July 18

From Naturalist Allison

This morning’s trip started out with some rainy weather but quickly cleared up. We started off the trip with a trio of humpback whales, one of whom was ID’d as Salt. Salt was the first humpback whale to ever be named back in 1976, and she became a great-grandmother in 2014. It was great to see her back on the bank and doing well. We also got a surprise tail breach from one of the whales in the trio. We then moved on and found two other humpbacks, but we didn’t get a fluke from either of them so I didn’t get to ID them. We then moved on to another trio of humpbacks, one of whom was ID’d as Cygnus. Cygnus is a male humpback whale first sighted in 1980. Overall it was a great trip and we got some great looks at 8 different humpback whales.

The afternoon trip was a bit rocky, but well worth it! We started off the afternoon with a look at a trio of humpback whales, one of whom was ID’d as Pregunta, a whale first seen in 1990. Pregunta was showing some pretty new looking entanglement scars on her tail stock. Let’s hope Pregunta has a full recovery and avoids any further fishing gear! We then moved on to the highlight of the trip – Shuffleboard and her calf. Shuffleboard was first seen in 2008, and this is her first calf that we know about. Shuffleboard’s calf was being very playful, constantly rolling around, sticking it’s flippers out of the water, and flipper slapping. This little whale also treated us to a few tail breaches while Shuffleboard swam close by. We got some great up-close looks at the pair and it was overall a fantastic sighting. On our way back to Gloucester we came across two more humpback whales, but neither of them fluked so I was unable to come up with any ID’s. What a great day on the water!

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