The dorsal fin is above the waterline on the right while the tail fin can be seen on the left side of this photo.

This afternoon we once again started with a couple Minke whales circling around the area. While these whales were never close enough to consider them associated with one another they both remained in close proximity of each other the whole time. So much so we just bounced back and forth from both of these whales getting some nice looks as these Minke whales moved around.
Minke whale during our afternoon travels
We continued on our way and ended up seeing 7 Minke whales in total during our travels this afternoon. A  Minkes were on the move, a few were just moseying around but once again it was great to see so many marine mammals around.
Up close and personal look as this Minke whale surfaced so close to us!
Just when we thought we had seen all that we were going to see we came across literally a flotilla of seals! Grey and Harbor seals were on the move, most likely feeding, as seagulls and gannets flew high above this group as these seals were on the prowl.
A couple seals at the surface while a seagull flies by searching for any "leftover" fish at the surface

Our group of seals were swimming through the water with such ease!
Close up look at one of the many seals involved in this feeding group
Typically we see seals moving through the water on their own so to witness both Grey and Harbor seals apparently feeding together was quite the sight.
Harbor seals (left) and a Grey seal (right) charging around together
This Grey seal paused long enough to check us out while the Harbor seals just plowed on through the water (above and below!)
Harbor seals
What a spectacular and unexpected way to end an already great day. The whales have been coming and going in quite the fluid motion recently so who knows what tomorrow has in store for us!

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