Sunday, August 21, 2022

August 17-20, 2022

Stormy seas kept us on land on Wednesday and Thursday, so we were relieved to get out on Friday! The ocean welcomed us with a nice cool breeze. We spotted a couple pods of harbor porpoise on our way to Jeffreys Ledge. After a bit more traveling, we spotted some splashing in the distance. This turned out to be a pod of about 120 Atlantic white-sided dolphins! This pod was very spread out, and some came close to the boat to the delight of our passengers.

After we left the dolphins, we got a quick look at a minke whale before finding a humpback whale. This was a female named Zodiac. She was taking long dives (over 30 minutes!), so we headed toward a blow in the distance. This turned out to be Pinball! Unfortunately, she was taking long dives as well, but we were able to get some great looks before continuing. Before we headed home, we saw an ocean sunfish.

The afternoon trip, unfortunately, didn't bring us much luck with whales. We searched and searched but only managed to get a quick peek at a minke whale. On our way back to the harbor, we did get some great looks at a few harbor seals and a gray seal at the Isles of Shoals. It was still a gorgeous afternoon on the water, and our passengers were delighted to escape the heat on land.

Saturday morning started out gray, but eventually, the sun came out to give us a beautiful trip. Our first sighting was an ocean sunfish. This animal was small for its species but still quite large. We spotted a total of seven blue sharks throughout the trip as well. We don't see sharks very often, but the water was glass calm, so anything at the surface was easy to spot.

Once we arrived on the Ledge, we spotted a small minke whale. The individual was taking shorter dives, so we were able to get several looks before heading off to do some more exploring.

Our next sighting almost slipped past us. We thought we spotted an inflated trash bag (often used by fishermen to mark lines or attract bait fish). It turned out to be a napping gray seal! We were able to sneak up without waking it at first. When this seal did wake up, we noticed a wound on its back. This didn't appear to be from a shark, but possibly another gray seal.

We spotted a second minke whale after leaving the gray seal. This individual was taking longer dives, so we eventually headed back towards home. We encountered a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins on our way back to the harbor. What a great way to wrap up the trip! This pod was very active and delighted passengers by riding our wake and leaping out of the water as we left.

The great weather and sea conditions continued Saturday afternoon. We made a pit stop at Boon Island and saw gray and harbor seals in the surf. Seals are known to rest on the island during low tide, but the tide was higher, so the seals were bobbing in the water.

After looking at the seals we found a small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. This group was moving very fast, but we were able to get some wonderful looks as they darted around the boat. We were unable to find large whales on this trip, but it was a perfect afternoon on the water.

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