Sightings 2014 | July 27

This morning on board the Cetacea we headed out to the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank. At the beginning of our trip, we spent some time with Northstar and Hippocampus who were traveling ever so slowly together. The anticipation to see the see these whales fluke was intense because they were spending quite a bit of time breathing at the surface and would take very shallow dives without fluking. Once the whales finally showed us their tails, the passengers showed their excitement!

Hippocampus breach

After watching these two for a while, we moved over to another couple of whales in the area. It turned out to be Perseid and calf! These two were traveling very quickly compared to the first two whales we were watching. In fact, we watched them for a half hour and during that time they traveled a few miles! Captain Gene reported to me that we were traveling alongside them matching their speed at about 3.5 knots. They were definitely doing some linear traveling south southeast of the northwest corner. We’ll have to see where this pair is spotted next!

Hippocampus fluke

This afternoon we traveled out the Northwest Corner of Stellwagen Bank once again. The weather was not quite as pleasant on our way out because of the rain. In the rain and fog, we were able to find a few whale watch boats who were watching Northstar and Hippocampus.

Northstar breach

After a couple of looks, we decided to travel around the area to see if there were any other whales nearby. We searched for a while in the rain. Some of our very dedicated passengers stayed outside with ponchos to endure the cold rain in hopes of sightings. We came up short on our search, so we travelled back to finish our whale watch with the original pair, and boy were we lucky to see them again! The rain finally cleared up and after just a few minutes of watching this pair, both of them breached consecutively right between our boat and the Miss Cape Anne!

Hippocampus flipper slapping

For the rest of the trip, Hippocampus was very surface-active and continued to flipper-slap and breach! We had some truly amazing looks at these whales today!

Have a great evening!

— Annie G.


On the 10am trip aboard the Aurora, we headed to the NW corner to where our 9am trip had been – and found our dynamic duo Northstar and Hippocampus working together to bubble net feed. We also spotted a minke whale in the mix today, as well as wilson’s storm petrels, sooty & great shearwaters, and laughing gulls near the end of the trip.

Northstar and Hippocampus

Male humpback Northstar and unknown gender Hippocampus were coordinating their movements to corral the fish under the water (see photo of synchronized surfacing). Near the end of the morning’s trip, these two began to get a bit more active at the surface, and Northstar began to flipper slap and roll along his side at the two surfaced with food in their mouth (see photo).


For our afternoon 3pm trip, we headed back to the same area, and luckily managed to avoid the rain! We arrived to find Northstar and Hippocampus tailbreaching in the distance, and then Hippocampus displayed some excellent flipper slapping!

Hippocampus flipper slap

This whale even surprised us with a quick half-breach.

Hippocampus breach

Afterwards this pair began taking longer dives and subsurfacely feed. Hippocampus made some high flukes, and we also observed Northstar’s recent injury near his dorsal fin.

Hippocampus' fluke

Northstar shows off the injury to its dorsal fin

— Laura


Today on board the Asteria for 12pm whale watch, we traveled to the northwest corner in the pouring rain but didn’t have much luck there. So we kept searching along the western edge of the bank and finally found a lone humpback just north of mid-bank. The individual’s long 6-8 minutes dives, allowed us to identify the animal. It was Abrasion! This is the first time we’ve seen her this season.

Aprasion's fluke

On the 5:30 trip, the rain clouds parted for some much deserved sunshine as we left Boston. We went back to the northwest corner again. Almost immediately, we spotted a mother and calf pair. It was Nile and her 2014 calf!

Nile's playful calf belly-up

The calf was being very “playful” at the surface. Time and time again it rolled around at the surface, slapping its flippers and throwing its tail out of the water.

Nile's calf's fluke

Passengers were even treated to a full breach from the calf. On multiple occasions Nile even got involved and showed the calf how a real tail lob was done. It was a great evening trip.

— Hannah and Rich

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