Friday, August 20, 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021

Today’s trips couldn’t have been more different from each other.

The morning trip started with grey skies, a big swell from yesterday’s storms, and even a few light sprinkles of rain.  Our first sighting was of a small blue shark. Unfortunately, cloudy days make it more difficult to see into the water, and blue sharks are notoriously skittish, so our viewing opportunity was brief. Further along, our mate Matt spotted a whale behind the boat. We turned around and found the humpback whale named Clamp!  She has been one of our regulars lately, and we were happy to see that she was still in the area.

a bit of marine debris to the right of Clamp

That bit of debris was a Coke bottle! If she had been feeding here, she may 
have accidentally ingested it, causing big problems down the road! Please don't use single-use plastics! 


Clamp diving

We watched Clamp for a bit and then got a report of some more whales to our south.  There, we found three humpback whales. Two were traveling together, and the third was close. This group was slowly moving WSW and pretty laid back. Quote, who has been seen occasionally in our area, was hanging just outside the pair, which included Nile and Scylla. Nile had been seen a while back off the mouth of the Merrimack River, and she has been reported to be spending much of her time with Scylla since the start of our season (May/June). Long-term associations of humpbacks are not unheard of but are somewhat rare.


Quote's cool asymmetrical tail!

A fourth humpback was passing through the area and we ended up catching up to it on our trek home! Chromosome was doing some surface traveling northward!

Chromosome diving

Also on our way home, we had quick glimpses of a minke whale and some harbor porpoises, and then a great look at an ocean sunfish!!

 This afternoon, the rain clouds moved on, and we ventured out on fairly calm seas. We found Clamp once again and stayed with her for a short time before another whale watch boat arrived. We don’t like to have more than one boat on a whale whenever possible, so we decided to continue on to see what else was in the area.


Our intern Tiffany spotted a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins!  This pod was a mellow group of around 50 animals and several calves! Cute! We shut the boat down several times and let the dolphins check us out. Without the noise of the engines, we could truly enjoy the serene moments with these wild animals. Just listening to their breaths made me wish I had a recording of them to listen to during my daily meditations!

As a charter fishing boat approached, they asked if they could show their passengers the dolphins. We said, “of course”, and took the opportunity to go back to look for Clamp again. We found her in the same area, and this time she was feeding! We saw clouds of bubbles at the surface, which she blew to help corral her prey. Cool!  


We had a little time left and decided to explore another area that hadn’t been covered in a while.  Recon missions are sometimes successful, and sometimes not so much. This mission was one of the not so much ones. Although we didn’t find any more whales, we enjoyed more time on the water as the sun broke through the clouds and the seas flattened out. We cruised home, passing through the Isles of Shoals for some extra sightseeing! A couple of harbor seals were briefly spotted, and a minke whale was seen in the distance.

 Great day on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Maine!


1 comment:

  1. Was on the afternoon trip. Heading down again next week.