2014 Sightings | August 10

Today on the 10 a.m. aboard the Aurora we started out heading towards mid-bank.  Though we had number of gulls, shearwaters, and juvenile gannets we came across only two minke whales.  The first surfaced a couple of times, headed towards the boat, and then once we slowed down turned around and started heading away from us.

Cetacea on flat-calm seas—perfect for whale watching!

On today’s 3pm trip on the Salacia we headed to where the Cetacea had sightings of a single humpback.  Within an hour we had spotted Freckles.  Freckles was taking 5-7 minute dives and making frequent changes in direction.


Luckily, Freckles was taking a few minutes at the surface each time she came up for air and fluked for every single dive. At one point she did come up with a mouth full of water however this was the only time we had confirmed feeding behavior from her. Additionally, there was a lot of bait in the area giving passengers a great look at what Freckles might have been looking for!

— Annie W., Rich, and Grace


For the 1:30 trip, we got some great news from our 12pm whale watch that there was a humpback whale sighting just east of Scituate. We made our way out to that area and while traveling we spotted a blue shark! We then found that lone humpback, Freckles.

Freckles at surface

She was taking short 3-5 minute dives and we even witnessed some bubble clouds!


While with Freckles, we had a quick sighting of a minke whale. Just as we were leaving Freckles, we had ANOTHER sighting of a different blue shark! It was near perfect conditions on the water today, which made spotting for sharks that much easier.

— Hannah and Kirsten


Today on board the Asteria we travelled southeast from Boston in hopes of finding whales. Unfortunately the earlier trips found only a few whales, but we really lucked out this afternoon just about 8 miles SSE from Minot’s Lighthouse where we were surprised to sight a lone humpback whale named Freckles!

Freckles—see the specks on her dorsal fin?

While most whales are named based on the features on the underside of their tails, Freckles is probably named because of the speckles that appear on her dorsal fin. Freckles was taking 3-5 minute dives and travelling all over the place!


Captain Joe was on his toes the entire trip trying to keep up with the erratic surfacings of this foraging humpback whale! We were so relieved to have such great looks at a humpback whale so close to Boston!

Picture-perfect Freckles

This evening we headed out to the same area. We spent our trip with Freckles once again! Throughout the trip she was taking short 2-4 minute dives and was even doing some bubble cloud feeding! It’s great to know that even in an area far from Stellwagen Bank that there is enough fish in the water to sustain this humpback whale! We had beautiful looks at Freckles as she travelled through the sunset.

Sunset over Boston. Whoa.

Check out the cool picture I got of the massive orange sun setting behind Boston. In the foreground you can even see the light shining through Minot’s Lighthouse! It was a lovely evening for a whale watch. On the return trip not only did we get to watch a beautiful sunset, but also we were lucky enough to see the super-est of supermoons!

Superest of super moons!

— Annie G.

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