Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June 28-30, 2021

Summer temperatures were in full effect to start the week. A perfect time to go on a boat to Jeffreys Ledge to enjoy some wildlife and be surrounded by cooler temperatures. On both our trips on Monday we started with Satula the humpback whale. Thanks for continuing to remain in our area chowing down on plenty of fish Satula.


In the morning we found a newcomer to the area, humpback whale Wigwam. We also came across humpback whale Sedge during our travels home.

Humpback diving

In the afternoon, numerous humpback whales were on the ledge with some flipper slapping, a few breaching and lots of familiar tails. Identified whales include Jawa, Clamp, Valley and Tripod.

Humpback flipper

Valley was an extra important sighting as this whale was found entangled in gear earlier this season south of our area. Story here. Many thanks to the brave and skillful large whale disentanglement crew at the Center for Coastal Studies (permitted and trained!) to successfully disentangle this adult female. This sighting is a big milestone in tracking her current status post-entanglement and another reason how beneficial collecting research works across numerous platforms and organizations in the Gulf of Maine.


We are grateful to those who do such dangerous work for the whales as it is not a solution to the problem, just providing help to already distressed wild animals.

Sea conditions were just right on Tuesday morning- enough breeze to cool you down but otherwise calm seas. The morning started with an ocean sunfish before continuing offshore.
Ocean sunfish
We spent time with two of the three humpback whales sighted. Wigwam provided quite a spectacular surprise and look who is still around? PINBALL!!!
Wigwam breaching!
As if that wasn't enough, we checked out a pod of 40-50 Atlantic white-sided dolphins on our travels home. These toothed-whales were mainly lollygagging around aiding to capture some great looks at this pod.

From Naturalist Dianna: Tuesday afternoon, we found at least 6 humpback whales and a minke whale! In addition to the whales seen on the morning trip, we also had our first sighting of the season of humpback whales named Spoon and Chromosome!
Welcome to the area Chromosome!
At points during the trip, we could look in any direction and see a whale! It was certainly a beautiful day to be offshore and away from the heat.
One of the numerous humpback whales in the area
Wednesday continued with more sightings and more warm land-based temperatures. On both trips we saw an ocean sunfish, a minke whale (or two), and a few humpback whales.
Afternoon ocean sunfish
Humpback whale at the surface
While on Jeffreys Ledge during our morning trip we came across Wigwam, Tripod and Valley. A small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were also traveling through the area.
In the afternoon, humpback whales Spoon and Chromosome were found. So fun to see familiar whales being their wild whaley selves!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

June 26-27, 2021

On both our trips on Saturday we spent time with three different humpback whales. Nile, and recent newcomer Downsweep, were looping around the waters. This pair was in one spot on our morning trip and miles away from that location on our second trip.

Lobtail by Nile
Downsweep and Nile from the morning trip (above and below)

Whales are wild animals and are on their own schedules so we are always grateful for their time spent in our small section of the Gulf of Maine.

Nile our on afternoon trip

We also came across a whale that Blue Ocean Society documented in 2019. Welcome back friend! No name has officially been given to this whale, but with another year of sightings, we are excited to see it safely return to the feeding grounds.

Return visitor from 2019!

Sunday morning's breeze wasn't much reprieve from the already toasty conditions on land. Nonetheless, spending time on the ocean almost always provides some cool-down factor. On the morning trip three humpback whales were seen as we spent time with two of them and saw the third out in the distance.

The wind started to calm itself down in the afternoon. A fin whale briefly made itself known early in the trip but decided to disappear as quickly as it appeared. One of the same humpback whales from the morning was nearby as we watched this whale circle and lunge a few times for an afternoon snack!

June 25, 2021

Friday's trips were so much fun! Three humpbacks whales were feeding close to shore in the morning including one who repeatedly slapped her flippers while belly up! The sound of those 2000 lb flippers hitting the water was loud!

In the afternoon, we cruised offshore to find a feeding fin whale! This animal was charging through the surface at high speeds showing off its white lower jaw!

Then we found the feeding humpbacks, many of whom were blowing clouds of bubbles and coming up with their mouths wide open!

And we can't forget about the Atlantic white-sided dolphins that showed up to join in the fun!

Such a great day from start to finish!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

On Thursday morning there were plenty of minke whales. We saw a total of four throughout our travels offshore. After checking out one, of the many minke whales seen, we spent a little time with a large fin whale.

Fin whale

This whale was on the move so we decided to enjoy the pristine conditions and continue along. Out on Jeffreys Ledge we found our familiar-tail-friend, Satula. Initially, the whale was moving but eventually he slowed and started circling.

Hello Satula (above and below)

As many of our sightings from the morning were traveling, moreso than staying put, we changed up our course for the afternoon trip. In total we saw three humpback whales. The first sighting of the trip was completely unexpected. An unknown humpback whale held us hostage! It circled around every inch of the hull, swam under the boat, rolled, and spyhopped to name a few behaviors.

What a moment to look head-on to a whale!

Witnessing any behavior from a whale is special but pile on multiple ones all from one whale - magical. Our engines were shut off during the entire encounter ensuring the safety of wildlife as sometimes they are just as curious as we are.

Humpback whale flipper

Slightly further offshore we found a fun friend, Nile. Plenty of bubble clouds were witnessed as this whale lunged through the water. The trip wrapped up with a quick brief look at Downsweep moving into the area.

Nile diving