2014 Sightings | August 1

This morning on board the Cetacea, we travelled out to the middle of Stellwagen Bank. After searching around for a while, we happened upon a minke whale! The seas were nice and calm, making it easy for us to spot this individual time and time again. It was great to have so many repeated looks at this whale. Once it even surfaced right between the pulpits!

A sleek minke whale

It is very seldom that we have the opportunity to spend some quality time with minke whales because they are usually so elusive. After watching the minke, we headed over to where other whale watch boats were watching a couple of humpbacks. They turned out to be Northstar and Hippocampus, of course. The pair was doing some very slow travel spending lots of time at the surface. Passengers were so excited when they finally had the chance to see their tails.

Hippocampus's fluke

This afternoon the seas picked up quite a bit along with the wind. We ended up searching around the shipping lane where we found our old friend Hancock!


At first Hancock was taking 5-6 minute dives, traveling quite a distance in between surfacings. She consistently fluked, but we had a little trouble keeping track of her in the beginning. By the end of the trip though, Hancock began to bubble cloud feed and took much shorter dives in between each sighting. We were lucky enough by the end to get to see her bobbing up to the surface with massive mouthfuls of fish right in front of the boat!

— Annie G.


Today on the 10:00 whale watch we had a wonderful day out on the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank.  We initially found the Cetacea, another BHC whale watching boat, with two humpbacks. They were nice enough to share and let our boat the Asteria come right up and start our whale watch. Our captain Deb helped us to get great close looks at Hippocampus and Northstar slowly traveling together.
Watching Cetacea watch the whales

We were able to really appreciate their whole body lengths under the clear water and we stared in awe as they slowly rose to the surface and took powerful exhales.

Hippocampus's head and a powerful breath

Northstar was traveling right with Hippocampus and was fluking readily, occasionally taking a low fluke where we couldn’t see the underside of his fluke.  We have been readily seeing this pair over the past week or so and Northstar seems to be looking alright since his injury.

Northstar's injuries

One minke whale quickly came to the surface as we were coming off the bank but no other blows were seen during the trip.  It was a great close and personal whale watch with Northstar and Hippocampus!

— Laura C.


Today on the Aurora for the noon whale watch we headed as ever out to the northwest corner in search of our usual suspects. We’d had reports of Northstar and Hippocampus but the best part of the noon whale watch is also the most challenging, no other whale watch boats around. It took a little hard looking but we soon found our whales taking 4-6 minute dives and moving around quite a lot.


Humpback fluke

Humpback head

This pair seemed a little more interested in the boat today surfacing closer to us than usual and possible turning towards us as if curious about what we could possibly have been. Some humpbacks are known to be very curious of boats, but for the most part they tend to ignore us and carry on with feeding. This pair has been together for a week and we wonder how much longer we’ll see them, either as a pair or before they move on to the next area in search of food. With the way the season has been going, the whales will not be in short supply.

— Tegan and Haylee

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