June 14- morning trip

From Naturalist Dave-

An awesome Flag Day on the ocean! The passengers and crew on this morning’s trip on the Miss Cape Anne were richly rewarded for their patience in traveling 30 miles from Gloucester to the southern end of Stellwagen were we encountered an estimated 15-20 Humpback whales in the area. Upon our arrival, we spent the first 30 minutes or so with a pair of adults, as yet unidentified, that kept rolling upside down, bellies up, tossing their massive, beautiful pectoral flippers in the air and slapping on the water surface. As if showing off for the passengers on board, the duo came up right alongside our boat on several occasions, repeating the belly up flipper slapping behavior over and over between brief bouts of “logging” (the science term for whales napping at the surface). After a third, smaller juvenile humpback joined the pair, we moved on to another trio of humpbacks fluking nearby. To our pleasant surprise, one of the trio turned out to be our old friend “Nile”, a female born in ‘87 who’s frequently sited in the region year in and year out. Traveling with the 28 year old matriarch was another familiar, though younger female, “Pitcher” born in 2007. We could not make a positive ID on the 3rd whale traveling in the group, but all were quite cooperative in providing us with some great close up looks at their massive yet graceful 40 ton, 40 foot long bodies. I won’t forget my Flag Day whale watch any time soon!

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