July 12, 9:00 trip

From Naturalist Dave-

It was a spectacular morning at sea! The MCA traveled 30 miles to the southern end of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary for one of the best whale shows I’ve seen in a long time. There were at least 11 surface feeding humpbacks (and probably more we missed in the area) showing off pretty much their entire arsenal of diverse surface feeding behaviors from bubble clouds, to bubble nets, vertical as well as horizontal feeding lunges, lob-tailing, and head breaching; cooperatively corralling and consuming large schools of fish for the entire time we were out there. We managed to positively identify five of 11 in our area from photographs taken of their tail flukes: Saloon (1st sighted in 2000); Aswan (son of Nile born in 2000); Leukos, the 35 year old mother of at least 6 calves that we know of; Tornado, the 27 year old mother of 7; and Venom, a particularly interesting female born in 1996 that’s missing a large portion of the right half of her tail fluke. We also came across a single fin whale and a trio of minke whales in our travels to and from the Bank. This one might make my top 10 and I’ve been doing this stuff a long time! Shows like this morning’s always give me goose bumps, even on a 90 degree day like today!

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