Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday, June 9

This post is not about our whale watch sightings today. Instead, it is about our guests on board. This morning we left the dock with a group of curious students from Sunapee, NH. Their enthusiasm and excitement were infectious! Each of the fin whales that we encountered was met with cheers and gasps. “It’s so big!!” “Whoa, did you see that??”  When the small groups of harbor porpoises were spotted, squeals of happiness broke out all over the boat.   Then the students were shouting, “Whale! One o’clock!” Indeed, a minke whale scooted along next to us, just to the right of the bow.  As we watched the minke for a bit, some excellent observers saw the big fins in the distance, pointing at them while asking, “What’s that over there??”  Basking sharks!! Not just a couple of them, but at least 5-6 near us and probably another half dozen by the other boat in the area.  “It’s coming right at us! I can see its mouth! Cool!!”  Near the end of our trip, as we were getting ready to head for the harbor, students pointed out a big tail slipping beneath the waves.  They had found a north Atlantic right whale, a critically endangered species.  We kept our distance, but even so, the students almost couldn’t believe what they saw.  “That tail was huge!”  As I talked with the students, one said that her favorite part of the trip was “everything”.  Another told me all about the Bryde’s whale he is studying in school.  I am really happy knowing that this well-behaved, engaged group of kids were treated to a wide variety of marine life, giving them the experience of what the Gulf of Maine is all about. 
Fin whale marked just under the boat

Fin whale

Harbor porpoises

Minke whale

Basking shark

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