Monday, October 4, 2021

October 2-3, 2021

Saturday, Oct 2

It was a cool, cloudy day on the water on Saturday. But that didn’t stop the whales from doing what they do! We started our trip with a couple of pods of harbor porpoises before spotting some blows in the distance. We arrived in an area we’ve been having luck with whales lately, and our luck continued. As we made our way to a single humpback, three more breached at the same time in the distance! No photos of this rare behavior, but our passengers enjoyed it! The single whale we had spotted initially turned out to be Clamp, a female we have seen many times this season. 

Clamp, a female humpback whale

Another single humpback popped up also, and we were able to alternate viewing both of these whales. The second whale turned out to be Mogul, who has been seen over the past week. After some good looks at these two whales, we headed over to the trio we had seen breaching earlier. 

You can see some shallow wounds from a propeller in front of the dorsal fin, just before the blowhole. Luckily this wasn’t too severe of an injury. The trio was more relaxed now, diving for food and taking naps in between. We were able to identify them as Valley, Nile, and Gunslinger. At one point, as they were sleeping, they slowly drifted towards us before diving under our boat. What amazing looks we were able to get of these beautiful animals! 

Valley (left), Gunslinger (center), and Nile (right), with the Isles of Shoals in the background

-Naturalist Nicole 

Sunday, Oct 3

It was a gray day, but it made it even easier to spot blows in the distance. We headed out to an area where we’ve had luck this fall, and the whales did not disappoint! First, we encountered Nile and Valley. These large (possibly pregnant?) females were moving slowly at the surface. At one point, Nile did a big stretch. It looked like she didn’t even have a backbone for a minute! We spent time with these two, watching them swim slowly, and barely fluking as they dove. 
Nile diving

We saw some other blows in the area and went to check them out. We found male humpback Mogul feeding around the tuna fleet. He had a close encounter with a couple buoys at one point, which made us nervous, but he swam around them. 
Mogul near fishing gear

Another female, Clamp, also popped up nearby, and soon adoptable whale Satula moved into the area! We haven't seen Satula in a while so this was an added surprise!


These three whales were far apart from each other, but all feeding in the same general area. We were lucky enough to get close looks at all 3 of them. After lots of quality time with the whales, it was time to head home. But as we turned for home, we got last looks at Nile and Valley, who gave us spectacular looks at their flukes as we passed by. Thanks to everyone who joined us today! 

-Naturalist Jen

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