Tuesday, June 28, 2022

June 27-28

The weather kept us on solid ground on Monday which cleared out for us on Tuesday. On the morning trip, we headed to areas where whales have recently been seen. Nope, not there. As we continued, whales seemed to still be hiding from us in other recent areas. Many thanks to our other whale-watching friends who passed along a few finds. Along with two humpback whales - Pinball and Clamp's 2016 calf, we also saw six ocean sunfish.
Beautiful views with calm seas
Diving humpback whale
Ocean sunfish

During our afternoon trip, the beautiful weather continued and we were once again checking out Pinball and Clamp's 2016 calf. The whales continue to remind us they are wild animals with a mind of their own and we look forward to what awaits tomorrow!

Clamp's calf was curious again this afternoon, doing circles around the boat. As always, our engines were shut off for the safety sake of the whales!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

June 25 -26

What a stunning Saturday. There was barely a breath of wind out on the open ocean. On our morning trip, we checked out different marine life: four ocean sunfish, Satula the humpback whale, two fin whales, and a minke whale. Pristine conditions to enjoy them all!
Ocean sunfish
Fin whale
Surfacing fin whale - so stealth-like!
Minke whale
During our afternoon trip, our first sighting took our breath away. The humpback whale, Clamp's 2016 calf, was curious. I mean REALLY curious. This whale spent time hovering nearby (twice!) as we sat with our engines off awaiting a safe moment to sneak away. What a memorable event. We also found Satula further offshore to wrap up the day.
Mid-flipper slap - check out that flipper!
Humpback whale 'hanging out' next to us
Humans meet whale. Whale meet humans! (Our engines were shut off the entire time this whale was next to us.)
Sunday started just the same. Almost no wind to speak of. We began whale watching with some beautiful looks at a fin whale and even a blue shark that was remaining at the surface for an extended time.
Fin whale (above and below)

Blue shark
We also spotted three minke whales and a humpback whale. Our first sighting of a Cory's shearwater (for our birding friends!) also happened today. Such fun views of a variety of life.
Incoming minke whale
Humpback whale about to surface
Cory's shearwater
The wind finally arrived in the afternoon bringing with it plenty of whitecaps. The whales never seem to mind the added chop. We spent time with two humpback whales, including Clamp's 2016 calf!
Diving whale

Saturday, June 25, 2022

June 22-24, 2022

Wednesday morning, the seas were a little swelly (sure, that's a word!)  but the whales didn't seem to mind :) We found fin and minke whales during the trip. The first fin whale was one of the same ones that were seen on Monday afternoon's trip! The second was our old friend #0282, a whale first identified in the area back in 2002! Most fin whales only go by ID numbers, and not names, but in my mind, I call this one "Hurricane". 

Wednesday afternoon, the wind and seas picked up, making for a less-than-enjoyable ride out to the whale grounds. We tried, but the ocean got the better of us so we decided to head for some calm waters at the Isles of Shoals, looked at some harbor seals, and made our way in early. Not every trip is the perfect one and sometimes we have to succumb to Mother Nature. 

Thursday morning’s trip was canceled due to fog. In the afternoon, we were greeted by clear skies and a cool breeze. We spotted a few harbor porpoises before reaching Jeffreys Ledge. Our first large whale was a fin whale who was very busy feeding; covering long distances between dives. We found a second fin whale who was also giving us a bit of a chase. These whales were very focused on what they were doing and we were able to witness how fast they truly are! Before heading home we found Pinball the humpback whale. Pinball gave us some great looks, and passengers were treated to her graceful dives as she lifted her fluke out of the water. A beautiful trip after a foggy morning!


Friday morning, we got a call from one of our fishing friends who reported seeing a whale just a few miles off of Hampton/Seabrook Harbor. Curiosity had us wondering who the whale was so we took a hard right out of Rye Harbor and headed south. Upon arrival to the area, we found not one, but two humpback whales!! Pinball, our well-known whale, was behaving quite typically; spouting, diving, repeat. The second whale was a different story. It began to swim slowly towards our boat. We shut off our engines. The next thing we knew, the humpback was hovering, nearly motionless in the water, just inches from our hull. It lifted its head just enough to exhale, covering many of us in its moist breath. After inspecting our hull for about 12 minutes, the whale was satisfied and moved on, allowing us to regain propulsion and move away in search of other marine life. If only we could know what the whale was thinking! Continuing on, we found a couple of ocean sunfish and then headed home via the Isles of Shoals to do some sightseeing. 

Friday afternoon, we had pleasant conditions, with relatively flat seas and bright sun. Shortly after leaving the harbor, we found an ocean sunfish, or Mola mola. This large fish was darker than most of the ones I have seen and seemingly gave us eye contact as it passed the right side of the boat.

Our first whale of the trip was covering long distances between dives. Every time we caught up to this whale, it went down for another dive! We did manage to get photos of this whale’s fluke pattern for identification, but it was not in any of our catalogs. This may be a younger whale who hasn’t had its fluke photographed before. We then went to an area where another humpback was reported, but we were only able to spot the blow from a distance, and never saw the whale itself. We eventually left and found a third humpback. This whale never brought its fluke up for a dive, but it did tail breach! We do not know who this whale was either. This afternoon was one for the mystery whales!



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

June 20-21, 2022

The conditions were stunning on Monday morning. A crisp, clear horizon and calm seas are what we hope to be surrounded by when heading offshore. The whales proved otherwise, but alas, we are searching for wild creatures of course! In total, we sighted three fin whales and seven minke whales. It took some patience and plenty of searching(!), but we wrapped up the morning trip with some stunning looks.

Minke whale
Morning fin whale
Flat calm seas!!!

Fin whales continued into the afternoon as we saw three along with two minke whales, an ocean sunfish, and our first sighting of the season of Atlantic white-sided dolphins!

Afternoon fin whale
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
Tip of the fin of an ocean sunfish

What made our sighting of dolphins even more unique was that they were associated with a familiar fin whale: #9709! What a beautiful way to wrap up the last full day of Spring.

Fin whale #9709
Fin whale and dolphin!

Happy Solstice on Tuesday; summer has arrived! While the temperatures out on the ocean still feel like early spring, we are well into our season. On our morning trip, our charter fishing friends shared news of whales out on Jeffreys Ledge. We found humpback whales Pinball and Satula!

Humpback whale
In between trips we were treated to a fun find flying around the harbor! We enjoyed watching a bald eagle soaring and even landing for a quick break.
Eagle on the edge of the water

This afternoon, we first spent time with the humpback whale Clamp's 2016 calf well inshore of the ledge.

Afternoon humpback whale

This whale was all over the place, but such is the case with wildlife - unpredictable! We also found a fin whale cruising through the waves.

Fin whale

Sunday, June 19, 2022

June 17-19, 2022

The wind subsided just as we came across whales on Friday - a total of three humpback whales and a few minke whales. As the swell calmed and the sun started to shine, it turned into a beautiful day on the water.
Satula the humpback whale at the surface
Diving whales (above and below)

The strong winds kept us on the dock on Saturday, and we were ready to get back offshore on Sunday. During our morning trip on Sunday we saw four fin whales and Pinball the humpback whale.
Fin whale
In the afternoon, we came across three fin whales (including the same pair from the morning!) and humpback whales Satula and Pinball. While the unexpected wind added to the motion of the ocean, we got some great looks at all these wild animals.
Fin whale
Diving humpback whale