Friday, Sept 15

From Naturalist Beth:

This morning started off foggy in the harbor but right outside we found some harbor porpoise and a minke whale. We got some amazing looks at the minke whale as it surfaced right next to the boat. We slowed down to look closely and listen for whales through the fog and spotted a harbor seal. It was such a calm day you could see the seal swimming right beneath the surface. It popped its head up and looked right at us. A few miles away we stopped again on a HUGE ocean sunfish! Everyone was amazed to see such an unusual creature out in the ocean. We continued on through the fog out to the east of Jeffrey’s Ledge and found a pod of around 20-30 Atlantic white-sided dolphins! They were milling around the same area, likely feeding. They jumped through our wake and traveled right under our bow. Even after all the other awesome wildlife sightings we still were hopeful that we would find some of our favorite larger whales. Through the fog, we spotted a quick look at a humpback whale! We traveled to that area and shortly after the fog lifted and revealed about 12 different humpback whales all open mouth feeding! The krill was thick at the surface as the whales lunged through. We watched a single whale, a pair, and a group of three feeding right next to the boat, including Cajun and her calf. The calf was lunging too! She has been nursing throughout the summer but we will see these young whales start to feed on solid food towards the end of the season. It was great to see this mother and her daughter feeding together. The whales swam right underneath us and lunged to the surface on the other side. We passed by about 5-6 more humpback whales feeding. We got some incredible looks inside their mouths, baleen and all. Although we didn’t want to leave, on our way back to Gloucester we spotted 2 more minke whales. The wildlife sightings were amazing today, definitely my favorite trip of the season!

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