2014 Sightings | June 16

This morning on board the Asteria the whale really made us work for the wonderful whale watch we had.

Fin whale

We made a loop of the southwest corner and southeast corner before heading towards the northwest corner. Just north of the southeast corner we found a number of minke whales which were darting around the area, likely feeding. In mid-Bank we found a fantastic fin whale which was probably feeding as it was making huge circles and lazily surfacing and going down.

A fin whale's snout

We got great looks at this huge animal and the clarity of the water meant we could see the whale’s rostrum or top of its head. The smooth flat snout of a fin whale looks a bit like a duck’s bill leading some researchers to refer to it as a “bill”.


We then moved on to Mogul who is a male humpback born in 1986, his age is definitely shown in the nicks along the edges of his tail and dorsal fin. While many whales do have scars from ‘human interactions’ like entanglement and vessel collisions, whales do acquire scars naturally through feeding behavior and especially for males in rowdy groups on the breeding ground. Mogul was doing some subsurface feeding today using huge bubble clouds. The clarity of the water provided great looks at Mogul’s enormous pectoral fins which may allow humpback whales to make tight turns and acrobatic maneuvers under the water.



We had a beautiful day out on the water on board the Aurora. The seas were very calm and visibility was outstanding! We spent our trip watching Mogul, a 28 year old male humpback.

Mogul resting at the surface

Mogul was bubble feeding alone today. We observed that he would make just 3 consecutive small bubble clouds before surfacing, likely with a mouthful of fish. Mogul consistently moved slowly while at the surface. At one point in the trip, I think he took a short logging nap. During this time, Mogul stayed very still at or just below the surface of the water. Overall, I would describe Mogul’s behavior as slow and a bit lazy – he must know it is a Monday. However, his slow movements made it easy for us to keep track of him throughout the whale watch!

— Annie G.


A familiar fluke: Mogul

Today, on board the Cetacea for the 1:30 whale watch, we went towards the northwest corner of Stellwagen where our sister vessels had been at earlier trips.

Mogul's dorsal fin with the Boston skyline on the horizon 

Upon arrival, we found Mogul, the 28 year old male humpback. He was doing short 3-5 minute dives. Just before surfacing from each dive, we would see a single bubble cloud appear at the surface, indicating that Mogul was doing some feeding. We did see a minke whale in the distance, but no other whale activity in the area. It was a beautiful day out on the bank with great visibility and calm waters. 

Mogul’s dorsal fin while he was swimming amongst large amounts of pollen at the surface.

— Hannah

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