Tuesday, August 11, 2020

August 10-11, 2020

On Monday morning we took advantage of the nice ocean conditions to check out areas of Jeffreys Ledge that we haven't searched recently. We ended up seeing multiple minke whales, an ocean sunfish and two pods of dolphins! Our first pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins was a nursery pod. Lots of little ones!
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
Further offshore we checked out an ocean sunfish before finding two minke whales working independently of each other in the same area.
Ocean sunfish
Minke whale

The second pod of dolphins we came across were a bit more active as they zipped near, around and past the boat with swift ease!

More dolphins!

Monday afternoon we briefly looked at a minke whale inshore. Out on the ledge we found five humpback whales. First, Valley and her 2020 calf were slowly on the move.

Valley and her calf

From there we checked out a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins that were associated with a trio of humpback whales: Jabiru, Spoon and Quote!

Afternoon dolphins

Two of our three whales

Dolphin as this whale dives

Tuesday provided plenty of special moments. During the morning trip our first sighting was of a minke whale. But this was not just any minke whale. Well known by our crew as "Finke" (finless minke) was sighted for the first time all season!

Minke whale Finke!!

This whale lost its dorsal fin (at an unknown time and location) but we have been seeing this whale in the inshore area since 2011. So thrilling to know this whale is still swimming even after its hardships. Our next stop was another rare sighting, a leatherback turtle.

Leatherback turtle!

This is the third time we have seen a leatherback this season. One of our crew members has never even seen a sea turtle before and she has been working on the water for a long time! Such a rarity once again this year. From there it only continued to get better. An ocean sunfish was at the surface and before long we came across a minke whale that swam almost around the entire boat on its side, totally checking us out!!!

Ocean sunfish
Minke whale swimming next to the boat!

The already incredible sightings ended with humpback whales Spoon and Quote bubble cloud feeding. So much variety!

Feeding whales

The sea breeze kicked up in the afternoon, as expected, as we headed out towards Jeffreys Ledge. We found a pair of humpback whales, Valley and her 2020 calf, on the move.

Valley and her calf (above and below)

While moving with this pair we briefly checked out an ocean sunfish and ultimately even saw a small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins on our way home.

Ocean sunfish

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