What a day! In the morning we came across a pair comprised of Gunslinger and an unknown smaller whale. We were in that tricky get-the-trip-started lag time when we noticed this pair in the distance staying at the surface. Once alongside the pair we thought we were good, however the whales had other plans and after a few breaths and a flick of the tail the duo completely disappeared from sight for over ten minutes.
Ok… well luckily there was another whale, Crossbeam not too far, and we were able to have some time to observe this youngster who minded us not at all, startling passengers (and me) not once, not twice, but three times. Crossbeam was blowing bubble clouds but then began blowing rings of fizzy bubbles—it was a bit of a combination between the two hallmark humpback bubble feeding types. Samara also made her way over and we were able to have whales on either side of the Sanctuary.
Now, whale watching is always a good time, but when all the different factors that play a role come together just right, it becomes outstanding. The still air, calm seas, and pastel skies created an atmosphere that felt magical as we found ourselves the only boat amongst the whales during our evening cruise. Crossbeam was still zipping around hidden beneath his/her bubble clouds and we could also see Samara and Gunslinger not far away. Samara appeared to be feeding at the surface as evidenced by the swarm of birds around her, but we were having such a great experience with Crossbeam we didn’t feel the need to move away. Eventually we drifted a bit to the south to hang out between the two other humpbacks but looked back to the north to see a humpback open mouth feeding back where we had just been.
The decision was made to have our last looks with who we thought was Crossbeam, but we were approached by a pair of humpbacks and I found myself wondering where in the world Glo-Stick and her calf had come from! Another bubble cloud formed just off the port side, and what happened next sent shouts and cheers echoing throw out the boat. We were anxiously waiting for Glo-Stick to surface when fish began leaping from the sea left and right and I knew passengers were in for a treat. She lunged upward so fast and forcefully that her jaw could be heard clapping shut- WOW!!! After a couple of these feeding bouts she took off at rapid pace with the calf keeping right up, apparently chasing down those fast moving fish because the lunge feeding continued a few minutes later. It was a fun ride home while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets of the summer.