2014 Sightings | May 12 afternoon

On the Cetacea, we headed back to mid-bank to find a whole bunch of activity. When we arrived, we found scattered blows of several humpbacks, including splashes from kick-feeding and tons of gulls swarming around the bubble clouds in the distance. We estimated about 10 to 12 whales around in total.

Whale feeding frenzy

Pepper and Tongs

We first spotted humpbacks Pepper and Yoo Hoo bubble feeding in the distance (Pepper lunged open-mouthed at the surface a few times), who quickly joined up a bit with Tongs and her 2014 calf to continue to feed. It was great to see so much bait around and bird activity!

Pleats fluke

After that the whales started to spread out a bit. We spent more time with Tongs and calf (the calf even rolled a bit!) and also one of our crew members spotted a full breach of humpback Pleats (Ventisca’s 2008 calf).

Springboard kick feeding

We wrapped up our trip moving to another scattered group of Springboard, Milkweed and calf, and a few other individuals. We observed even more kickfeeding, a large bubble cloud of 3 feeding humpbacks (see photo of feeding frenzy at top), and wrapped up the trip with Milkweed’s calf lobtailing. We got a great look of the calf’s milky-fluke, which will become a more permanent pattern by the time it is about 2 years old.

Milkweed calf tail lob

Another great day on Stellwagen!

— Laura Howes

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