Friday, July 8, 2022

July 6-8, 2022

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

This morning’s trip was, honestly, not ideal. The overnight wind left the seas a bit rolly (spellcheck says that’s not a word but you all know what I mean) and not all of us fully appreciated the motion of the ocean. On top of that, the whales were playing a great game of hide and seek. We didn’t see any whales at all but did find several cool ocean sunfish! These giant fish are mellow and often put up with us approaching them closely. One of them today even jumped out of the water right next to us!
This afternoon, we headed to a different area of Jeffreys Ledge. The whales have been keeping us on our toes lately with their constant movements in search of food. We found several humpback whales, including one named Dross, who we saw yesterday about 9 miles from where we found her today! 

A bit further out, we found Valley. She was diving for 10 minutes consistently, but not moving far in between surfacings. 

 Then we found Satula, one of Blue Ocean Society’s adoptable humpback whales!! Satula was also diving for 10 minutes, but on one surfacing, he did a few tail lobs as well as many flipper slaps! It was quite the activity for a spell! 

One or two other humpback whales were in the area, but we ran out of time to check them out. Today was proof that every trip is different!

On Thursday morning, July 7,  the water was glass calm, and the sun was shining; a perfect day for whale watching! We saw a harbor seal near the Isles of Shoals before finding a fin whale on the feeding ground. We got some great close looks at this animal, who was busy looking for schools of fish below the surface.

After leaving this fin whale we spotted a beautiful ocean sunfish, or Mola mola. This individual was on the smaller side, with a speckled pattern. This was just one of six sunfish we saw on this trip! We came across a second fin whale and got some wonderful looks in the calm seas. Before turning home, we were surprised by the sudden appearance of a basking shark! We have not seen one of these animals since 2020; what a special treat! Unfortunately, it did not spend much time at the surface, and no crew members were able to get photos.

The wind picked up in the afternoon, and we got reports of whales close to the Isles of Shoals. After a slow cruise by White Island, we found two humpback whales: Clamp and Satula. These two were traveling together at first, and eventually separated. We will sometimes see these short-term associations between the larger baleen whales, and they can be over as soon as they begin.

We came across a fin whale after leaving our two humpbacks. We were able to witness this whale using its baleen to filter feed. A large green patch was visible when this animal came up from a dive, as its throat fanned out while taking in a gulp of water and fish. What an amazing sight!

On our way back to the harbor, we came across Satula again. Clamp was also spotted in the distance, and a third was spotted on the horizon. We only saw the exhalation from this whale, so we are not sure of the species. We saw yet another ocean sunfish before ultimately making it back to the harbor. What a perfect day on the water!

Friday, July 8, 2022

This morning, we got a report of some blows on the southern part of Jeffreys Ledge. Upon arrival, we saw two separate humpback whales: one was behind us and one in front. We chose to start with the one in front of us. This animal was all over the place, keeping us on our toes. 

After getting a quick look at its flukes, we moved on to a group of whales that was much easier to keep track of. This was a trio of humpbacks known as Clamp, Valley and Tripod! These whales were taking a bit of a nap, just floating and drifting. Such a beautiful sight! 

On the way home, we saw a couple of Atlantic white-sided dolphins but these little animals were really tough to get looks at.

During the afternoon, we headed back to southern Jeffreys Ledge. We tried to look at a fin whale but it wanted nothing to do with us! We continued and found two pairs of humpback whales. Valley and Tripod were together, and Dross and Clamp were together! Although the ocean conditions were bumpy, the whales certainly did not disappoint!


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