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!

July 18

July 18th, 2017

This morning’s fog burned off nicely for our afternoon trip to Stellwagen Bank where we found some humpback whales. Our first sighting was that of Firefly and her calf. This calf started off by repeatedly tail-breaching, throwing it’ posterior end out of the water repeatedly while Firefly was underwater somewhere.

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A third whale came into the area and then was gone as fast as it appeared so we watched this pair calmly swim along side the boat for a while.

Then we moved away and found another pair of humpback whales. This was finally confirmed to be Bolide and her calf. This calf is huge, and was making us guess as to just what we were looking at.  Near the end of our time with them we watched in awe as the calf breached 3 times! Beautiful!!!  Such a lovely afternoon on the ocean.

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But the fun didn’t stop there! On our way home we encountered a squall (lots of wind and rain) but it was brief and a little fun since there was no lightning involved.  We never know what adventures a boat trip will bring!  The sun came out and we even got a glimpse of a rainbow as we approached the harbor.

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July 16

July 17th, 2017

From Naturalist Beth:

We had an AMAZING morning out on the water! The weather was perfect for whale watching, the seas were calm and the sun was out. We arrived on the southern end of Stellwagen Bank to find about 10-12 humpback whales. We started the trip with looks at Pele and Bristle surfacing from right underneath our boat. The calm seas allowed us to get some incredible looks at the whales as they swam right next to our boat. Firefly and her calf along with Spirit were also in the area. The adults were deep feeding while the calf stayed at the surface.

This afternoon was gorgeous out on the water. We watched about 10 humpback whales including a trio of females, Salt, Touchdown, and Habanero. The trio was feeding beneath the surface. We also had Firefly and Bolide traveling with their calves. It’s always nice to watch the next generation of humpback whales out on the feeding grounds.

Images to come soon!

July 15

July 17th, 2017

From Naturalist Beth:

This morning we found about 12 different humpback whales on the southwestern corner of Stellwagen Bank! We started off our trip watching Pele and Bristle traveling together. While watching the pair, researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution collected a blow sample from Pele as he surfaced to breathe. It was great to see research happening firsthand! We also watched two juvenile whales before finding a large group of 5 humpback whales traveling together including Firefly and her calf and Spirit. The calf was rolling around at the surface while the adults fed below.

This afternoon we traveled down to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank again to find Firefly and her calf logging at the surface. We were able to get some great looks at the pair while they took their afternoon nap. We spent the rest of our time with Spoon and Salt, two long time Stellwagen Bank favorites! It was amazing to see these two large females traveling together.

Images to come soon!

July 14, 2017

July 14th, 2017

From Naturalist Beth:

This morning we found a single humpback whale right outside of Gloucester Harbor. We stopped to take a few looks at this individual that was quickly traveling through the area. We decided to follow reports down to the southwestern edge of Stellwagen Bank. We arrived in the area to find about 10 different humpback whales including the famous Salt! She was the first whale ever named in our area back in 1976! It was great to see her in the area today! We also saw Spirit and Bolide traveling with a juvenile whale. The whales surfaced multiple times right next to the boat, the young whale even breached right in front of our boat. It was a great morning out on the water!

This afternoon we left Gloucester Harbor towards the southwestern corner of Stellwagen Bank. We started off our trip with looks at Echo’s 2014 calf breaching multiple times. We spotted a total of about 10-12 whales in the area. The whales were traveling in groups and likely feeding beneath the surface. We saw two mother calf pairs, Firefly and Hancock. It was great to get great close looks at the next generation of humpback whales. We also saw one of my favorites this afternoon, Pele. Perfect way to end the day out on Stellwagen Bank!

July 9 and 10

July 11th, 2017

From Naturalist Laura:

We had to put in a lot of effort, but we were rewarded.  The last two days have been great for watching humpbacks.  Granted, you have to be willing to go for a long ride, but it is summer time, and long boat rides are what we do!  Hancock’s calf is quite the fluker.  Most calves, at this point in the season, don’t fluke very often, if at all.  But, Hancock’s calf flukes on almost every dive.  We have spent most of the last few trips with a group that includes Venom, Hancock and her calf, Mend, and sometimes Jabiru joins them, as well.  But, the sightings do not stop there; we also had Pele, Othello, Northstar, Shuffleboard, and Bounce, and a few more I’m still trying to match to the catalog.

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