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!



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