2014 Sightings | August 6

This morning on the Cetacea we headed out to the middle of Stellwagen Bank. The seas were calm and beautiful and even though the gray sky threatened rain, we managed to dodge it for the duration of our whale watch.


We searched around for a while, but then suddenly all at once we spotted something out both the port and starboard windows! We headed to the port side and the individual ducked down almost immediately about a half mile away. We waited about 7 minutes or so for it to pop up at the surface again. This whale mostly travelling throughout the trip, taking long dives and resurfacing quite a distance from us. Throughout the trip, we also saw 3 minke whales! Today was a great day to spot for minke whales because of the glassy sea conditions. The humpback turned out to be Tunguska! Later in the day, while listening to the captains radio, I learned that Tunguska had been spotted further north later in the day (around 3:00). That whale must have been on a mission when we saw it because it was travelling very quickly!


This afternoon we decided to travel to the southwest corner where some of the other whale watches had reported good sightings. The sky cleared up significantly since the morning trip and it was absolutely gorgeous out on the water. There was lots of activity in the area here and we sighted about 4 humpbacks as well as 1 or 2 finback whales. We spent most of our trip with a humpback named Shuffleboard! The passengers got a kick out of this whale’s very creative name. Shuffleboard spent the trip doing some great bubble cloud feeding! There was quite a bit of unique boat traffic out on the water today as well.

Sailboats and whales

Aside from other whale watch boats in the area, we had some great looks at a few massive sailboats in the area! It was a lovely day with great looks!

— Annie G.


Today we ventured around the southern edge of the bank looking for whales. As we reached an area where we saw some blows in the distance, a whale breached right in front of a dolphin boat. It was Glo-Stick and her 2014 calf!

Freckles' dorsal fin

Glo-stick and calf

Glo-stick calf

Glo-stick was doing 5-6 minute dives and probably some sub surface feeding at the bottom while her calf was floating and travelling slowly at the surface. Glo-stick’s calf is the fourth generation of a whale family that goes back to Istar, first found in 1976. We left the mother-calf pair and moved down to the Southwest Corner to find a single whale, Freckles. Freckles was fluking and doing shorter dives around 2-3 minutes. We got some beautiful looks of her tail before heading back to Boston and we also saw a great variety of sea birds in the area, from Manx Shearwaters to Wilson Storm Petrels. It was a nice day out on the southern edge of Stellwagen!

— Charlotte and Laura H.


Today was an absolutely beautiful day on the water! This afternoon on our 12 pm whale watch, the temperature was warm and the sea was glass calm. We cruised down to the southwest corner where minke whales began popping up all around the boat.

Minke whale's head cutting through the water

These minkes were super active and very close to the boat. We even got a chance to see their “mittens” which are white bands on their pectoral fins! Nearby, a humpback whale named Freckles was deep diving, surfacing for only a couple breaths in between each high-fluking dive.

Freckles' tail kick

Because Freckles was spending most of her time beneath the surface, I began explaining to our passengers that we never know what whales will be doing when we go out to see them. Sometimes they’re logging or feeding or diving. As I went on to describe how a whale’s behavior can change at any moment and sometimes out of nowhere they might begin breaching, I saw a huge splash out of the corner of my eye! Maybe Freckles heard me talking about her because after that she began repeatedly tail breaching and put on quite a show for everyone!

Shuffleboard filtering food

After she continued on diving, we moved on to another humpback for a quick look before heading back to Boston. Unlike Freckles who was likely deep feeding, Shuffleboard was surface feeding! We knew exactly where Shuffleboard was going to surface because this whale was using bubbles to force the fish towards the surface then lunging high up out of the water giving us beautiful looks of its throat grooves! We haven’t seen much surface feeding recently so seeing this feeding activity was quite a treat for everyone on board! Overall, we had a fantastic whale watch!

— Tasia

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