Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday, June 17

Today’s adventures took us towards Jeffreys Ledge again where we found a basking shark not far past the Isles of Shoals!  Unfortunately, this shark was a little shy and hid beneath the surface right after we pointed it out. But a few lucky folks on the bow definitely saw it! Basking sharks (the 2nd largest fish in the ocean) have been fairly common so far this year.  

As we headed out further, we came upon a minke whale. In total, we saw 4 different minke whales today but they all seemed to have the same agenda- elusive. Often we get amazing looks at minkes and can even tell them apart, but no such luck today.   Next up was a very nice fin whale (2nd largest species of whale in the world). After a couple of looks at this cooperative creature, we identified it as #9724 in Blue Ocean Society’s catalog.

 This whale was seen the other day as well! #9724 was first documented by researchers in 1986! I wonder how old he is. (Also, this whale has never been seen with a calf so we ignorantly assume it’s a male.)   

#9724 also let us know that he has been feeding on a whole lot of herring or mackerel by leaving a huge brown cloud, almost the size of our boat, behind him! When you gotta go, you gotta go!!

For fans of the TV show Wicked Tuna, we saw tuna boat Pin Wheel anchored up in an attempt to catch a bluefin tuna!

We continued our search and came upon a second fin whale as well as a couple of the other minkes. As wild animals are wild, they don’t always cooperate with us. This fin whale was showing us just how amazing they are at holding their breath and traveling quickly.  Soon it was time to head for home and soon after we thought we left the 2nd fin whale, we spotted it again briefly ahead of us.

I also want to thank our special guests from New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance for helping out with data collection and being available on deck to teach our guests a bit more about our wonderful Gulf of Maine inhabitants!

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