July 26

From Naturalist Hannah

We had a great day on the ocean despite rough seas. We headed back to the South West corner of Stellwagen bank again and the seas were churning and gave us quite the interesting ride down. Once the Provincetown Tower was in view we spotted a few spouts ahead of us. We were able to watch a group of 6 humpback whales swimming and plowing through the surface. It was interesting to have this many whales together that were showing no obvious signs of feeding. The weather could have impacted this association but again, we can only do our best to interpret the behaviors. Of the group of 6, we were able to ID two individuals. One was Venom, a female that was born in 1996. She is missing part of the right side of her fluke and is easily identified due to the disfigurement. The second animal that we were able to ID was Pele. There was some pectoral slapping also where the whale will roll and lift the 15 foot long pectoral fins above the water and slam them on the surface! This happened twice and right after the behavior ended, all members of the group went on a dive.   Although the weather was rough, we had great sightings of whales and a much calmer ride home.

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