Friday, August 12, 2016

Thursday, August 11

Today we not only had one, but TWO, SUPERFECTAS of whale activity on our trips. On both whale watches today we saw all four of the most commonly sighted types of whales that reside in our section of the Gulf of Maine. There were so many special moments, sights, experiences; it was above and beyond on so many levels. This morning we started the trip with a pod of 75 Atlantic white-sided dolphins before even passing by the Isles of Shoals. The beautiful conditions allowed for some amazing looks at these whales.
Atlantic white-sided dolphin

What a wonderful way to start the day with a group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins in such calm ocean conditions
Atlantic white-sided dolphins swimming in our boat wake
We then headed offshore and soon found ourselves socked in a fog bank. Many thanks to our fishing friends for the morning report, and our passengers willing to lend an ear, for we found our next whale by listening for a whale spout! Hornbill the Humpback whale was circling around the area.
Hornbill as seen, and kept track of, through the fog
Hornbill's tail in our foggy conditions
The fog continued to linger but as the trip went on we found ourselves in better and better visibility. As we traveled along we had a total of 15 Minke whale sightings!
One of the many Minke whales seen during our travels offshore
We also saw 3 Fin whales including a pair of two well-known visitors to the Jeffreys Ledge region. Crow and Dingle were traveling through the area together.
Dingle and Crow our Fin whale pair
Dingle the Fin whale
We ended our trip with a pair of Humpback whales, Pinball and her calf. The calf was sporadically active, tail breaching and even jumped completely out of the water twice before it was time to head to the mainland!
Tail breach from Pinball's calf

Pinball and her calf
Distant, but always impressive, breach by Pinball's calf
This afternoon, the ocean was willing to share so many of its marine mammals for our viewing purposes once again. Our trip started with a group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. This time we had found a pod of 40-50 whales.
Afternoon group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins
While watching our dolphins we picked up a spout just beyond the area. A Fin whale was on the move.
Fin whale
We got a few looks but this Fin whale was on a mission so we left this whale to do some more exploring. We then attempted to get a look at one of the two Minke whales seen but they appeared to be a bit elusive so we decided it too was best to continue on.
Minke whale
Next we found Owl the Humpback whale. As she traveled along we moved with her getting some very nice looks.
We ended our day with a trio of Humpback whales. We came upon Hornbill swimming with Pinball and her calf!
Hornbill this afternoon
Pinball and her calf
This trio of whales did not last long as Hornbill soon was seen swimming in a different direction so we decided to stick with the mother/calf pair who spent the afternoon nursing and napping at the surface.

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