An absolutely spectacular day out on the southwest corner! Gliding over gentle seas, we ran into some fog on the way to our whale reports, but upon arrival found clear, sunny skies, and improved visibility. Upon arrival we cruised closer to a pair of humpbacks, who turned out to be Wizard, and a fluke-shy companion. Hearing news of playful calves, we left these two to go about their daily deeds, and turned the Asteria’s bow towards the babies.

humpback whale tail breach
Frisky calf

These little whales ran the gamut on behaviors. We observed some spyhopping, rolling, and attempts at fluking dives interspersed with the surfacing of four adults, including Bolide, Firefly, and Arcus! This active group stayed close to the surface, making close passes, while the curious calves investigated the bipeds aboard a multitude of fishing and recreational boats in the vicinity. We also saw some curious behavior from one of the calves as it backed out of the water, tail first, almost as if it were sailing, a characteristic behavior of Southern right whales. Just as we were making our delicate exit, one of the calves exploded from the water in a full breach! Hoping to witness more activity, we returned to the group and got to see five more breaches, with bouts of flipper slapping in between.

We were most reluctant to leave this whale party, but had a lovely ride in balmy weather back to Boston.

— Linnea, Chelsi, and Eric

On the SW corner of the bank we had a fun afternoon with two playful calves! We found a group of 7 humpbacks that consisted of UFO, Lutris, Arcus, Bolide and calf, and Firefly and calf. Bolide’s calf was the star of the show – flipper slapping pretty much our entire trip while the adults fed below the surface. Firefly’s calf was much less active, but occasionally would bob to surface near Bolide’s calf. It was very interesting to see the size difference of these two calves, Bolide’s calf appears almost twice the size of Firefly’s! Not to be outdone, this smaller calf joined-in on the action, doing a few full breaches at the end of the trip.

— Laura