Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday, May 28

The unofficial start of summer is here and the temperatures on land certainly followed suit! However, 20+ miles from shore means we enjoyed slightly cooler temperatures (being that we are surrounded by mid-50 degree water) and minimal breezes moving across the ocean. Our day was full of life as it consisted of 5 Minke whales, 3 Humpback whales and at least 7 Fin whales! Our first Humpback whale of the day was surfacing for a couple breaths and darting all over the place. Soon we discovered who this whale was, a familiar tail to the area, Mogul!
This whale was definitely doing some sub-surface feeding as multiple times we saw large patches of bubbles appear at the surface; a known sign of corralling food for a Humpback whale.
Bubbles visible at the surface having been created by Mogul somewhere in the water column
Whale tail
We spent a bit more time with Mogul before we moved on to another whale nearby. It was another Humpback whale but the closer we got we could see there were two of them. It was a mother and her calf!
Mother and calf Humpback whale pair (above and below)
A quick look at mom's tail when she dove confirmed this well-known whale as well. It was Quote with her calf she gave birth to this winter in the warm waters of the Caribbean. What a wonderful surprise!
Quote's unique black and white pigmentation pattern on the underside of her tail
The calf was a bit squirmy at times tail-breaching while mom created some bubble clouds around the area. Soon it was time to turn for home but apparently we were not quite done whale watching. On our travels home we moved through an area where there were at least 7 Fin whales scattered around!
Fin whale's back and dorsal fin
Fin whale surfacing
We watched a pair circle around while other single whales could be seen in directions all around the boat. We got some nice looks at a few of these whales as the whales were consistently changing directions while we slowly maneuvered through it all. What a way to wrap up an already successful day in the Gulf of Maine.
Fin whale spout

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