The 2018 whale watch season is off to a great start!

Morning Trip

The rough seas subsided just in time for passengers to enjoy a brisk spring trip out to Stellwagen Bank with a big question mark looming as we wondered what we would find. As we passed by the familiar sight of the harbor we quickly spotted a harbor seal along with eider ducks and common loons.

Sharp eyes were on the water today watching for all wildlife, but especially for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. It has been a particularly concerning year for these animals and the need for conservation is high. Around midbank we spotted a couple of different blows and were trying to decide which to seek out. It was exciting to see plenty of whales out and about this early and we had some great looks at two fin whales sipping around in search of lunch. A minke whale made a brief appearance, but the highlight might have been the sighting of the right whale, characterized by the hallmark smooth and pointed fluke. Even from a distance this whale made an impression on us and we cruised home, content and satisfied with a multi species day.

fin whale
The fin whale feeding
fin whale fluke
A rare look at a fin whale fluke
fin whale
Fin whale
Afternoon Trip

The winds died down this afternoon for picture-perfect sea conditions. We made our way to just south of the northwest corner and found one of the coolest fin whales I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch! Just as I was explaining fin whale feeding behavior, this whale lunged with its ventral pleats expanded towards us! It continued to feed sporadically throughout the trip, which allowed us to catch some great glimpses at the ever elusive fin whale fluke. We also were visited by 3-4 minke whales, and one hungry grey seal trying to fend off its freshly caught fish from a few equally hungry gulls. It was a great first day and we look forward to the sightings that the rest of the season brings!

northern gannet
A northern gannet spreads its wings
hungry seal
A hungry grey seal

Happy whale watching!

— Laura L. and Kelsey