Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday, October 7

Where has the time gone? Today was our final trip for the 2017 whale watching season. Mother Nature decided to add a bit of a twist to the day as the majority of the trip was spent socked in fog. While fog tends to be our least favorite weather condition, we make the most of things we can't control, and slowed and searched for whale activity as much as possible offshore. We ultimately ended up finding 2 fin whales and 2 blue sharks during our trip.
Finding whales in the fog can be tricky but with the help of our passengers, we could keep track of this whale as it surfaced all around the boat!
One of our fin whales was fin-tastic as it began lunge-feeding at the surface rolling here and there all around us.
Fin whale swooshing plenty of water around as it lunged through the water
Part of a fin whale tail!
The flipper and white belly of our feeding fin whale
Second fin whale of the day
We would also like to take a moment and thank all of our passengers for making 2017 a successful season. We couldn't do it without you. We are passionate about what we do and try to share that passion and importance of the marine environment with all of you. Whether you were a first-timer, a visitor to the area, or many of our familiar friends, we thank you for your enthusiasm and look forward to seeing you all again in 2018!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday, October 6

As we head into our last weekend of the 2017 season we could not have asked for a better day. The ocean was calm and life was abundant!
Our favorite kind of conditions: cloudy skies and calm seas. This combination sets up for a beautiful backdrop for scenery and spotting whale spouts!
We saw 17 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, an ocean sunfish, a pod of 50 Atlantic white-sided dolphins and a minke whale! These whale numbers don't even include the continuous scattering of spouts we saw out in the distance all throughout the trip. So much to watch and witness.
Fin whale feeding at the surface

Two fin whales are creating all this wave-action in this photo!
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
Almost every single one of our baleen whales were lunge feeding; taking full advantage of the bountiful amount of food offshore.
Fin whale tail as this whale was lunging through the water
Four humpback whales open-mouth feeding
Most whales were grouped up working together to feast on all the food. A rarity of a day to see the shear number of whales we did, the feeding behaviors we experienced and the variety of life in the Jeffreys Ledge area. Every trip provides special moments and today was no exception.
Pair of humpback whales feeding
Fin whale
Humpback whale
After all of our offshore activity, on our way home we came across a pod of dolphins!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday, October 4

Today was a bit more typical as far as fall weather goes. We had been getting a little spoiled by the calm conditions over the past week. This morning the wind was blowing from the SW, so the further offshore we went, the choppier the seas were. The first half of the trip showed us what the ocean was all about, but soon after reaching the whales, the wind died out and the seas calmed very nicely. We found two groups of humpback whales- a trio and a pair, along with an elusive minke whale and two harbor seals (and a grey seal in the harbor!) I hope the ocean and whales both cooperate for our last couple trips of the 2017 season!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday, October 1

I really can't believe the weather we've had this fall, especially today on the first day of October!

Today was a perfect fall day on the ocean! Clear, calm, sunny, AND we saw whales! At least 10 humpback whales were spotted in groups ranging from 1 to 4 individuals. A minke whale, some harbor seals and a few pods of harbor porpoises were also spotted to round out the day. We were able to identify most of the humpback whales we found including Jabiru who has been seen regularly for weeks, as well as Clamp who was seen for the first time in a quite a while.  Only a few more trips this year so be sure to get out there if you can!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday, September 29

Boy have we been lucky to generally have such calm seas recently. Add in a plethora of wildlife to watch and it was another successful day in the Gulf of Maine today! We saw 2 ocean sunfish, 9 humpback whales (in pairs and even a group of 4) and a pod of ~25 Atlantic white-sided dolphins during our trip.
Ocean sunfish
Can you spot all 4 humpback whales in this image?
Tight-knit grouping of Atlantic white-sided dolphins
The humpback whales we recognized included Spoon, Sword, Shuffleboard, A-plus, Reaper, Othello and Pitcher.
Sword and Spoon
A-plus and Shuffleboard
Some of our humpback whales were resting, others slowly traveling along and one even flipper-slapped multiple times. As if these moments weren't special enough we got a chance to check out some inter-species associations as our group of dolphins were associated with our group of 4 humpback whales!
Large flipper high in the air
Humpback whales and dolphins!
Humpback whale still flipper-slapping as the dolphins remained associated with these larger mammals

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursdsay, September 28

With a school group from Vermont on board today, we ventured out in search of whales. After a 3.5 hour bus ride, we were really hoping to be able to show these green mountain natives some of what we have here in the great blue sea. Thankfully, the whales cooperated and we were successful! Thirteen humpback whales were spotted including Sword, Patches, Owl and her calf, Echo, Shuffleboard and Othello!  One of the  humpback whales was breaching at a distance, but of course stopped once we got close...Murphy's Law... We also saw a group of harbor porpoises on our way out, as well as a grey seal!  Our students also got a little history lesson as we passed in between the Isles of Shoals on our way home.

Patches (the whale on our brochure cover!)

Owl and her calf

Humpback diving

Echo- see the orca teeth marks on the lower left side??

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 27

I don't think I have worn shorts and a t-shirt on a late September whale watch ever before! The weather has been pretty atypical this fall with lots of fog and then temps in the 80's! Our trip today was beautiful with clear skies and calm seas. Nine humpback whales were seen along with some Atlantic white sided dolphins, a couple of minke whales and harbor seals!

Spoon with leaping dolphin!

Trio of whales


Humpback diving

Humpback and dolphins under the boat
 We even were treated to a lovely tour of the Isles of Shoals as we passed through them on our way home!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday, September 26

The humpbacks are still around! In spite of our foggy start, we found nine humpback whales (one trio and three pairs), three minke whales, a small pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins, a couple of harbor seals and even a quick look at a shark today! The humpbacks were the highlight as most of them were sleepy, not moving quickly and allowing us some incredible views!  Our trio also began to flipper-slap from a distance! Owl and her calf were seen, being escorted by the dolphins for a bit, and in true Owl style, she chose to pay us a visit, swimming over to us to check us out! We love this whale!


Spoon and Cardhu

Atlantic white sided dolphins

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 25

We had a school trip today and stellar sea conditions to go along with it! There was a variety of life to be seen including 12 humpback whales, 4 minke whales, a fin whale and a small pod of 10-12 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.
Whale tail

A sleek fin whale
Most of the humpback whales were resting at the surface and the calm seas made for incredible looks at all of the mammals sighted today!
Could the ocean be any calmer? I don't think so!
Four humpback whales all napping at the surface
A familiar whale, Patches, was sighted today!