Sunday, July 30, 2023

July 29-30, 2023

Saturday's trips were full of variety. There was plenty of marine life to see as we spent time on the open ocean. On Saturday morning, we started the trip with an ocean sunfish just a few miles from shore.

Ocean sunfish

Further out we saw at least six different minke whales, a few Atlantic white-sided dolphins and humpback whales Spoon and Chromosome moving around together.

Minke whales in stunning ocean conditions! (above and below)

Humpback whales
Humpback whale diving

Beautiful conditions continued for our Saturday afternoon trip. We sighted two ocean sunfish, humpback whales Spoon and Chromosome, and even a fin whale. So much to look at and enjoy!

Afternoon ocean sunfish
Humpback whale (above and below)

Fin whale surfacing for a breath of air

Fin whale diving. These whales are soooo big!
The wind Saturday night left a good swell on the ocean as we headed offshore on Sunday morning. As the day went on the roll subsided, and with minimal wind and no humidity, it was refreshing on the ocean! Sunday morning we saw seven humpback whales - Valley and her 2023 calf, Pinball and her 2023 calf, Gondolier, Mogul and Dyad.
Valley's calf (this whale was napping most of the time we watched it!)
Dyad diving
The afternoon provided plenty of whales too! We checked out Valley and her 2023 calf, Satula, Pinball and her 2023 calf, Jawa, Dyad, plus a fin whale on Sunday afternoon.

Valley and her calf
Humpback whale
With fin whale sightings being few and far between recently, it was a grand look at one of these massive mammals!
Fin whale

Saturday, July 29, 2023

July 28, 2023

 July 28, 2023

 Both trips today provided  4 different species and relief from the heat.

AM: Early on our journey, we had 2 looks at harbor porpoises and a harbor seal in flat seas.  We got a close look at a minke whale who disappeared a little farther out. We had at least 4 different humpbacks spread out amongst the tuna boats.  Pinball was actively feeding, and her calf stayed with her.  When they surfaced, we could see whale poop.  After some relaxed looks, we moved off to watch Satula who was blowing bubbles and busy feeding below the surface. He was also pooping! In the distance, we had Gondolier and likely Jawa.  On the trip home we had yet another quick harbor porpoise and we saw an Ocean Sunfish just before the harbor.

PM:  Again 4 species. We got a  great look at the Isles of Shoals this afternoon.  We spent quite a while with 2 humpbacks, Spoon and Chromosome.  These whales would alternate napping/logging with some relaxed dives and 1 powerful dive.  We then had a finback whale who was cooperative and provided unhurried looks, allowing us to appreciate this animal's hydrodynamics.  After the finback we found a minke whale who was also cooperative.  We saw the unique surfacing profile and got some great looks.  Leaving the minke we found a small nursery pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins.  This pod had some tiny babies.  Such a bonus.  Home past White Island and the lighthouse in the long light!

Friday, July 28, 2023

July 26-27, 2023

 July 26-27, 2023

Wednesday morning, as we were getting close to the area where whales have been seen recently, we found a small pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins! This group was moving around pretty quickly, like chasing down some fish. Dolphins are always fun to watch, even when they are busy! Then we saw humpback whales. Pinball and her calf were moving relatively fast to the south. We stayed with them for a bit before checking out another whale in the area. This one was Jawa, who has been seen in our area before but isn’t one of our regulars. Jawa wasn’t traveling but instead was feeding, as evidenced by the bubble cloud he blew to concentrate his prey. We started for home but got sidetracked by another humpback, Clamp! After a quick look, we continued our trek. Close to the harbor, we passed a couple of small groups of shy harbor porpoises.

On our trip offshore, we were treated to two unique sights! The first was of the tall ship, Lynx, as it headed to Portsmouth Harbor for the tall ship parade on Thursday, and Sail Portsmouth Tall Ship Festival this weekend! Then we saw a barge carrying an excavator and boulders. It’s not too often to see heavy equipment offshore! We returned to the same area Wednesday afternoon and found more humpback whales! We also got a rare glimpse of harbor porpoises acting calm and staying at the surface for more than a few seconds! Amazing! Satula was seen first, and then we saw some splashing in the distance. That turned out to be Gondolier repeatedly slapping his huge, white flipper on the surface! So cool! Humpback flippers are 15 feet long! Pinball and her calf were also in the area. At one point, the pair dove and swam right under our boat, about 80 feet below us! Cool! Next, we saw Dyad, a new visitor to the area this year, and then our last whale was again Clamp! Another fantastic day on the ocean!

Thursday morning was overcast and a little breezy compared to recent days, but we like to call it “refreshing”! As we made our way to Jeffreys Ledge, we passed by some harbor porpoises. Approaching the hot spot, we were extremely surprised when a humpback whale, Satula, breached out of the blue right next to the boat! After a couple looks at him, another humpback made her way into the area- Clamp! We also watched Gondolier for a little bit before ending with Valley and her calf. Valley also surprised us by leaping out of the water! Our ride home was pretty calm as we had the increasing wind at our back. Thursday afternoon, we decided to stay on land since the forecast was for strong winds and thunder and lightning storms. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

July 24-25, 2023

The seas were so calm to start off the week. On our way out to Jeffreys Ledge on Monday morning we stopped to check out an ocean sunfish.

Ocean sunfish

Whale sightings included three humpback whales - Ebony and Valley and her 2023 calf. This was the first time we've seen Ebony this season, what a fun surprise. Valley's calf started being a little wiggly at the surface, giving us some fun behaviors from this whale!

Valley and her calf
Calf tail-breach
Valley's calf

On Monday afternoon, we came across Valley and her calf again. These two became quite active with the calf doing numerous tail breaches and Valley even got in on the aerial activity. We also saw humpback whales Pitcher and Chromosome swim through the area.

Valley's calf tail-breaching (above and below)

Valley breaching!
Valley's calf mid-lobtail
On Tuesday we returned back to the same area we've been having luck with whale sightings in recent weeks. Our first sighting was an ocean sunfish on Tuesday morning.
Ocean sunfish
Before getting to the ledge there was a small pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins, but with the numerous white caps and such a small pod, it was tricky to get some good looks.
Out on Jeffreys Ledge, we came across humpback whales Dyad, Gondolier, Clamp, and Jawa.

On Tuesday afternoon, our time was spent with humpback whales Valley and her 2023 calf. At one point the calf circled around the boat and Valley even tail-breached.
Valley and her calf
Valley's calf
Valley's calf spy-hopping