Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tuesday, July 5

The weather was all across the spectrum today. We saw fog, raindrops, more fog, haze, did I mention fog(?), oh yeah, then finally some sun. Foggy conditions can definitely prove to be extra challenging when it comes to finding whales but with a little luck, some great fishing friends on the water, and good old fashion patience we had a great day of whale sightings! This morning we saw 5 Minke whales, Humpback whale #0050 and 2 Fin whales. One of our commonly sighted mammals, the magic of the Minke whale, was a wonderful start to the day as these whales could showcase their effortless movements as they moved around at the surface.
First sighting of the day, a Minke whale

Another morning Minke whale
With more Minke whales sighted as the day continued we headed offshore. Soon we found ourselves surrounded by fog and doing some searching. Out of the blue a radio call came in from one of our fishing friends reporting a whale only a few miles from our current location. Off we went and found #0050, the Humpback whale, circling around.
Humpback whale #0050
We had some wonderful looks at this whale especially when it suddenly decided to tail breach and lobtail!
Humpback whale lobtailing while rolled over on its back!
From there we went to investigate another spout and found a Fin whale. This whale also provided some phenomenal looks as it took so many breaths at the surface often times relatively close to us.
Massive Fin whale
Before heading for home we came across our Humpback whale again. Since this whale was busy doing donuts in the area, we literally just sat there, floating at the surface, watching wildlife be wild.
Whale watchers aren't the only ones that watch whales. This tuna fishing boat, famously known from the show Wicked Tuna, is seen catching a glimpse of our Humpback whale while fishing for bluefin tuna.
Once it was time to head for home we had to quickly stop short at one point because a familiar friend suddenly surfaced right alongside the boat. Dingle the Fin whale made a quick appearance!
Dingle's distinct dorsal fin
This afternoon we started in much better conditions. We could see around us but eventually we once again found ourselves socked in fog. Our first and second attempts of watching whales were not very successful as we saw and quickly lost both a Minke whale and Fin whale during our travels offshore. The third time was a charm as we found ourselves with 2 Minke whales and Humpback whale #0050 around.
Afternoon Minke whale
Humpback whale tail
The day continued on, the fog began to dissipate and finally we found ourselves surrounded by a beautifully calm ocean AND visibility.
Such a calm ocean as our Humpback whale surfaces for a breath of air
In total we saw 5 Minke whales, #0050 and 4 Fin whales this afternoon. At the end of the trip we saw a few Fin whales in the distance but with their swift movements through the water we watched them from a distance before disappearing below the waterline. A handful of lucky passengers even ended the day with a distant look at a breaching Basking shark. What a day full of unexpected weather and wonderful whale sightings!

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