July 8

From Naturalist Dianna

Beautiful day on the ocean today! Thankfully the storms forecasted didn’t amount to much where we were. Just a bit of rain for a few minutes and then the skies cleared and the seas were glassy calm!  We traveled down to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank again and found a minke whale along the way. We kept going and encountered the humpback whales Spoon (aka Bilbo) and her calf taking a nap! We always love seeing sleeping whales- it’s really calming to enjoy these endangered animals acting so peacefully and not caring at all that a big boat full of people is watching them snooze.Spoon and calf Spoon and calf

As we were starting to think about heading back to Gloucester, our Captain Randy spotted a big splash in the distance. Another humpback whale was around and it was jumping out of the water about a mile away! We said goodbye to Spoon and her calf to check out the action.  This whale did a little flipper slapping, before diving, and then came back up to the surface in the most spectacular way! Several full breaches out of the water! Amazing!  More flipper slapping and some tail lobbing followed. This whale also had some scars on its back and I should have recognized it right away but I must be out of practice… This was Northstar, a whale we watched many times last summer! The scars on his back are likely from being hit by a boat, but it appears that he’s doing well. Northstar Northstar Northstar

As we always say, we never know what we’ll find on each trip, and today was no exception! We also came upon lots of shearwaters- Cory’s, Great and Sooty as well as some Wilson’s storm petrels and a couple of northern gannets! The pelagic birds on the Bank are wonderful. shearwaters

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