2014 Sightings | September 1

Yesterday on board the Salacia for the 10am whale watch, we started our day by traveling to the Northwest Corner of Stellwagen Bank. Just west of the corner, we found 4 scattered humpback whales. This group was constantly switching associations, sometimes traveling in pairs or at other times in a large group. It was Geometry, Jabiru, Pitcher, and Follicle.

Molson and Cat Eyes

These whales were taking 5-6 minute dives and changing direction a lot. With just a little bit of time left in the trip, we decided to leave these 4 and seek out some other sightings. We traveled further south, to where the Cetacea had been, and found 2 humpbacks. It was Cat Eyes and Molson/Rune. The pair was taking 4-5 minute dives and we observed evidence of some subsurface bubble cloud feeding. As we were starting to run short on time, Captain Ronnie let us stay for one more extra last look, and it was well worth it! The pair began tail slapping and pectoral slapping!! This surprise of activity overjoyed passengers. See attached photos of this acrobatic activity! 

Molson tail slapping

Check out how long that pectoral flipper is! Humpbacks' flippers are proportionally the longest of any whales

On the 3pm trip we traveled back out to the northern portion of the bank. As we were traveling to our first observations of whales, we had a quick sighting of a Mola mola! When we finally got to the area of our sighting we stopped to wait for the large blow that we saw, but quickly realized there was more activity than we originally thought. There were at least 8-10 minke whales feeding close to the surface in the area. Passengers even had a chance to see some 'minke mittens' (the minke's small white pectoral flippers)! As were watching the chaos of minkes, 2 humpbacks surfaced. It was Follicle and Pitcher. This pair was taking 3-4 dives, changing direction often, and subsurface feeding. It was great! To add some more sightings to the trip, we traveled a little further and found 4 scattered humpbacks. Due to the short duration with the group we were only able to ID Geometry and Jabiru. Overall, it was a fantastic day on the bank.

Molson fluke

— Hannah Pittore

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