August 18

Incredible trips on the Miss Cape Ann today!  I know I’m in the right field of work when I still get excited to see whales, even after 20+ years of watching them!

This morning we passed by a couple of minke whales close to the harbor and then came upon a mother humpback whale with her calf. After a couple of looks at this pair, we decided to continue on. The whales were seemingly a little sleepy and we could see more spouts of other whales nearby. Just as we decided to leave, the calf began to splash around so we turned the boat around and went back to see them. The calf was rolling over, slapping its flipper and flukes on the surface. Perhaps she was trying to get her mom’s attention??  Finally we saw the mom’s flukes and realized this was “Cardhu” and her new calf.

As we continued on, we found a group of 5 humpback whales all together. This group has apparently been hanging out together for a few days now!  The 2 calves would chill at the surface while the adults fed.  Then they’d all get together. The moms were Jabiru and Cajun and the 3rd adult was Pele.  We got some amazing looks as this “pack” of humpbacks came right towards us and passed just off our bow.   Humpback whales are a medium sized whale but having them so close makes us realize just how big these animals are!

This afternoon, we also passed by a couple of minke whales before getting to the southern part of Stellwagen Bank again. We found a pair of juvenile humpbacks that we have yet to ID, and then the same group of 5 humpbacks that we saw earlier!! We also had another humpback in the area!  This afternoon, Cajun’s calf seemed to stick close by to Cajun, while Jabiru’s calf was a bit more active. This young whale breached several times as the adults were down.  In this day and age, we still don’t know much about the cultural and behavioral lives of whales but as research continues, we hope to gain a bit more insight.

On the way home, just before we got to Gloucester harbor, we spotted an ocean sunfish! This is the largest species of bony fish in the world and we were able to maneuver the boat close to it to show off this truly unique fish. We never know what we’ll find out there!

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