This morning we traveled to the northwest corner amidst patchy fog aboard the Sanctuary. Despite having poor visibility at times, we managed to spot two humpback whales thanks to some great communication from the other boats in the area. As we got closer, we identified these whales as Valley and her 2017 calf! Valley averaged six minute dives while her calf surfaced a little more frequently. The calf also demonstrated some impressive surface activity by tail breaching a couple times near her mom. We were able to get a good look at her fluke, which is not always the easiest shot to get of these young ones. After some more tail breaching, the calf began to nurse. Perhaps she was letting mom know that she was hungry?

humpback whale calf tail breach
Valley's calf tail breaching
humpback whale valley flukes
Valley's fluke

The fog burned off this afternoon as the waves built for our 2:30pm whale watch. Despite the large swells, we made it back out to the northwest corner with our hearty group of passengers. We found Valley and her 2017 calf once again, who were easily spotted from a distance due to splashing from the calf’s many tail breaches!


tail breach
Foggy tail breach

We also observed another humpback whale flipper slapping at a distance, which is one of my favorite behaviors to see out in the water! After spending some time with Valley and calf, we moved on to two other humpbacks who had made their way over to us. We identified one of these whales as Spoon, whose large size was shocking after spending so much time with Valley’s calf. We said goodbye to the humpback whales with one last beautiful fluking dive from Spoon and made our way back towards Boston, viewing many of the tall ships along the way. What a fun day to be on the water!

— Kelsey