Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, August 16

This morning the ocean was so calm there were times the horizon and ocean seemingly blended together. The calm seas helped to alert us humans of whale activity as any disturbance on the water usually was some indication of marine life near by. Sightings from our morning trip included 4 Humpback whales, 12 Minke whales, 4 Fin whales, 7+ Harbor seals and an Ocean sunfish. We started the day initially watching Owl and Hornbill in association with one another but that was short-lived, as most associations are with baleen whales on the feeding grounds, as soon these two Humpback whales were circling around on their own.
Humpback whale spout surrounded by lake-like ocean conditions
Filtering Humpback whale
Throughout the day each location of whales brought multiple Minke whales popping up all around providing plenty to look at when some of the other whales remained below the ocean's surface.
Minke whale
Another Minke whale
Next we found Pinball and her calf who were slowly on the move. A few times Pinball would stop to circle around as the calf rested at the surface nearby.
Pinball and her calf
Our Fin whales of the trip were less than cooperative but such is the case when dealing with wild animals. They disappeared almost as quickly as they had appeared, a tendency any whale can do if they so desire.
Fin whale pair
During our last bit of searching we passed by lots of harbor seals and even found an Ocean sunfish before returning to Rye Harbor.
Ocean sunfish
This afternoon we began with a Humpback whale on the move. This whale was spending a good chunk of time below the surface so our attempts to check out this whale lasted only for a few surfacings before we decided to venture on in hopes of finding other whales that were spending less time below the waterline. Even though we never saw this whale's fluke we do know it is a new visitor to the area just based on it's uniquely shaped dorsal fin. Hopefully this whale sticks around for a bit allowing us to one day confirm exactly who this new visitor is.
Unknown new Humpback whale in our area
In total we saw 6 Minke whales, 3 Humpback whales and a couple of Harbor seals this afternoon. We even found ourselves in an area where were had 3-4 Minke whales moving through the water around us.
Afternoon Minke whale
The other Humpback whales this afternoon included Hornbill and Owl. Owl was quite the whale for multiple times when she would circle she would consistently swim right in towards us.
Incoming Owl!
For a medium-sized whale in general (Humpback whales are NOT one of the largest whales in the world), they can be extremely impressive when you see them so close to us. Even though Owl swam near us we always make sure that every whale's safety is one of our main priorities which is why we sat with our engines shut off, floating at the surface, allowing Owl to choose where and when she would swim next. It was another adventurous day in the Gulf of Maine so keep a lookout for what happens on our next adventure out to find some wild whales.

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