May 28, 2017
We embarked on the noon whale watch with hopes of seeing the buzzing activity that we’ve been experiencing on Jeffreys Ledge over the last couple of days and we were not disappointed. We came across a couple of whales scattered throughout the area before settling on a humpback who I immediately recognized as Nile from her pointy, white-spotted dorsal fin. We crossed paths as she was heading to the south as we continued to the north, and watched a sei whale skim feed before noticing another moving in for the krill (it’s been a long day ;). It’s been so great to get to know more about these whales from observing them in the field as we have this season. What once was a complete mystery to me is now an animal that I can quickly point out characteristics and behaviors of.
We then spent some time with another solo humpback that was likely Owl’s 2017 Calf. Our team of naturalists were having an interesting group chat about this little whale today, who appears to be quite independent for this early in the season. Nonetheless, he or she returns to mom’s side regularly, because even when you’re a mighty 3-5 months old, the Atlantic is still a big ocean to navigate by yourself. We could have ended our trip there and returned to Boston, but Captain Earl could tell that I had seen some splashing in the distance and trusted my judgement to press on and visit Bungee and her calf, and wow were we rewarded! We had some great looks at this pair, both mom and baby side by side, but also with a few great breaches from the calf. One of the best part’s about the breaches was that they happened while passenger eyes were directed in the right direction.
On our ride home from the first trip, the ride was less comfortable as a front passed quickly through the area. We were concerned about our chances of reaching Jeffreys for the sunset whale watch, however we had a great group of people who were ready for an adventure, and it was a bonus that the seas calmed slightly as we approached the whales. We passed Thacher’s Island and shortly after approached our first whale of the afternoon. I watched as the fluke of a humpback broke the surface, and was thrilled to find another familiar friend, Pinball! We had some great looks at her before having a close encounter with a fin whale. There were many other whales in the area, but the final individual we concentrated on was Scylla. The ride home allowed for time to really connect with the people on this trip and allow them opportunity to ask plenty of questions and learn more about these amazing animals, making the very most out of their whale watch.
Laura and Becca