2014 Sightings | August 2

On our early morning 9am whale watch aboard the Asteria today, we went out to the northwest corner where we saw two sleepy humpback whales, Northstar and Hippocampus. While these two were quite mellow throughout our whale watch, they spent a LOT of time right next to our boat as we sat idle throughout most of our trip.

Hippocampus diving next to the boat

Northstar resting next to the boat, injuries as prevalent as always

Seeing as a handful of whale watching vessels were lining up to take a look at this duo, I would imagine most of the passengers watching across the water from other boats were quite jealous of the perspective our guests were given. Perhaps these leisurely whales were put at ease by the low humming of our environmentally friendly jet engines!


This afternoon, we changed it up and travelled down to the southwest corner of the bank where we saw a trio of humpbacks: Jabiru, Pele and Eruption. These humpbacks spent a lot of time at the surface of the water making about three minute dives but were relatively lazy.

We were preparing to head towards Boston when SUDDENLY, there was a DOUBLE BREACH! Typically when you get lucky enough to see multiple whales breach, they will breach one after another or one may be landing when one is beginning its leap. These two whales choreographed their timing perfectly and appeared as behemoth ballerinas spinning out of the water! It was an incredible 3 seconds that I’d have to say was completely worth sitting through the ongoing downpour. These whales breached another four or five times putting on quite the show for our passengers! We waited hopefully for some more action until we realized that the show was over and it was time to head home.

It was a wet and wild day full of fun on Stellwagen Bank and I look forward to what tomorrow will bring!

— Tasia


Pele, Eruption and Jabiru

Although grey skies threatened over Stellwagen Bank we headed out towards the southwest corner for the 12 noon whale watch. Visibility remained good and we spotted three whales through the rain immediately upon arrival in the area. These whales turned out to be Jabiru, Eruption, and Pele, three whales that we’d been seeing a lot of about three weeks ago.

Synchronized dives

It was really exciting to see that these familiar flukes were back on the bank! The whales didn’t stay long at the surface but took short dives and didn’t travel a lot allowing our passengers to get some great looks and chances for some fun photos (as long as they braved the downpour). The whales made abrupt and forceful surfacing, had quick traveling and high fluking dives which made us think that they were searching for (and hopefully finding) some food in the area.

I have heard from one of the other naturalists that Pele may have showed evidence of this feeding in the way of copious defecation later in the day. It is always great when we get to see a variety of whales out on the bank and today was no exception. Despite the gloomy weather, it was a fin-tastic day for whale watching.

— Tegan and Haylee

Northstar close to the boat

This morning on board the Aurora we headed out to the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank. We spent most of our time with the dynamic duo: Northstar and Hippocampus! Throughout the trip they were mostly logging! Because of this, the whales spent lots of time at the surface. There were threats of rain today, but luckily it only sprinkled a little bit.

Jabiru, Pele and Eruption close to the boat 

This afternoon, we decided to head to the SW corner of Stellwagen to see what other whales were in the area! The wind picked up quite a bit from this morning so it was a little more choppy! We were excited to see Jabiru, Eruption and Pele all traveling together!

Pele defecation — signs of a good meal!

The first time Pele went down for a dive, he left some evidence of feeding at the surface…that’s right folks, the whale pooped! These three whales were very closely-knit throughout the trip. They seemed to be very interested in the back of our boat for some reason, because they continued to surface right behind us. Throughout the trip they took mostly 3-4 minute dives and were likely doing some subsurface feeding.

Jabiru's fluke

It was great to see these three beautiful whales, especially when they would surface so close to the boat! This trip was even more exciting because a couple got engaged during the whale watch! Congratulations you two!

—Annie G.

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