Monday, September 4, 2023

Labor Day Weekend: September 2-4, 2023

Happy Labor Day weekend all! Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable time. There was plenty of marine life to watch over the course of the past few days. On Saturday morning, we briefly saw a minke whale, spent time with four humpback whales, and even checked out a small pod of approximately six Atlantic white-sided dolphins. 
Humpback whales included some recent familiar "friends" including Sword, Pinball and her 2023 calf, and Clamp. 
Humpback whale surfacing
On Saturday afternoon, waves and whales picked up slightly. We saw two minke whales, seven humpback whales, and even a fin whale! 
Moments before many of our passengers got covered in whale snot!
Diving humpback whale
Humpback whales included Pinball and her 2023 calf, Chromosome, Valley and her 2023 calf, Othello and Dashdot.
Pinball and her calf
Chromosome lob-tailing in the distance
Fin whale sightings have been sporadic this summer, so it was a fun surprise to come across one during our travels home on Saturday.
A distant, but nonetheless exciting, sighting of a fin whale
While there was a little swell leftover on Sunday morning it continued to subside as the day went on. We first attempted to spend time with a fin whale, but this whale was remaining under the surface for long periods of time and moving in the opposite direction we wanted to go. Instead, we pressed on and came across eight humpback whales: Valley and her 2023 calf, Clamp, Satula, Pinball and her 2023 calf, Othello and Dashdot. 
Midway through the trip we were fortunate to watch a pod of ~40 Atlantic white-sided dolphins. 
Atlantic white-sided dolphins
On Sunday afternoon, we started the trip with dolphins, but this time it was a pod of ~10 Atlantic white-sided dolphins. 
We had a brief look at a blue shark (conditions were ideal for fish sightings!) before watching seven humpback whales. 
Blue shark! Its dorsal fin is on the left side of this image, its tail on the right.
Humpback whale calf
Many of the same individuals remain in the area as our sightings included Pinball and her 2023 calf, Satula, Valley and her 2023 calf, Dashdot and Othello.
Pinball and her calf
Pairs of humpback whales (above and below)
We only had one trip on Monday and the ocean was gorgeous. We checked out an ocean sunfish, two blue sharks, saw at least six minke whales, and ended the day with three humpback whales. 
Ocean sunfish
Blue shark!
All three humpback whales, Satula, Sword, and Diablo, were crossing paths with each other as they navigated around the area. It was such a beautiful day to wrap up the holiday weekend.
Whales moving in different directions

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