Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday, August 7

The whales continue to remain inshore of Jeffreys Ledge but they continue to move around making finding them, even from trip to trip, a constant effort searching for whale cues. Watching any whale is a fortunate experience and we are always so grateful to get a chance to see such magnificent wildlife each day. Among the whales we were also keeping an eye out for any interesting birds, as we tend to do, since pelagic birds and whales feed on some of the same food. Not a whole lot of rare bird activity today but there were certainly plentiful times to see birds.
A sea of gulls nearby a dragger ready to react once the boat began to haul in their net
Anyway, back to the whales. This morning we saw 9 Minke whales, a Fin whale and a small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. We got some great looks at many of our Minke whales.
One of the many Minke whales seen this morning
If you really focus in on a Minke whale's dorsal fin you can see just how distinct each fin can be.
Look at the distinctive nicks missing from the back portion of this Minke whale's dorsal fin
Another Minke whale's dorsal fin
We then got a chance to spend time with Dingle the Fin whale, a whale first spotted by Blue Ocean Society researchers in 2003.
Morning sighting of Dingle the Fin whale
After some more searching and seeing more Minke whales it was time to turn for home. Minutes later another type of whale was nearby. A small group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were just off our port side! Initially these whales were being a bit aloof but soon they were doing donuts around the area allowing us to get some good looks at this group of about 10 individuals.
Atlantic white-sided dolphins (above and below)

This afternoon we started to search as soon as we left the harbor knowing how much the whales in the area have been moving around recently. Many thanks to one of our Blue Ocean Society's interns, Ali C., for she spotted a spout. A Fin whale was nearby. The next time this whale surfaced it wasn't just one whale, but two! A pair of Fin whales were right next to us.
Fin whale pair
We were able to get some great looks as these whales traveled through the area. Not only did we get good looks at this pair, we knew exactly who they were! Fin whale #0402 and Crow were moving around together! What a nice way to start the trip.
Fin whale #0402
Crow the Fin whale
Soon we found ourselves doing some more searching. We attempted to stop on a couple of Minke whales but they were not reappearing in a very cooperative fashion. Our day ended when we wrapped up our trip on another Fin whale. Dingle still was around. After a few attempts we got some fantastic looks at this whale especially when it surfaced right next to the boat!

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