Sunday, August 23, 2020

August 22-23, 2020

As summer presses on we are so thankful to continue experiencing wildlife at its finest, in their world. Whales were plentiful on Saturday with a handful of newcomers to the area. What a pleasant surprise regardless of if they were just passing through or choose to spend a bit of time in the area. On the morning trip we saw eight humpback whales.

Morning wildlife

We started with a trio consisting of Quote, Clipper and Chablis. From there Cantilever and Piano made themselves known. Another trio: Nile, Tectonic and Dashdot were not far away.

Yikes! So thankful this whale named Piano (any guesses why?) survived such an incident now bearing the marks from a vessel/propeller strike
Whales in such calm seas

We also checked out one of three ocean sunfish in the area. A pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were even sighted on our way back to the harbor.

Ocean sunfish
A dolphin in the rain has its own sense of beauty
Atlantic white-sided dolphin

On the afternoon trip some of the same whales were in the area but associations had shifted. We spent time with two different trios. The first group was Spoon, Chablis and Piano.

Diving whale
Chablis' flipper high in the air

Our second trio included Nile, Dashdot and Tectonic. There was also a minke whale circling around the area as these humpback whales moseyed through.

Nile and Tectonic

Sunday continued to provide beautiful sights on the open ocean. While on the morning trip we found ourselves engulfed in fog as we made our way offshore. Today was a great reminder that while fog can provide an extra challenge, that doesn't mean there isn't anything to be found! On our journey through the thick fog we checked out a large ocean sunfish and a pod of about five Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

Ocean sunfish
Dolphins in the fog

Offshore after slowly maneuvering through the area we got eyes on a pair of whales. It was Chablis and Spoon resting.

Spoon doesn't even look like a whale when this massive whale is resting!

While watching these lazy whales something triggered their liveliness to kick into high gear and in a matter of moments both of them jumped clear out of the water. Then they started flipper slapping before resting once again. Just as the fog can change in intensity, whales can start and stop all sorts of different behaviors at any moment!

Whale breach!
Flipper slapping

We also got some amazing looks at a trio of humpback whales as they swam under our boat (our engines were shut off so no worries!) including Nile, Piano and Dashdot before Whirlwind came into the mix.

The ocean was so calm you could see so much of the whale even below the waterline

Before heading for home we had a brief look at a leatherback turtle and another trio of humpback whales: Valley, her calf and Ravine. By our afternoon trip the fog had dissipated and we found ourselves watching Spoon still associated with Chablis.

Half a fluke

These two humpback whales were spending a bit of time below the waterline so we switched gears and found Valley, her calf and Ravine all still swimming around together.

Valley and her calf

These whales were not going far in any particular direction allowing for great looks at this mother/calf pair and adult female.

Whale tail

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