Saturday, October 8, 2016

Saturday, October 8

Today officially marks the end of our 2016 whale watching season.  We are saddened to have to say goodbye to all the whales that are still in the area, but we wish them well on their impending migrations and look forward to seeing them return in the spring.

Today we found a pair of humpback whales named Fern and Pitcher who were taking 10+ minute long dives. Although 10 minutes isn't long for a humpback whale to hold its breath, it seemed like forever as we eagerly anticipated them returning to the surface. 

We decided to continue on as we had a report of more whales nearby. We got to the specified location and waited and waited. Eventually we saw a spout from another humpback whale. This whale was apparently sleepy as it would spout a few times and then just sink (no arch or obvious dive behavior) and remain subsurface for 5-10 minutes.  As we waited for this whale, we kept seeing a more active humpback whale a little further away. We soon found our friend named Jabiru, who was acting more like a typical humpback whale, surfacing every 5-10 minutes and lifting her flukes out of the water when going down. 

We also saw a small pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins in the area with Jabiru, as well as a couple of harbor seals throughout the trip! Not a bad way to wrap up another wonderful season!   We wish everyone one a happy and safe winter and look forward to seeing you, and the whales, again in the spring!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday, October 7

Today was a day we wish could be experienced every day. Most of the day we had no wind to speak of and the swell we were seeing/feeling continued to diminish as the trip went on making for picture perfect conditions for wildlife spotting. Add in some phenomenal looks at so much marine life and it was a stellar kind of day. Multiple pods of harbor porpoise, a few harbor seals, 1 Ocean sunfish, 1 Blue shark, 1 Minke whale, 9 Humpback whales and a pod of 6-8 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were the sightings of the day. Among all that activity there was (no joke) trillions of comb jellies 'littering' the ocean.
A slightly tricky photo to understand but basically any/all egg-shaped items seen are comb jellies found all around us all day long!
These creatures are technically not true jelly fish as they have no stinging cells and fall into the category known as ctenophores. The first whale we stopped on was initially being a bit elusive so we checked out an Ocean sunfish as we waited.
Ocean sunfish
Eventually we decided to move on from the area and little did we know our whale had similar plans. A pair of whales we had been watching in the distance turned into three when our original whale joined the mix! All three of these whales were resting the majority of the time we watched them but as they did we got some incredible looks when they occasionally checked us out.
Fern the Humpback whale

Platform the Humpback whale who grouped up with the pair of Humpback whales we had seen in the distance
Two of the three whales in our trio
Turns out the majority of the Humpback whales seen today were all in pairs and most of them were napping!
Owl and Patches (surprise, surprise) resting at the surface
A-plus and Jabiru
One whale however, was VERY much awake. We spent time with a mother/calf pair. The calf rolled, flipper slapped, lob-tailed and even breached almost the entire time we watched this pair. Some truly specials moments.
Bright white flipper sky high
This calf is currently 'belly-up' lob-tailing at the surface
The ocean was so calm you could +see the reflection of the flipper on the ocean surface
Before heading for home we even checked out a small group of dolphins moving through the area. Truly an incredible day.
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wednesday, October 5

After being tied to the dock for 10 days, we finally got to head out in search of whales once more! We had no idea what or who we might see, as it had been a while since our last trip and the seas were pretty treacherous during that time. Fortunately, we were happily surprised by our findings today! We ended up wtih 5 humpback whales (Jabiru, Patches, Daffodil, Pitcher and one unidentified whale) along with a huge fin whale and a minke whale. Not bad for an adventure in swelly seas!  Patches and Jabiru were together at first and then seemed to split up. The 3rd humpback whale we couldn't get near- that whale has something other than being watched by us on its mind. Then we found Daffodil and Pitcher in the distance. One (or both) of them were spotted jumping out of the water as we approached. Once we arrived, the pair were slapping their flippers and creating quite the show.  A minke whale was scooting through the area as well! Great day had by all!

Fin whale