Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday, August 20

My goodness was the ocean gorgeous today! Marine life was plentiful throughout our travels today even though some critters were a tad bit more challenging that others. Regardless, we definitely got some great looks at lots of stuff today! This morning we saw 4 Minke whales, lots of Harbor seals (before we even swung by Boon Island on the way home!) and a small group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins! Our first whale of the day was just miles from home. A Minke whale was on the move through the area. Flat calm ocean conditions made for checking out all of our sightings quite fin-tastic today!
Minke whale inside the Isles of Shoals
Minke whale swimming alongside us
As we ventured further offshore one of our eagle-eyed whale spotters found another type of whale. A group of dolphins were darting around. There were about 10-12 of these Atlantic white-sided dolphins circling around the area.
A few of our Atlantic white-sided dolphins scooting around
While they were a bit tricky to get looks at a few times (only staying at the surface for a couple minutes before heading further down into the depths of the ocean) it was great to see these toothed-whales in our area. With a handful of Harbor seals being sighted all throughout our travels we were enjoying quite the marine life.
We were easing our way around this seal as we were moving through the area when it woke up to see what was nearby.
With a few other sightings of some Minke whales and a great look at one of the 4 Ocean sunfish seen this morning it was quite the trip.
Another morning Minke whale
Hello perfect ocean conditions and an awesome Ocean sunfish!
To top it off we even swung by Boon Island on our way home as it was on our travel route back to Rye Harbor. Even more seals (both Grey and Harbor seals) were seen enjoying the water and sunshine this morning!
Grey seals napping in the water just off of Boon Island
Seals sunning themselves on the rocks on Boon Island
This afternoon the very nice ocean conditions continued. Our passengers were ready and focused as they scanned the horizon and were doing a great job spotting whales. Our first stop was on a Minke whale spending a bit of time under the water but with a bit of patience we managed to get some nice looks at this whale.
Minke whale with the bridge on I-95 connecting NH to ME in the background
In total we ended up seeing 4 Minke whales, more Harbor seals, 2 Ocean sunfish, a Fin whale and perhaps the same group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins we had seen during our morning travels. The dolphins consisted of again between 10-12 whales, still behaving very similarly to this morning's group and only ~3miles from our morning sighting. These dolphins ended up disappearing on us but for at least a brief moment in time we got a chance to check out these agile whales.
Sneaky Atlantic white-sided dolphin this afternoon just before they decided to completely disappear from sight!
As we continued on one of the Ocean sunfish we checked out this afternoon was quite large and had both of it's fins a bit mangled up.
Slightly "battered" Ocean sunfish but this fish was certainly still swimming around!
As this fish swam along at the surface we realized that at least part of one of it's fin was missing most likely due to a shark bite! Crazy and of course glad this fish survived the "test-taste" some shark decided to do on this fish.
Closer look at the shark bite visible on the fin of our Ocean sunfish
Our day ended with a completely different species than any of the others we had seen all day. It was a Fin whale. And not just any Fin whale, it was Dingle!
Fin whale spout
Dingle the Fin whale
This whale hasn't been seen for a couple days and then poof(!) there it was as if it had never left!
We got some great looks at this large whale and wrapped up another great day out on the open ocean.

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