Saturday, August 27, 2022

August 25-26, 2022

The water was glass calm on Thursday morning. Our first encounter was with a large ocean sunfish. This fish seemed to be as interested in us as we were with it, as it lifted its eye out of the water a few times to get a good look!

Next, we found a large pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins! This was a very active pod, zooming all around the boat. We even got to see a few calves! 

After leaving the dolphins, we spent some time with a minke whale. These are the smallest type of baleen whale that we see on our trips. 

Our next sighting was a beautiful fin whale, the largest type of baleen whale we see. This animal was being very cooperative and didn’t surface too far from us between dives. 

While we were waiting for it to resurface, a few phalaropes were spotted. These birds are so tiny, that it’s easy to lose them as soon as you spot them, but some of our passengers were able to see them as they fluttered above the surface.

We tried a few times to head back to the harbor but kept getting interrupted by marine life! First it was a minke whale, then a second ocean sunfish. A few seagulls came in for a closer look at this fish as well. Finally, we got some quick looks at a blue shark before we were able to head home for real!

Our first encounter in the afternoon was quite unusual. We saw a fin pop out of the water, but then realized there were multiple animals. We had an ocean sunfish, and a blue shark! But this blue shark was being a little strange. It was circling an orange bucket and rubbing on it. Even stranger, the sunfish breached twice! What unexpected behavior from both of these fish!

After our crazy fish encounter, we saw a couple of minke whales before finding a fin whale. This animal may have been the same individual from the morning trip. The lighting conditions were just right, and we were able to see this whale’s white lower jaw. The trip wrapped up with a pod of dolphins. So much variety on our trips lately!

Friday morning started off pretty foggy with very little visibility. We saw a cool ocean sunfish soon after leaving the harbor! Then when we arrived at the area we had left whales yesterday, the fog cleared a bit, and we had about a half-mile of visibility! Just as we started our search, a minke whale popped up! This was a very cooperative minke whale (not many of them are!), and it gave us some great looks. 

As we pressed on, our deckhand, Will, saw a fin whale nearby. The first dive was only 4 minutes. Then it was down for 15 minutes but came up really closely!  We waited for over 20 minutes but never saw it again. Oh, those crazy wild animals....

In the meantime, a cute little harbor seal pup showed up, curious about the boat! 

As we were heading to our last haunt, we found a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. The group was spread out but swam by our boat several times! We only see dolphins on about 20-25% of our trips so this was pretty special given the reduced visibility!  

A couple of shy harbor porpoises were seen on our trip home, just after we passed through the Isles of Shoals. 

The Friday afternoon trip was canceled due to the forecasted stormy conditions, but we look forward to getting back on the water tomorrow. 

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