The 2015 Season is Underway!

What a great start to our season! On Thursday, May 7, the Miss Cape Ann brought a group of students from Triton Academy out to Stellwagen Bank to search for whales. As we left the harbor, we got a quick look at a shy harbor seal. Then with land still in close sight, we spotted our first whale. A big fin whale, the second largest animal on the planet, surfaced close by. We managed to get some looks before continuing on to the Bank.

After a bit of traveling, we started to see more spouts in the distance. Humpback and fin whales were feeding like crazy! Humpbacks were blowing bubble nets to corral their prey, and the fin whales were lunging sideways at the surface causing lots of white-water! Soon we noticed something even more special- baby whales were in the mix!! One of the humpback whales named Palette was busy feeding while her new calf was waiting on the sidelines. Now and then, Palette would stop feeding to nurse her calf.
Palette and c

Similarly, we saw a lunge-feeding fin whale and it stopped feeding occasionally so its calf could nurse! Fin whale calves are one of my personal favorite sights as they are pretty rare to see AND extremely cute! They also can be a bit curious of boats as this one showed us when it popped up right next to us while its mom was feeding.
Fin whale lunge feedingFin whale calf
Fin whale mother and calf

Some folks think that only humpback whales can be identified by their markings, but not us! We later identified this fin whale mom as #1031 in Blue Ocean Society’s catalog. This whale was first seen by Blue Ocean Society staff in 2010 and we are excited to now know she’s a female! As we waited for a passing humpback to swim by (Ase), another fin whale popped up. This one was #1023 who was also first seen in 2010.

Also in the mix was Thumper who was exhibiting some impressive “kick feeding” skills. The mix of humpbacks and fins was truly fun to see. We can’t wait to get back out there to see what nature will show us next!
Thumper  feeding

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