August 20

We had a couple of very foggy trips aboard the Miss Cape Ann today. Thanks to Captain Dave for expertly navigating us through the very thick fog! As we made our way out to sea this morning, the fog was clearing up in patches. Thankfully it cleared up as we found our first set of whales – Nile and Shards. Shards actually had a satellite tag on its back and was being monitored by a small research boat nearby. We then continued on and once again found our group of Pele, Cajun and calf, and Jabiru and calf. One of the calves got very curious of our boat, approached our port side and swam right underneath it! It then surfaced on our starboard bow and was checking us right out! The calf came so close, it was incredible! I’m not sure if it was Jabiru’s calf or Cajun’s calf who was so curious, but we had another close calf encounter on our afternoon trip as well.

In the afternoon we once again braved the foggy seas and came across the same group, Pele, Cajun and calf, and Jabiru and calf. Again we had a curious calf who approached our port side and swam right under our bow and popped up right next to us on the starboard bow! This time I was able to catch which calf it was – it was Jabiru’s calf. The calves have pretty different dorsal fins and Jabiru’s calf is also a bit lighter in coloration. Again, a really cool look at a humpback calf! We watched our group for a while until Jabiru’s calf got sleepy and decided to “log” on the side and behind our boat away from the rest of the whales, while the rest of the group kept swimming and surfacing. It was very interesting to me that they always dove down in the same order – first Pele, then Jabiru, then Cajun last. Humpback associations are not very well studied, so I thought this was pretty neat! We can only speculate what the reason, if any, for this dive order was. All in all a great whale watching day despite the foggy conditions closer to land.

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