2014 Sightings | June 20

This morning was a beautiful sunny day on the southwest corner with calm seas.  We came across a fin whale and watched it for one surfacing and then headed toward Hancock about 2.5 miles away from our fin whale.

Hancock's fluke

Hancock's dorsal fin

Hancock was bubble cloud feeding but consistently changing directions and it was difficult to predict where she was going to surface.  She picked up speed about half way through our trip but passengers got some great looks of her head as she came up on a couple of surfacings.  We saw her do one chin slap during her feeding activity and saw the water straining from the sides of her mouth at one point.

Hancock's breath

There was one other blow seen in the area from a humpback but other than that Stellwagen was pretty quiet.  There was one Northern Gannet spotted during the trip.

— Laura


Look and calf

We had an amazing whale watch today on the Aurora!! Captain Jeff went above and beyond today bringing us out to an area between Tillie’s Ledge and Straw Hat where the whales were plentiful. We had blows in all directions with lots of whales breaching and feeding.

Open-mouth feeding

Pectoral flipper slap

Tracer's tail slap

Among the different humpbacks we saw included Buckshot, Tear, Putter, Fern, Tracer, Daffodil, Loon and her calf. Tracer was feeling very silly and doing lots of tail breaching. At times, Tracer just held her/his fluke high up in the air and waved at us with it. I don’t think a whale has ever made me laugh out loud so much!

Putter's dorsal fin

One of the whales we saw today had a very unusual dorsal fin and we had the hardest time trying to figure out whose it was. After extensively going through the photos, we realized that it was actually Putter’s dorsal.

Putter's tail slap

Putter being the first whale I ever IDed, I am very familiar with her fluke and dorsal so it was quite a surprise when we realized that it was hers. It seems as if a very serious entanglement has deformed her fluke leaving it very misshapen. It was really sad to see the effects of the entanglement first hand but we are glad to see that she seems healthy and well healed!

Putter's fluke

We also saw lots of bird diversity today which was a welcome change! Overall, we had an incredible whale watch and are excited to get back on the water to see them!




It was a beautiful day out on the southern edge of Stellwagen Bank. Upon arrival, we spotted Hancock. She was doing 5 minute dives and some bubble cloud feeding.

Hancock's fluke

Then we saw two blows in the distance, so went to investigate. What we thought was two whales turned out to be six! We viewed Measles in the distance. It seemed that it wasn’t associated with the other individuals. Measles swam off in a different direction. So, we spent the remainder of our trip with a group of 5 humpbacks; Mogul, Vulture and calf, and Tongs and calf.

Vulture's calf's fluke

The group was traveling in a linear direction and were taking short dives. While the adults were under the surface, the two calves “played” at the surface, practicing some tail lobbing.

I think that it will be easy to name this whale in the future because it has some great patterns on its tail. It looks like the number ‘100’ is written out on its right fluke, maybe that could be a possible name. Overall, it was a great day out on the bank!

— Hannah

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