Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday, July 30

Beautiful day on the ocean today!  We found at least 4 different minke whales this morning including our good friend, Scar! 


Another minke whale friend!
Scar is a minke who was first observed in 1995, and has a very distinctive scar on his back in front of his fin, and a second linear scar just aft of his blowholes.  Scar is one of Blue Ocean Society’s adoptable whales and always great to see.  We got a few looks at him before we headed off to investigate a blow further out. We found a fin whale near another whale watch boat. This whale initially was on the move, screaming around at over 12 knots.  But after a bit of time, the whale settled right down, possibly to feed, and gave us some incredible looks. To make things even better, this was a whale we also knew!  Fin whale #9709 (aka Squiggle) has a bit of a reputation for coming close to our boat, and she certainly proved that today. 
Fin whale #9709's squiggly fin

Fin whale #9709's close approach
 Several times, she came up close by and once even turned to approach us! 

It still amazes me to see wild animals seemingly curious about us!  On our way home, we passed a harbor seal and a small group of harbor porpoises.

Another amazing trip with fin and minke whales this afternoon. First, we found a pair of fin whales along with a minke whale. The fin whales were together, then split up for a bit before getting back together.
Fin whale #0354 and friend

Fin whale #0354's distinctive chevron/blaze marking
 At one point, our fish finder found our whales right below the boat! Check out this huge patch of bait on the machine and at the bottom of the bait, you can see the outlines of 2 whales! So cool!! 

Close approach by #0354
 We did a bit more searching and found another minke whale! Beautiful conditions today to view these incredible wild whales!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday, July 29

A little rain didn’t scare away our charter group this morning! We were a little damp leaving the dock but by the time we found whales, the rain had subsided.  Minke whales were out in force! We had about a dozen different ones throughout the trip as well as a huge fin whale named Crow. 
Morning Minke Whale

Fin Whale, Crow

 This afternoon, we found 5-6 minke whales again, along with Crow and a second fin whale!   One of our minke whales cruised right next to us, showing us its pointed nose and white flipper patches. 

Crow was a little elusive but was in proximity of another whale that came up along side our boat, allowing us views of its white lower jaw and chevron!  At one point, Crow swam under our boat, but we only knew this from our fish-finder!

 On our way home, we passed through the Isles of Shoals and caught some quick looks at a harbor seal and a couple of harbor porpoises! Great day!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday, July 28

This morning we started whale watching only minutes after leaving Rye Harbor. There were multiple pods of Harbor porpoise so close to home!
Harbor porpoise with Rye in the background!
Harbor porpoise
We checked out these small toothed-whales before venturing offshore. We then got a chance to spend time with 2 Minke whales and a large Fin whale.
First Minke whale of the day
Second Minke whale seen this morning
These whales were all doing some traveling but we were able to get some fantastic looks as they continued to move through the area.
Fin whale
Large body of a Fin whale
This afternoon we decided to search some different areas from where we had been during our morning travels to see if other whales were around and perhaps not doing as much traveling. We ended up seeing 5 Minke whales, most of them on the outskirts of the area, while we attempted to get looks at 2 Fin whales and Owl the Humpback whale. We also had a few Harbor seals pop up around us during the trip.
Harbor seal this afternoon
The Fin whales were being extremely sneaky which is really impressive when you think about a 60+ ft 60+ ton whale being 'sneaky.' However, these whales were just barely breaking the surface most of the time when they would surface for a breath of air. Luckily, thanks to so many of our passengers helping keeping an eye out in all directions around the boat (which we always appreciate!), we were able to get some decent looks.
Fin whale
We also spent time with Owl who was moving like crazy in one direction before cruising over to a different area with some quick movements. With a little patience however, we were able to get some very nice looks at our whales today!
Owl the Humpback whale

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday, July 27

Today was full of surprises. The ocean was just as pristine as possible so add that to our whale sightings and it was a stellar day.
Quite possibly not possible to have more beautiful ocean conditions
This morning we started with a great group of harbor porpoise and a harbor seal before we passed the Isles of Shoals.
Harbor porpoise
Harbor seal swimming past us
As we headed further offshore we ended up seeing 12 Minke whales and 2 Fin whales. Most of our whales were spending a good amount of time at the surface giving us some great looks at them. One of our Fin whales was a familiar fin, #0520, a Fin whale that was first sighted by Blue Ocean Society researchers in the Jeffreys Ledge area in 2005!
Fin whale
Beautiful glass-calm seas as this Fin whale surfaces for a breath of air
The highlight of the trip however, was one of our Minke whales. This whale approached the boat TWICE as we sat (with our engines off) and circled around the boat looking up at us. What an amazing look and moment for all of us on board! Just incredible. Below are photos taken by one of our passengers who was kind enough to share her photos. THANK YOU Shannon for taking these magnificent photos from the upper deck!
Photo credit: Shannon C.
Photo credit: Shannon C.
Photo credit: Shannon C.
Curious Minke whale after it was done checking us out
This afternoon our first whale of the trip was with a Minke whale just north of the Isles of Shoals.
Afternoon Minke whale
Soon we found ourselves checking out multiple Minke whales, 4 in total, during our travels.
Minke whale just beyond the Isles of Shoals
Another Minke whale we spent time with this afternoon
We then made our way over to an area where our friends on the Atlantic Queen had found a Humpback whale.
Humpback whale
Turns out it was Owl, seen just as recently as yesterday morning. Not sure where this whale has been spending her time but it was certainly nice to see her again.
Owl's tail

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday, July 26

This morning we saw 6 Minke whales, Owl the Humpback whale and 3 Fin whales. We first made our way to an area where there were multiple Minkes, a Fin whale and Owl was not too far away. The Fin whale was spending A LOT of time holding its breath so after a quick look at it we eased our way over to Owl. Owl was creating a few bubble clouds before she began to do some traveling.
Owl the Humpback whale
Remnants of a bubble cloud at the surface
Soon we were checking out some of the Minke whales around before moving over to two other Fin whales out in the distance.
Morning Minke whale
Fin whale
As the morning continued on the winds slacked off and soon we were surrounded by such calm sea conditions. This afternoon we could not have asked for calmer seas. Most of the time there was barely a breath of wind. Beautiful. We ended up finding 10 Minke whales and 10 Harbor seals during our afternoon adventures.
First of the many Minke whales we spent time with this afternoon
Another Minke whale
One of the many Harbor seals seen during our travels
We were also on the search to see if any of the whales we had sighted in the morning were around as they had moved from their morning locations. Unfortunately, we had no luck in that department. A testament to the wildness of wild whales. Only they know how long they are going to remain in an area before they decide it is time to move on. We are so lucky to come across any of these wild animals on a daily basis and when it is surrounded by such phenomenal conditions it cannot be beat.
Such calm seas and so many Minke whales this afternoon!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday July 25th

Today we were lucky to have flat calm seas and many whales.  Over the course of the day we saw more than 15 minke whales, 3 finback whales, 1 humpback whale and a small pod of harbor porpoise. Among our sightings today were two of  Blue Ocean Society's adoptable whales!  We saw Dingle the fin whale and Owl the humpback whale.   It is always fun for us to see these familiar whales returning to the area each summer!  We were also treated to the site of a schooner under full sail.