Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July 8-10, 2019

Every trip has its memorable moments and the past few days have certainly held true to that statement. Conditions were so beautiful on Monday; barely a breath of wind. On our morning trip we were so surprised to see, and of course spend time with, multiple humpback whales so close to the mainland. We started with Zorro barely beyond the Isles of Shoals before finding Owl moving through the area and Sedge moving in the opposite direction.
Humpback whale just beyond the Shoals!
On our afternoon trip we attempted to find any of the same individuals we saw in the morning but none of them were in similar areas. We went searching, saw two ocean sunfish in the process, and ended up finding Sedge over 10 miles from where it was seen in the morning! And nearby, Owl! We also had a brief look at a minke whale moving through the area.
Subsurface ocean sunfish
Tuesday was another gorgeous day on the water. Low and behold our first sighting of the day was Zorro the humpback whale, just beyond the Isles of Shoals!
Finding whales so close to home is always a fun surprise!
We headed further offshore and spotted two ocean sunfish, a couple of minke whales and another humpback whale, Sedge. The most thrilling aspect of the trip may have been our sighting of a highly endangered North Atlantic right whale! With a population of just over 400, every individual is vital to the recovery of this species. A completely unexpected and incredibly rare sighting.
Ocean sunfish
Diving whale
On our afternoon trip we searched over areas where Zorro had been sighted and even the direction Sedge had been moving. But, no luck. We continued on and ended up spending time with three humpback whales, two fin whales and even spotted another pair of humpback whales on our way home.
Afternoon diving whale
We mainly watched Gondolier before seeing Spoon and Valley resting at the surface. One of the fin whales moving around the area was #9709, an adult fin whale first spotted by Blue Ocean Society researchers in 1997!
Spoon at the surface

Fin whale #9709 diving 
Wednesday the weather repeated itself; flat calm seas. And guess what? Zorro was back! Another morning in the area but this time we saw some active feeding at the surface from this whale. What a spectacular way to start our day.
The aftermath of Zorro open-mouth feeding at the surface
Zorro moseying around near the islands
The trip continued with a quick basking shark sighting and four minke whales in incredible conditions.
Basking shark dorsal fin

Minke whale
For the first time in days we found Zorro again on our afternoon trip. As per usual, this whale was zipping around in every which direction before we continued further offshore.

We then found a pair of minke whales. But this wasn't just any pair. It was a mom/calf pair! This pair was not the same mother/calf we sighted on July 5. They were as curious of us as we were of them. Multiple times, both mom and the calf, circled around the boat, surfacing close by before slowly moseying along.
Mother and calf minke whale pair!
Minke whale calf circling around the boat
So many special memories already this season. Can't wait for all the other ones to come!

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