What a spectacular day this turned out to be. Captain Adam led the crew and crowd aboard the Sanctuary far to the southeast with intentions of providing exceptional whale sightings, and wow, was that appreciated! The ride was a bit on the long side but not one person minded as we were treated to overwhelming views and whale behaviors. Once we spotted one blow, we quickly began seeing other whales come into view. We spent a bit of time with a mother and calf pair who engaged in a bit of surface activity with tail breaching and flipper slapping before mom dove.
The calf resurfaced and swam right over for a close look at us, so close in fact that you could see the individual barnacles on the rostrum (head). From there an enormous splash caught our attention, and before we knew it we were watching two adult humpbacks breaching simultaneously over and over. As we crept closer, these two continued to splash together as well as independent of each other leaving us speechless and in awe.
Once I had a moment to think, I recognized one of the whales as Crossbeam, a whale born in 2012. This is a whale special to me, as I remember watching this little guy/girl as a calf during my first year working on whale watches. I remember this whale and its mother, Dome, vividly from an encounter in which Dome was being disentangled by the team from the Center for Coastal Studies. It was a sobering moment and just an overall helpless feeling, however her story has a happy ending and she has been sighted as recently as last season. The second whale that was swimming with Crossbeam that is currently eluding identification and flipping through the catalog will be a project for my ride home this evening. It’s taken a bit of time to go through the many photos of breaches, tail breaches, flipper slapping, and rolling that we were lucky enough to witness today and passengers were so happy to have made the journey and share in the experience.
Laura L., Chelsi, and Eric