Aug 11, 2017

August 12th, 2017

From Naturalist Rebeca:

This morning we had a slow start and found a lone humpback whale IDed as Nuages! Nuages means clouds in French, for some white puffy spots on its fluke. Although it was by itself, the calm ocean conditions gave us some fantastic looks at the humpback. You could see its entire body right below the water surface.

The afternoon trip took us to the same area where 1 blow turned into 3! We have a trio made up of Salt, Columbia, and Fern! I had personally never seen Salt so it was an honor to see the first humpback ever named. What was interesting (and in a way funny) was that all these whales were seen for the first time in the 70’s and 80’s and all have lots of calves! It was just a couple of moms hanging out! They all have over 10 calves and Salt and Columbia both have grandkids too.

The trio stayed at the surface for a while, came close to the boat, and gave us beautiful looks at their flukes! It was a beautiful afternoon and we really enjoyed the company of these three humpbacks!

Aug 7, 2017

August 9th, 2017

From Naturalist Beth:

This morning we traveled to Stellwagen Bank and watched Hancock and her calf traveling through the area. The pair took us further south on the bank. Both whales surfaced right next to the boat and spent a lot of time at the surface. We were able to get some amazing looks today. We also saw a minke whale passing through the area as well.

Aug 8, 2017

August 8th, 2017

From Naturalist Dianna:

One of our guests on board today said it best. “It’s not about the quantity of whales, but instead, it’s all about the quality.”  We certainly got a quality whale watch this afternoon!  We heard of a humpback pair near us as we searched for whales. We found this pair, with one of the boats from Boston, and determined that it was a mother with her calf.  The calf repeatedly surfaced by itself, while Mom would come up every 10 minutes or so. After the other boat left, the calf got a little frisky! The calf breached 15 times and even did 2 full barrel rolls, where we got to see those long white flippers!

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The Mom, identified as Diablo, eventually rejoined with her calf and all was back to normal.  The pelagic birds were around as well, including great shearwaters, Cory’s shearwaters and Wilson’s storm petrels! Great mix of activity!! And today we said goodbye to one of our interns who is heading back to college. Kati, I hope you had a fantastic summer and memorable last trip with us!!

Aug 5, 2017

August 8th, 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.

Aug 4, 2017

August 8th, 2017

From Naturalist Amy:

On this beautiful, breezy afternoon we traveled to the SW corner of Stellwagen Bank and found several humpbacks spread around the area. All whales were quite active feeding deep in the water column, we even caught a glimpse of a whale’s bubble net right in front of our boat! There were a few calves in the area, one which flipper-slapping and breaching by the boat. We were able to identify Mogul, Nile, and Buzzard.

Aug 3, 2017

August 3rd, 2017

From Naturalist Dianna

This morning we headed back to the SW corner of Stellwagen Bank where we found lots of blows, mostly from humpback whales. We spent most of our time with a pair- Arroyo and her first calf!  The calf was logging (napping) as we approached, and then woke up to find its mom. Arroyo and her calf came up together for the next few surfacings. Then the calf began to stray a little, coming up 100 yards from Arroyo.  Pelagic bird sightings included many Wilson’s storm petrels, a sooty shearwater, a Cory’s shearwater, and a few great shearwaters.  As we were getting ready to leave, we saw a huge fin whale nearby and even got the bonus sighting of a beautiful sailing ship!

This afternoon, we changed things up a bit and headed north to Jeffreys Ledge. Up there we found 3 humpback whales (Owl and her calf, and Hornbill) and 1-2 minke whales!  Both Owl and Hornbill are adoptable through Blue Ocean Society so this was especially exciting for us!    And I also have to say how thankful I am to work with Captain Dave, who is not only respectful of the whales, but also of the other boats trying to watch the whales….You folks on board this trip know what I’m talking about :)

Aug 1, 2017

August 3rd, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

This morning we traveled to the southwestern corner of Stellwagen Bank. There we started off our trip with two humpback whales traveling together, Coral and Mayo. The pair was staying down on longer dives so we moved on to watch two mother/calf pairs, Cajun and her calf along with Canopy and her calf. The two pairs were traveling separately towards deeper water, but we were able to get some amazing close looks at all four whales near the boat. Jabiru, Eruption, and Pele were also deep feeding in the area.

This afternoon on our way to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank we spotted two humpback whales breaching! It turned out to be Cajun and her calf! They had traveled about 6 miles northeast since we had spotted them this morning. The calf was very active at the surface, breaching right next to our boat. The calf began lobtailing and flipper slapping near our bow. We were so lucky this afternoon!

July 30, 2017

August 3rd, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

This morning we traveled down to the southern edge of the bank. There were about 10-12 humpback whales traveling through the area. We watched Pele, Jabiru, and Eruption swim right next to the boat. Perseid and her calf were traveling with Cirrus, we got some amazing looks at the calf.

This afternoon we found the same whales deep feeding in groups. Pele, Eruption, and Jabiru were still working together, while Perseid and her calf continued to travel with Cirrus. There were a couple single humpback whales and another group of 4 traveling through the area. It was a beautiful afternoon out on the water.

July 28, 2017

August 3rd, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

This morning we traveled down to the southwestern edge of Stellwagen Bank. We found a couple groups of whales deep feeding. We spend time with Firefly and her calf with Nile. Firefly’s calf came up right next to the boat, shortly after Nile and Firefly surfaced right underneath our bow. We got some amazing looks. We also watched Jabiru, Eruption, and Pele deep feeding. There were about 10 whales feeding in the area.

This afternoon we found Firefly and her calf just north of the southwest corner. The calf breached clear out of the water, unexpectedly, right next to the boat while Firefly continued to feed beneath the surface. The calf breached about 7-8 times! After breaching, the calf spent time nursing. It was great to watch this pair interact with each other.

July 26, 2017

August 3rd, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

This morning we traveled down to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank. After a few days onshore due to bad weather, we weren’t sure where the whales would be. We found Firefly and calf traveling with Nile. We were able to get great close looks at the trio along with a few whales traveling through the area. Firefly and Nile were feeding

This afternoon we traveled down to the southwestern edge of the bank. We started with a humpback whale feeding at the surface. The whale was blowing bubbles and came up open mouth for a few surfacings. We moved on to a group of four humpback whales including Pele, Jabiru, and Eruption. The group was deep feeding. We ended our trip with great looks at Firefly and calf along with Nile. We also saw a few minke whales in the area as well!