On today’s whale watch, we headed near the SW corner of Stellwagen to find an estimated 17-18 humpbacks kick-feeding and bubble net feeding! Among the scattered groups, we spent some time with a trio of humpbacks that joined, Crisscross, Jungle, and Vault, who were working over and over again to corral fish together using spiral bubble nets. At the same time, another humpback whale Kickoff was stealing our attention – doing a style of kick-feeding that involved slamming its head first in the water to gain momentum for its tail-kick. Kickoff would also start to bobble over after filtering, sometimes coming belly-up to the surface while doing so, giving us great looks of its pleats.

humpback whale filter feeding
A humpback whale filter feeds
spiral bubble net while humpback whale feeds
A spiral bubble net
humpback whale named vault fluking
Vault's fluke makes a silhouette

We then found a playful calf for the latter half of our trip, and with the help of fall interns Laura and Carolyn we ID’ed this calf as Palette’s 2016 calf. We did not see this calf’s mom during the sighting, but there was a good chance she was feeding with the other adults, or perhaps this young whale may have begun to wean and fend for itself. This calf put on quite the show, doing many lobtails (often slapping its fluke quite quickly!) and headstands, and even a few tail breaches!

Great day on the water — Laura

palette's calf fluke
Palette's calf
palette's calf lobtails
Palette's calf lobtailing
palette's calf rolling
Palette's calf rolling at the surface