Sunday, September 10, 2023

September 8-10, 2023

 September 8-10, 2023

 Friday, as we approached the area where we had been seeing whales recently, we saw a large splash in the distance! This ended up being a humpback whale named Shuffleboard and her calf! Shuffleboard was doing her version of kick feeding (lobtail feeding) where she would slap her tail on the water before diving, and then come up with her mouth open in that same disturbance of water! A bunch of Atlantic white-sided dolphins were also hanging out with the pair, making for a very active and fun sighting. So cool!!


After a bit, we moved on and found a mother and calf pair with an escort. This was Valley and her calf, along with Othello. Just the other day, Valley and her calf were escorted by Tusk. How and why these associations occur, we may never know.

We managed to get into the harbor just before a strong thunderstorm passed through! We really lucked out! 

Saturday, the sky was looking dark offshore, but fortunately, the sun burned through the haze and held off the rain! We started with a trio of adult humpbacks: Sword, Tusk and Diablo! Although we have seen these three whales separately this season, today was the first time they were seen all together in a group! We haven’t seen Sword or Diablo since Labor Day, and Tusk just recently showed up in the area around the 5th.  Upon arrival, Tusk slapped his flipper several times while Diablo was playing with floating seaweed (which we only realized after analyzing our photos!). Then, the group appeared to take a nap!


We moved on and found another trio, Valley, her calf, and Othello.  The calf was very active initially, breaching multiple times and even approaching our boat! Then, the activity stopped as the calf and Valley started to nap, and Othello joined them intermittently. 

Sunday was overcast and breezy, quite different from the forecast. What's new??  We ventured offshore and took some sea spray now and then. Soon, we came upon a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins! This pod was pretty big, and the dolphins were moving all around us! We even saw a mom/calf pair! 

We moved on and saw some splashing in the distance. This ended up being humpback whales, Ravine and her calf! The calf was flipper slapping and when we got closer, it quieted down a bit. More dolphins were in the area and appeared to be interacting with the whales! 

Later, we found Satula, who, in true form, welcomed us by pooping a few times! Why this whale seems to poop more than other humpbacks may always be a mystery.  At least today's displays were pretty small and not all that noticeable! Satula surfaced close to the boat a couple times, surprising us and giving us great looks.


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