Friday, September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

Fall was definitely here on Friday! The cool crisp breeze was with us throughout the trip. We first came across a humpback whale that was taking long dives (15-17 minutes). This turned out to be Gunslinger, a whale first spotted in 2001. 

After leaving this whale, we came across another humpback named Satula. He was also taking longer dives, but thankfully surfaced fairly close to the boat each time, giving passengers some wonderful views. 

On our way back to the harbor we spotted a minke whale and a few harbor porpoises.

Minke whale missing most of its dorsal fin

Thursday, September 29, 2022

September 28, 2022

Today’s trip started out slow. Very slow. The first two humpback whales we found were staying under for 20 minutes and 14 minutes, respectively. And when they did reappear, they were far away. Not very conducive for whale-watching. More like whale-waiting. 

Distant humpback whale

We radioed a fishing boat nearby and heard that there had been several whales around just an hour or so earlier, so we knew they couldn’t be all that far away. We headed a few miles north and found two groups of whales- a pair and a trio!

The pair was quickly identified as Gondolier and Pitcher. Although Pitcher has been seen in the area recently, Gondolier hasn’t been around since May! At one point, Gondolier surfaced very close by, surprising us all!

Humpback east of Isles of Shoals

Then, seeing three whales all lined up side by side was amazing! This second group included Valley, Jawa and Gunslinger! Valley did her signature high-fluking dives while Jawa barely lifted his tail.

We found a large pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins on our way home! Dozens of juvenile northern gannets accompanied these animals! It was quite the feeding frenzy!


Certainly, a wonderful day on the ocean even though the trip started out pretty slowly!! We just never know what the day will bring.

Monday, September 26, 2022

September 23-25, 2022

Fall is officially here! As our 2022 season continues to fly by, the whales continue to mosey around our small section of the Gulf of Maine. Trips were canceled on Friday and Saturday as Hurricane Fiona left her imprint on the ocean as she passed by offshore. As the swell settled, we were ready for what we may find on Sunday. In total, we saw nine humpback whales.

Similar behaviors continued with recent trips as some whales rested while others were moving here and there.

Trio of humpback whales
Midway through a roll

Whales identified included Valley, Jawa, Tear, Cacophony, Owl and her calf, Sword, and Fan. The region continues to flourish with whales returning from earlier in the season, some residing and new ones appearing; wildlife at its finest.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Today was a perfect fall day (although technically the last day of summer) with crisp clear skies and just a little breeze. Our first whale was our familiar humpback whale friend, Satula! He was taking short dives and blowing clouds of bubbles to theoretically coral his prey!


Next, we found a pair of humpbacks that were snoozing in the afternoon sun. Eventually, they woke up and dove nearby. Then one blew a large cloud of bubbles and surfaced next to it! That was Jabiru, another familiar friend. Jabiru was with a new visitor for the year, Cacophony, on and off.

Our fourth humpback whale was Chromosome, who was less than cooperative, taking long dives and moving far distances in between.


A minke whale and blue shark rounded out the trip!

Monday, September 19, 2022

September 17-18, 2022

The weather on Saturday was pristine. A crisp clear horizon coupled with calm seas made for beautiful conditions - a great combination for spotting whales. We ended up spending the day with pairs of whales. We first found humpback whales Ase and Touchdown.

Pair of humpback whales

We then spent time with a pair of fin whales, a type of whale that has been absent during recent trips. What a fun treat!

Pair of fin whales
Fin whale

We wrapped up the day with another pair of humpback whales: Sword and Crown.

Sword lobtailing
The revolving door of whales continued on Sunday with familiar individuals and newcomers for the season. In total, we saw eight humpback whales, a pod of 40 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, and an ocean sunfish.
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
Ocean sunfish
Identified humpback whales included Pitcher, Owl and her calf, Sword, Clamp, and Patches.
Owl and her calf
Some whales were feeding while others were resting. It's always enjoyable to see different sides of the wildlife behavior spectrum!
Humpback whales diving
Humpback whales surfacing after a bubble cloud

Sunday, September 18, 2022

September 16, 2022

The air on Friday was cool and crisp: fall is coming! Our first sighting of the day was a trio of humpback whales: Grommet, Gunslinger, and Decimal. There were other whales in the area as well, and eventually, we found another humpback named Touchdown.

We also spent time with Clamp and Pitcher while another humpback, Satula, was hanging out in the distance. Clamp flicked her tail as she was diving, which had a beautiful waterfall effect.

We tried to look at a couple more whales in the distance, but they were taking longer dives, so we headed back to where we had seen the trio. To our surprise, we found three completely different whales in another trio! These were Jabiru, Shuffleboard, and Partition. This trio was moving slowly and spending a lot of time at the surface. While watching these three, Mogul surfaced behind the boat for a couple of breaths and then left the area.

After spending time with the trio, we headed back to the harbor. We spotted yet another humpback, Ase, on the way. Then there was some splashing ahead of us, which turned out to be a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins! A perfect end to the trip.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

September 14, 2022

The west wind was at our back on our way out, which made for a comfortable ride. When we stopped, however, the boat was side-to the wind and seas now and then, giving all of us onboard the full whale-watching on the ocean experience! Our first stop produced four humpback whales including adoptable whale Satula, as well as Mogul, Sword, and one we have still yet to identify.

Continuing, we found another productive area including five humpback whales (Spoon, Jabiru, Pinball (also adoptable), Clamp, and Fan! Spoon and Jabiru decided to uncharacteristically approach the boat! How fun!

A sleepy grey seal hung out nearby, and then a pod of about 50 Atlantic white-sided dolphins came charging through the area!

Sunday, September 11, 2022

September 10-11, 2022

With trips now on our fall schedule each day out on the water is that much more special. On Saturday, the ocean treated us to plenty of marine life to look at. We saw 10 humpback whales, five blue sharks, three minke whales and an ocean sunfish.

Humpback whale diving
Blue shark
Ocean sunfish

Each trip is always unique but when there is almost no wind to speak of, each subtle disturbance triggers our eyes and we are ready to react. Identified humpback whales included Shuffleboard, A-plus, Jabiru, Spoon, Chromosome, Clamp and Owl and her 2022 calf. A beautiful backdrop of an ocean to enjoy so much wildlife.


The calm winds continued on Sunday as we were surrounded by glass-like conditions at the surface. Sightings of blue sharks occurred as we made our way offshore along with an ocean sunfish.

Ocean sunfish

We ended up seeing seven humpback whales - including a group of five! Known whales included Gunslinger, Pitcher, Spoon, Ase, A-plus, Shuffleboard and Jabiru.

How many whales can you spot in this image?

We passed by a minke whale and wrapped up the great sightings with a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. So much life in our small part of the Gulf of Maine!

Atlantic white-sided dolphins (above and below)