Tuesday, August 16

Glassy calm seas makes from so awesome whale viewing! We started with a trio of humpbacks who were slowly swimming to the north. We could see their white flippers just below the surface without seeing the whales at all! Then they would break the calm water with a loud blow. Geometry and Cork were traveling with another, unidentified, whale.

Next, we came upon a mother humpback with her 8 month old calf! As we sat waiting for them to return to the surface after a dive, we were surprised when they came up RIGHT NEXT TO US! I’ll admit, the loud sound startled me and I apologize to anyone who may have heard me exclaim an expletive!  Then the calf rolled completely over, a full barrel roll, right next to us!! We could even see its eye! So amazing!  The mom, named Etch-a-Sketch seemed unconcerned that her kid was hanging out right next to a boat. It was really sweet.

Continuing on, after seeing a couple minke whales darting around the area, we found 2 more humpback whales, Cajun and Pele.  We had close looks at them as well when they dove below the boat!

On our way home, we stopped briefly on an ocean sunfish, the largest species of bony fish in the world. This one was a juvenile, only about 2 feet in diameter but still really cool to see!

This afternoon, the wind picked up a bit but the seas remained calm. Cajun and Pele were still together, diving for only a few minutes at a time.

We continued our search and found Piano, a young humpback whale who has had quite the struggle with life. She had been hit by a boat when she was young, and bears the deep scars from the boat’s propeller.  The injury was so bad, it is a miracle she survived. Then a couple years later, she was tangled up in fishing gear and would have perished if she wasn’t rescued by Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Animal Rescue Team.  The damage to her flukes is evidence of her predicament.  Fortunately, she survived both major traumas and appears to be doing well.

On our way home, we came upon Cajun and Pele once again. After a few nice views of this pair, we decided to head for home as the rain was starting.   The wind is  supposed to pick up tonight so we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

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