Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday, September 16

Want to know what is amazing? Nature. Want to know what is even more amazing? Spending so much quality time with that nature. Today was a great day. Yes we saw whales but more so than that, at times, we found ourselves just sitting tight as whales swam by and around us. Experiencing a moment in a whale's world, watching them meander around, is truly just fantastic. Before we even got to the whales today we stopped to check out an Ocean sunfish.
Ocean sunfish swimming alongside the boat
This fish was just slowly on the move. As we continued to head offshore we saw whales breaching in the distance. Not just one but two! While these whales persisted with this behavior for a bit they ceased this activity by the time we got into the area.
Distant look at a breaching Humpback whale
No worries though, it was still impressive to watch these whales launch themselves clear out of the water. Overall the day included 6 Humpback whales, including two different mother/calf pairs, and a Fin whale. We started with Gunslinger traveling along rarely showing its tail as it was diving.
Gunslinger the Humpback whale
Eventually we moved on to Victim and her calf. These two whales were not moving much at all giving us a great opportunity to get some great looks at this pair.
Victim and her calf
Victim's tail
As we were spending time with this pair of Humpback whales suddenly a spout and body from a Fin whale appeared in the area! This whale ended up circling around us a few times allowing for a phenomenal comparison of sizes between a 'medium'-sized Humpback whale and one of the second largest animals on Earth, a Fin whale. We were able to identify our Fin whale which was first sighted in this area in 2007.
Fin whale #0723
Not only did we have this Fin whale appear out of nowhere but another Humpback whale passed by us too. Jabiru surfaced for only a short while nearby before this whale seemingly disappeared just as easily as it had appeared. Before heading for home we went to investigate a few more exhalations we were keeping track of. Turns out we came across a trio of Humpback whales! And guess who was in the mix? Jabiru had joined up with Ravine and her calf!
The dorsal fins of Ravine, her 2016 calf and Jabiru all at the surface
All three whales were slowly swimming along. On our course home we had one more quick stop as Victim's calf was being a bit active as we were passing through the area. We saw a few tail breaches and lob tails. What a fantastic way to end an already great day with wildlife.
Sometimes all you have to do is take the time to look to see what amazing things you can find in your 'backyard.' The modern world in the background is just the backdrop to this tail-breaching calf.

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