July 24

July 24th, 2016

On today’s morning whale watch we got to pass by a few minke whales within an hour of heading out! We started out the trip by spending some time with a fin back whale. This whale gave us some cool looks at the largest baleen whale in the Gulf of Maine.

From the fin back whale we moved on to a single humpback whale, Mayo. Mayo was bubble feeding, creating a large ring of bubbles and then appearing right next to it. It was a really interesting sight to see! From this single humpback we moved on to a trio, Cajun, Pele and Jabiru. This trio came close to the boat a few times, startling us a bit!

We ended up the trip hanging out with a very active Hancock. This humpback whale was giving us a LOT of evidence of feeding, including some filtering at the surface and bubble clouds. We starting heading back and got another quick look at Mayo feeding near some birds.

Our afternoon trip had almost the same whales. We started with two active fin whales who got very close to our boat. Then passed a minke on the whale to a single humpback whale. We weren’t able to identify this individual but later on we ran into Hancock again who was still feeding. We finished the day with Cajun, Pele and Jabiru. This trio was together last summer, so it’s really interesting to see them together again!

We hope you’ll join us out there this week with great whales and great weather!

July 23

July 23rd, 2016

This morning we had an amazing sighting of a pod of about 35-45 Bottlenose dolphins! We also saw a large pod of about 400-500 Atlantic white sided dolphins. We spent some time with a juvinle humpback whale and the same trio from Friday, deep feeding again.

July 22

July 23rd, 2016

We had a great day out on the water on Friday the 22nd. Here’s what we saw:

AM trip:

Large pod of around 100 Atlantic white sided dolphins

Shuffleboard was doing some filter feeding at the surface with some bubbles.

Dyad stole the show with great looks at open mouth feeding with plenty of birds grabbing a free snack.

We saw about 3 fin whales, one great close look at a fin whale feeding, pleats expanded, off the bow.

We saw about 5-6 minke whales in the same area.

Plenty of shearwaters, gulls and storm petrels.

We saw Pele, Cajun, and Jabiru deep feeding, got some great looks at the trio.

PM trip:

We saw about 3 minke whales throughout the trip.

Started with Shuffleboard breaching and flipper slapping.

Ended the trip with Cajun, Pele, and Jabiru deep feeding.

July 21

July 22nd, 2016

The whales were all about feeding today! On our morning trip we first started out with three humpback whales that are often seen together – Pele, Cajun, and Jabiru. We got great looks at the trio before moving on to some other whales in the area, getting a brief look at two more whales, one ID’d as Bolide. We then found ourselves with a pair of kick feeding humpback whales! Our pair turned out to be Dracula and Amulet. Dracula and Amulet were busy kicking their tails on the surface of the water, blowing bubble nets, and then coming up mouth wide open to collect all of their hard-earned prey. We got beautiful looks at humpback baleen and observed them being flocked by hundreds of gulls trying to steal fish from the mouths of the whales!

In the afternoon, we started off our trip with a female humpback named Dyad. After some good looks at her, we moved on to a pair in the area that turned out to be Shuffleboard and Cantilever. We watched them for a bit and noticed a group of four also around the area. However, we got a report of feeding activity further up ahead of us and Captain Dave decided that he wanted to go the extra mile (or 7!) to ensure that our passengers got the best trip possible. So we ventured 7 miles further south and we were very lucky we did because we found about 5 feeding humpback whales! Whales ID’d in this group were Dracula, Amulet, and Bolide. There was also a much smaller whale around that looked like it could have been a calf or a juvenile. This smaller whale gave us a quick tail breach among all the feeding going on by the adults. We witnessed kick-feeding and saw humpbacks come up open mouthed, showing their baleen. It really was a breath-taking day, it’s great to see so much productivity on Stellwagen Bank!

July 20

July 20th, 2016

Lots of whales on the bank today, they were just a little spread out! In the morning we had 4 humpbacks in the area. The first one we spent time with was Farfalle. Farfalle was born in 2013 and just received a name, getting his or her unique name from a butterfly shaped marking on the left tip of the tail fluke. We also saw Shuffleboard the female humpback whale, and got a quick look at a third in the area.

In the afternoon we had about 5 humpbacks in the area and 3 minke whales throughout the trip! We got great looks at a female humpback name Dyad who was clearly busy doing some feeding today as she was filtering a few times upon surfacing. We saw a number of other blows in the area and tried to get some looks at two fin whales around, but they were being a bit elusive. We ended our trip with a quick look at another individual humpback before making our way back home.

July 18

July 19th, 2016

It was a very busy day out on the North West corner of Stellwagen Bank. On our first trip we started off the day with a Finback whale. We could easily see the right side of its lower jaw appearing to glow fluorescent green underneath the surface of the water. It was a beautiful sight. We then ventured on to a Humpback whale named Ember. Ember was staying down for quite some time on his dives so we then ventured on to our second humpback whale of the day which could not be identified, despite the beautiful looks we had at the underside of its tail flukes. To top off our morning trip we ended the trip with a trio of humpback whales who gave us a spectacular show. The trio included Echo and her calf and Alphorn. The three were certainly associating with one another, as the calf would sometimes swim right over top of Alphorn. The three seemed to be doing some feeding in the area as well.

The second trip of the day was just as eventful as the first. The first whale we noticed in the distance was a Humpback whale named Dyad. She gave us some great looks at the underside of her tail. She was staying under the surface of the water for long periods of time and moving at a consistently fast pace. We assumed she may have been traveling in search of other food in the area. Our last look at whales included another trio of Humpback whales that we were on for a good amount of time. This time the trio included Etchasketch and her calf and their escort female friend name Cantilever. The calf breached once and then did a half breach on the other side of the boat moments later, giving the crowd an amazing show. Just minutes later Etchasketch and Cantilever seemed to be taking turns kick feeding and lunge feeding. The passengers were able to get looks at the baleen plates that make up the upper jaw of the Humpback whale. They even came right up next to the boat lunge feeding, bringing the birds with them, who were picking up the fish that managed to escape the whales’ mouths. The calf got very close to the boat too, surprising the crew and passengers. With a big storm rolling in to Gloucester Harbor we decided to end the trip on a good note and head back home.

July 17

July 18th, 2016

It was a bit overcast and foggy on the ocean today but that didn’t stop us from having 2 great whale watches! In the morning we first spent time with a familiar whale named Dyad who has been hanging around the area recently. We watched her for a while before deciding that we wanted to do a bit of searching and see if we could find some more whales further down the bank. All of our hard work paid off, because after all of our searching we ended up finding a group of 3 humpback whales! Just as we found them, some thick fog set in, but we were still able to get great looks at the trio. They put on quite the show, as we observed flipper slapping, a whole bunch of tail breaches, and a really strange tail wave that I had never seen before! Whales ID’d were Nuages and Ember. A big thanks to Captain Marc for taking the extra time to look for other whales to ensure that we got the best trip possible!

On our afternoon trip we again spent some time with Dyad who was still around the same area. Dyad was taking quick breaths and then going right back down again, so after spending a little time with her we moved on to a pair of humpback whales that was nearby. The pair turned out to be Fulcrum and Cantilever. Fulcrum is the epitome of just how resilient these whales can be, having survived a ship strike in 2003 as well as an entanglement in 2005. It is wonderful to see her on the bank looking well. Cantilever is actually the first calf that Fulcrum had back in 2007, so it is interesting that they were hanging out together. Fulcrum was doing a lot of logging and we got great looks!

July 16

July 16th, 2016

It was another blazing hot summer day today, it was wonderful to escape offshore to cooler weather. On our morning trip today we passed a breaching school of tuna and a couple of minke whales as we made our way further down Stellwagen and ended up finding a pod of North Atlantic white-sided dolphins! Some of dolphins in the pod were tail slapping and breaching so it was a wonderful sighting. We also spent time with 3 different humpback whales: Dyad, Fulcrum, and Cantilever. Dyad was off by herself, while Fulcrum and Cantilever were traveling together. Cantilever is the 2007 calf of Fulcrum so it was interesting that they were hanging out together! Fulcrum is looking wonderful and healthy, despite overcoming being hit by a boat in 2003 (giving her the very distinctive scar where her dorsal fin should be) as well as being entangled in fishing gear in 2005. We also got a great look at a minke that surfaced directly next to our starboard bow while we were watching Fulcrum and Cantilever, which was a nice surprise.

For the afternoon, we ended up finding Dyad, Fulcrum, and Cantilever again. Fulcrum and Cantilever were no longer swimming together and had gone separate ways. Fulcrum was doing a lot of “logging”, or the closest thing that whales get to actual sleep. She stayed at the surface for very long periods of time, not really diving down too much which was wonderful for us to be able to watch her. It was a beautiful day on the water!

July 15

July 15th, 2016

Today was an absolutely beautiful day, despite the storm that was rolling in towards the end of our second trip. We started off the day and first trip with three minke whales that we got some quick but great looks at. We ventured on in hopes of bigger whale species further out.  We then stumbled upon our first humpback whale of the day, Dyad! She gave us some great looks, bringing her tail high above the surface of the water before diving down under. We then moved on to our second humpback whale, Alphorn. He was a very cooperative whale, staying relatively close to the boat often times in the same area. The first time we saw Alphorn he breached right out of the water two times but I only could get his splash on camera from all the excitement.  We also saw Flucrum, a female humback whale that is very distinctive in that she has propeller scars from a boat strike along both sides of her dorsal fin. We saw a fourth humpback that does not have a name but is known as Rapier’s calf from 2007. This whale had a type 4 tail, with only a small amount of white speckles. To wrap up the afternoon trip we got another glance at Alphorn as we headed back towards Gloucester Harbor.

For the second trip a storm was rolling in but that didn’t stop us. We started off the day with Dyad again who was sporadically moving around and surfacing all around the boat in many different areas. From this we assumed that Dyad was perhaps feeding. We spent quite some time watching Dyad and getting amazing glances at her beautiful white and black tail and great glances at her bright white pectoral flippers glowing fluorescent green underneath the water’s surface. We ventured on to another whale in the area that ended up being Rapier’s calf from 2007. This whale was being very active at the surface doing lots of bubble feeding and tail lobbing, perhaps stunning the fish below it. There was also a lot of bird life following this whale trying to snatch up the fish that may have escaped the whale’s mouth.  We got some great looks at its beautiful pectoral flippers and underside of its tail. As we were leaving the area we were then joined at the last minute by Dyad again, perhaps she was saying goodbye!

July 14

July 15th, 2016

Heading to Stellwagen Bank today, we found a couple of humpback whales known as Fulcrum and Dyad. Fulcrum suffered a collision with a  boat years ago, leaving her dorsal fin mangled. Still, she’s a trooper and not only survived, but continues to produce calves!!