Thursday, August 29, 2019

August 26-28, 2019

Strong persistent wind kept us tied to the dock all day Monday. On Tuesday, a leftover swell from the churned ocean remained but conditions were more manageable. Tuesday morning we started with a large fin whale. This whale was being extremely consistent; 10 minutes dives and not moving far each time it surfaced. We got some fin-tastic looks at this massive mammal.
Fin whale (above and below)

We also saw a couple minke whales and four humpback whales. A trio of humpback whales were moving around together: Owl, Valley and Daffodil.
Three humpback whales
During the afternoon trip two minke whales were sighted, a pod of 15-20 Atlantic white-sided dolphins and seven humpback whales were in the area including Owl, Valley, Daffodil, Spy, Patches and Sword.
Whale tail
Atlantic white-sided dolphins moving through the waves
Pair of humpback whales
Patches the humpback whale
On Wednesday the ocean continued with leftover movement (the ocean is a vast body of water and wave-action can last for a long time depending on a few factors!). In the morning we spent time with three humpback whales: Sword, Decimal and I.T. We even checked out an ocean sunfish we saw during our travels home.
Morning humpback whale
Ocean sunfish

The afternoon trip included passing a few minke whales as we made our way offshore, four humpback whales (Owl, Spy, Sword and I.T.), two ocean sunfish and a small pod of 10-12 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.
Subsurface ocean sunfish
Humpback whale with a couple dolphins in the background
Pair of humpback whales

Sunday, August 25, 2019

August 24-25, 2019

Saturday morning was one of those trips. A sun-shining day and yet, to Mother Nature, the sun is only one aspect of all that is felt out on the open ocean. The strong wind brought on lots of waves and the motion of the ocean was active! We searched some of the inshore areas; the further offshore you went the larger the wave action. Unfortunately, even with whale reports in the area we were unable to find any whales. We did briefly check out Boon Island and the seal colonies found on this baron island.
A colony of grey seals

More seals
Just a few miles from the harbor an ocean sunfish breached multiple times and we witnessed an 'interesting' encounter with this large bony fish and a baseball hat...
Ocean sunfish
As the forecast suggested the strong winds dramatically dropped halfway through the day and we found ourselves in a very different ocean in the afternoon. Even though there was plenty of leftover wave movement, conditions allowed for further offshore exploration and creatures to be found. We ended up seeing two different pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins, a fin whale and six humpback whales.
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
Fin whale
A trio of humpback whales were together: Daffodil, Sword and Grommet. We saw distant looks at a flipper slapping humpback whale, saw the trio do a few breaches and watched Owl and Satula circle around us.
Tail breach

Whale tail
Not only do whales like to keep trips interesting, the conditions can have similar impacts! Sunday, another round of strong wind is keeping us tied to the dock. Check back this coming week for more updates from the Gulf of Maine!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Friday, Aug 23 trips were fantastic! The morning trip found a curious young humpback whale, a mother and calf pair of humpbacks (Pinball!), and 2 other humpback whales including Owl! A couple of minke whales were also seen as well as a blue shark, harbor seals, gray seal and ocean sunfish!
Humpback diving
Curious young humpback whale


Pinball and calf



Ocean sunfish
The afternoon trip was awesome too with 7 humpback whales including Owl and Pinball again, several pods of harbor porpoises, lots of minke whales, harbor seals, a big grey seal, 3 ocean sunfish, 2 blue sharks, a pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins and even a very brief look at a thresher shark thrashing its huge tail!
blue shark

harbor porpoises

Patches, the humpback whale on our brochure


Pinball and her calf

harbor seal
Humpback feeding

Atlantic white sided dolphin
 The variety of marine life on Jeffreys Ledge never ceases to amaze us!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Aug 21-22

Apologies in the lack of blogging lately! I could make excuses, but in all honesty, we've just been really busy and tired the past week and a half! Here is an update from the past two days:

Aug 21 and 22 were calm and full of life! Wednesday morning we found a pair of fin whales slowly cruising at the surface. 

Then we found a couple of humpack whales, one of which was taking long dives and the other was only taking a breath every few minutes as it traveled just below the surface. 

A pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins surprised us and then we found a mother and calf pair of humpback whales before returning home for the day. 

The afternoon was cancelled due to low reservations (a result of the scary forecast of lightning, hail and tornado warnings).

Thursday morning, we passed by a small group of harbor porpoises before checking out a minke whale. We found a pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins and were watching them when Owl, a humpback whale, surfaced close by! 

Soon, a second humpback whale named Satula came in to the area. The dolphins were flanking the whales when they were at the surface. 

We found a 3rd humpback, but after waiting for over 18 minutes, we continued on. Passing through the area where we saw Owl and Satula, we found another humpback.

Thursday afternoon, the rain cloud caught up with us so we stopped to try to see an elusive pod of porpoises. We waited for a few minutes while the rain blew by and continued on to the east where we had whales on the morning trip. Owl and Satula were still in the area, as were a small pod of dolphins. 

On our way home, we had a National Geographic moment as we were treated to a scene where a deceased harbor porpoise was being feasted on by several bird species and also a shark! We are still unsure of the species of shark but it was really cool to watch as it circled the carcass and eventually grabbed hold of it and brought it to the dephts. The circle of life....