Wed., September 21

September 21st, 2016

It was a gorgeous day, with sunny skies and calm seas!  After getting some quick looks at a pod of about 20 harbor porpoise on the way out, we spent a lot  of time with Komodo (born in 2007) and Vault (born in 2008). These two were together at first, and then separated, but surfaced together again.  They were taking fairly long dives, but we got some great looks at them right next to the boat several times.

We then moved on to get a look at a juvenile named Lollipop, who was in the area over the weekend. All in all, it was a great day!

Sept 18

September 19th, 2016

The forecast was predicting choppy seas, rain, and thunderstorms, so the crew of the Miss Cape Ann anxiously waited all day for the weather to get worse, luckily for us the lousy forecast never came to fruition.  We were delighted to find a handful of humpback whales on the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank.  The fish finder indicated the food was sporadic, but there were localized areas of dense prey patches.  We did not observe any surface feeding, but the whales were staying down on long dives, presumably feeding at depth.  We recognized Komodo, Lutris, and UFO; but, there were a few other whales in the area, as well.

Friday, Sept 16

September 18th, 2016

We had a great trip yesterday, we went northeast towards Jeffrey’s Ledge, but ended up finding whales farther out to the east. We spent our whole trip with Victim and calf. The calf was being very active at the surface, while mom was likely deep feeding. The calf was tail breaching, belly up lobtailing, flipper slapping, and chin breaching for a full 30 minutes! We got some amazing looks when mom decided to join in as well with a few tail breaches. After a few more looks, we moved out of the area when the pair started nursing. It was a perfect fall day! You never know what you’re going to see out there.

Sat, Sept 17

September 18th, 2016

It was a beautiful day out on Stellwagon Bank. For our morning trip we headed south and started out the day with a small pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins. They were hard to spot given the choppy conditions but it was great to see them thriving. We then passed by a small harbor seal pup shortly after. When we reached our destination we first spent some time with a humpback named Lollipop, a three year old whale.  Lollipop gave us some great views of the underside of his/her tail. We then moved on to a humpback named UFO. UFO is easily identified by the circular scar behind its blowhole. UFO made the passengers trip by surfacing many times right next to the boat.

The afternoon was just as beautiful as the morning trip. We spent a full hour with four humpback whales. Three out of four were associating in a trio. Those three included Lollipop, Infinity and Habenero. They were sporadically moving around in all different directions, tail breaching and snaking, which means they were most likely feeding. UFO was also in the area but was not associating with the trio. UFO gave the passengers a real good show when he/she did a spinning head breach right in front of the bow of the boat! To wrap up our trip, while we were about to dock up the boat, a full-grown harbor seal popped right up out of the water to check us out.

Tuesday, Sept 13

September 13th, 2016

Today we decided to mix things up a bit and headed north towards the vicinity of Jeffreys Ledge. As was per usual up this way, the whales were well west of the actual Ledge.  We found two humpback whales who were together at first with a minke whale in close proximity to the pair. These were Jabiru and Fulcrum, both adult females.  After a few surfacings together, the pair broke up, each going their separate way. There were other blows around- more humpback whales- but they seemed to be a bit busy, disappearing just as soon as they appeared.  We got a close look at one of the minke whales as it crossed our bow!  Then we decided to explore some other areas to see what else we could find but to no avail.  We will be tied to the dock for the next couple of days but are looking forward to searching for whales again on Friday!

Saturday, Sept 10

September 11th, 2016

This morning we started our trip on the NW corner of Stellwagen Bank. We found London traveling along with an ocean sunfish in the area. We decided to continue on down to the SW corner of Stellwagen Bank. There we found about 12 humpbacks whales in the area. We watched a group of 5 to start off our trip including Canopy, Perseid, Jabiru, Aerospace, and Jupiter. We spotted some flipper slapping about 1/4 mile away, we decided to go take a look and ended up with amazing looks at Music and her calf. Music continued to flipper slap with her calf by her side. We got some amazing close looks.

This afternoon we had reports of whales on the southern end of Jeffrey’s Ledge. We decided to go on another adventure to see what we could find. The gamble was worth it! We found 7 humpback whales in the area, a group of 4, Ravine and calf, Crisscross, and Pleats. All the whales were traveling together, the calf tail breached once. We finished the trip with Storm and her calf. The pair was logging (taking a snooze) at the surface when we first spotted them. They continued to nap, we were granted amazing close looks at Storm and her calf. Right before we left, Storm began flipper slapping. I had to remind the passengers that we did not have her trained to say “goodbye.” It was a gorgeous evening out on the water!

Friday, Sept 9

September 11th, 2016

Today we went to the NW corner of Stellwagen Bank, it was our first trip out to find whales after the tropical storm. We were looking forward to the adventure! We started off the trip with a small pod of common dolphins. We got some amazing looks! We spent the rest of the afternoon with UFO and another unidentified juvenile humpback whale. The whales were traveling, likely deep feeding as well. Great first day back on the water!UFO DSC_8089

September 1

September 1st, 2016

Our sightings have been consistently good (hopefully I’m not jinxing anything!), and the individuals we are seeing are dependable, as well.  We spent our afternoon on the NW corner with Echo and calf, Etch-a-sketch and calf, Music and calf, Milkweed, A-plus, Perseid, Hancock, Pumba, Pepper, Apex, and Geometry.  The patches of sand lance are thick, and visible at the surface; the fish finder was showing dense patches of bait beginning at about 40 feet and stretching all the way to the sea floor!

August 31

September 1st, 2016

Even though August ended today, and we’re heading into Labor Day weekend – the unofficial end of summer, Stellwagen Bank is still packed with whales.  Today we had at least 30 including Cajun, Pele, Jabiru, Milkweed, Pepper, A-plus, Rapier’s 2009 calf, Perseid, Apex, Nile and calf, just to name a few.  The fish finder showed lots of food, mostly along the bottom, which is what we would expect given the large “gangs” of whales surging to the surface together, then diving but staying in the same general area.  Let’s hope the whales stick around for the holiday weekend!

August 30

August 30th, 2016

The whales have certainly been hungry lately! Perhaps they are stocking up for their lean upcoming winter. We had a fantastic afternoon on Stellwagen Bank again.  In addition to two minke whales, we found at least 9 different humpback whales including Echo and her calf, Coral, Glo-Stick, Midnight, Pleats (not Piano- sorry, I got some bad intel and didn’t double check it), Daffodil and a few others that I am still working on. The kick-feeding, bubble clouds, bubble nets and open-mouth feeding were amazing!  Whales were in every direction. At one point, our pair turned into a group of four! The whales were doing a whole lot of moving around and changing groups.  And then, just like we planned it, we ended our trip with Echo and her calf breaching, one right after the other! Beautiful!