Aug 5, 2017

From Naturalist Amy:

This morning we left Gloucester and had a foggy ride down towards the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank where we found humpback whales the previous afternoon. The ride was absolutely worth it as the fog lifted just as we arrived in the area to find at least 7 humpbacks! The whales must have been busy feeding overnight or in the early morning, because nearly all the whales logging, or resting just below the surface! This is a really peaceful time to watch them. We spent most of our time with two whales we know well, Nile and Mostaza. On our way home, a passenger spotted two more blows of humpback whales only 16 miles from Gloucester! A real reminder that whales are always on the move and we can come across them at any point throughout the trip! We also spotted many seabirds, with lots of Wilson’s storm petrels and common terns around the whales.

This afternoon we headed back to an area where we spotted two humpbacks on our way home from our morning trip in hopes that we could identify these and any other humpbacks in the area. We found two humpbacks that may have been our earlier sightings about 16 miles from Gloucester. Since the whales were closer to Gloucester, we were able to spend a very long time observing these two whales as they traveled slowly. We identified the whales as Music and Sanchal, one of Salt’s most recent calves from 2008. We again observed many birds, particularly Wilson’s Storm Petrels fluttering at the surface, disturbing the plankton with their feet before snatching them up. We also saw quite a few juvenile Northern Gannets flying in small groups.

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