July 6, 2017

July 7th, 2017

From Naturalist Laura:

As far as whales go, yesterday was a bit of a slow day, so I had low expectations when I left for work this morning.  However, I was pleasantly surprised on both trips today.  On our first trip, we started with Putter, north of Stellwagen and traveling north.  He was going on long dives (10 minutes) but reliably traveling on a set course and speed which allowed us to easily track him and position ourselves next to him when he surfaced.  We then moved onto Bayou traveling with another humpback I did not recognize.  The passengers were delighted to when they started tail breaching in unison to finish up the first trip of the day.

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When we went out for our second trip the wind had increased a bit, which made finding spouts more difficult.  Luckily, when there is a breaching minke whale you don’t need to worry about finding spouts.  The minke whale breached over 100 times in the 30 minutes we watched it.   Humpback whales only breach on about 10% of our trips, but minke whales breach even less.  Usually, I only see one (or if I’m lucky two) breaching minke(s) a year.

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July 4, 2017

July 4th, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

Today was the calmest day we’ve seen in a long time!   This morning we saw humpback whales about 20 miles from Gloucester. The first was Shuffleboard, a female. We watched her for a few surfacings before spotting a couple other whales in the area.

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One of these was Gondolier, a male who was seen on Jeffreys Ledge just yesterday morning, about 30 miles north!

These whales certainly move around a lot!  Then we spent some time with a 3rd humpback named Dross. This whale was taking short dives and not moving too quickly, allowing us great views.

Intern Heddie recording research data

Intern Heddie recording research data

This afternoon, we had a much more difficult time finding whales. We had to travel 30 miles to see anything at all. We passed a minke whale just before seeing a pair of sleepy humpbacks, Spoon and Touchdown.

Touchdown

Touchdown

At one point, 3 minke whales were up at the surface, and one came right into the area with the humpbacks, and then swam right across our bow! Great looks at this “small” (25 foot) whale.

2 humpbacks and a minke!

2 humpbacks and a minke!

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As we say, every trip is different and we never know what to expect from Mother Nature.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

July 2, 2017

July 3rd, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

This morning we took a great ride to the edge of Jeffrey’s Ledge where we found Valley and her calf. The calf was active at the surface, tail breaching and flipper slapping during the trip. We were afforded amazing close looks at the pair. It was amazing to see Valley traveling through the area with her calf.

This afternoon we had an amazing trip on southern Stellwagen Bank. Both Dross and Shuffleboard, the humpback whales, were feeding in the area. Dross blew a bubble net right underneath our bow and surfaced right next to the boat. We watched both whales as they continued to feed. On the way home, we spotted an amazing pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. The dolphins were jumping through our boat wake and followed our boat as we moved through the area. It was a perfect way to end an amazing day!

July 1, 2017

July 3rd, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

This morning we traveled to Stellwagen Bank and started on one fin whale. There were quite a few boats in the area so we decided to take a ride down to the southwestern corner of the bank and found three humpback whales. We started our trip with Spoon taking long dives, but surfacing right next to the boat. We also saw Dross and Shuffleboard in the area. We were the only boat out of Gloucester that morning to see humpback whales! It was a great morning out on the water.

This afternoon we traveled to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank to watch Dross and Spoon traveling together. Both whales surfaced right next to the boat! We moved further north to find Shuffleboard feeding before making our way back to Gloucester.

July 1-2, 2017

July 2nd, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

Saturday 7/1 AM:

This morning we traveled to Stellwagen Bank and started on one fin whale. There were quite a few boats in the area so we decided to take a ride down to the southwestern corner of the bank and found three humpback whales. We started our trip with Spoon taking long dives, but surfacing right next to the boat. We also saw Dross and Shuffleboard in the area. We were the only boat out of Gloucester that morning to see humpback whales! It was a great morning out on the water.

Saturday 7/1 PM:

This afternoon we traveled to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank to watch Dross and Spoon traveling together. Both whales surfaced right next to the boat! We moved further north to find Shuffleboard feeding before making our way back to Gloucester.

Sunday 7/2 AM:

This morning we took a great ride to the edge of Jeffrey’s Ledge where we found Valley and her calf. The calf was active at the surface, tail breaching and flipper slapping during the trip. We were afforded amazing close looks at the pair. It was amazing to see Valley traveling through the area with her calf.

Saturday 7/2 PM:

This afternoon we had an amazing trip on southern Stellwagen Bank. Both Dross and Shuffleboard, the humpback whales, were feeding in the area. Dross blew a bubble net right underneath our bow and surfaced right next to the boat. We watched both whales as they continued to feed. On the way home, we spotted an amazing pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. The dolphins were jumping through our boat wake and followed our boat as we moved through the area. It was a perfect way to end an amazing day!

Thursday, June 29

June 29th, 2017

The whales moved a little bit south over night.  This morning we found Shuffleboard, surface feeding, just south of the shipping lanes.  There was also a fin whale in the area.  Hopefully, the whales don’t continue to head further south for the 4th of July weekend.  On our way home there was a humpback closer to Gloucester that we either missed on the way out or it moved into the area after we went by.  Fingers crossed it sticks around!

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 27th, 2017

From Naturalist Dianna:

After a bit of a delay getting out of the harbor this morning, we were welcomed to Stellwagen Bank by Mogul, the humpback whale leaping out of the water repeatedly!  It seems as though our delay made for perfect timing to see this extravagant display! If we had left on time, we would have missed it! Sometimes, things happen for a reason.  A couple of minke whales and a fin whale were also spotted in the area, and then we continued on to find another humpback whale. This one was Obsidian, who was first seen in 1976!!  Obsidian was blowing some bubble clouds to corral his prey and even came up once with his mouth right out of the water!

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June 26, 2017

June 27th, 2017

From Naturalist Beth

After a few hot, humid, foggy days we were happy to leave Gloucester harbor with bright blue skies and a cool, dry, breeze.  We had a great day on northern Stellwagen.  Owl’s precocious calf has a propensity to wander away from Owl, which was fine with us as we watched it roll around next to the boat.  Later in the day, we were treated to two big adult humpbacks (one of them being Nine) curiously approaching the boat and hanging just below the surface.  Other whale sightings for the day included Obsidian, Mogul, and Shuffleboard.

June 25, 2017

June 27th, 2017

From Naturalist Laura

After a few hot, humid, foggy days we were happy to leave Gloucester harbor with bright blue skies and a cool, dry, breeze.  We had a great day on northern Stellwagen.  Owl’s precocious calf has a propensity to wander away from Owl, which was fine with us as we watched it roll around next to the boat.  Later in the day, we were treated to two big adult humpbacks (one of them being Nine) curiously approaching the boat and hanging just below the surface.  Other whale sightings for the day included Obsidian, Mogul, and Shuffleboard.

June 23, 2017

June 27th, 2017

From Naturalist Beth:

On Friday, we traveled about 20 miles off the coast of Gloucester to Stellwagen Bank. We spent most of our trip with Shuffleboard, the humpback whale. She was feeding at the surface, we were able to watch her filtering the salt water out of her baleen plates. In the area, we spotted three more humpback whales. We closely watched both Dross and Obsidian traveling in search of food. It was great to see so many different humpback whales out on the water today!