2014 Sightings | September 27

On Saturday afternoon on board the Asteria, we headed east in search of whales. We travelled all the way out to the eastern edge of Stellwagen Bank for, I must say, an outstanding whale watch.


Once we arrived in this area there were a few groups scattered around. We started off our trip with a pair of minke whales who were travelling quickly and consecutively at the surface. As we slowly approached a large group of humpbacks ahead of us, a few popped up behind us! They turned out to be Tear, Scratch and Apex/Octave! After this look, we continued moving forward to the larger group. Perseid and Milkweed along with their 2014 calves were in this group and one of the calves rolled about at the surface.

Snare's fluke

A whale named Snare was also in this group – a new sighting for this season! It’s great that we can still have new sightings towards the end of the season. This great big group of whales ducked down on a longer dive. While they were down we spotted a few scattered minke whales and a lone humpback named Pinch. The calves popped up to the surface here and there as well.

Close encounter with the calves

Suddenly one of the calves popped up right between the pulpits, and then the other right behind it! Just when I was talking about the likelihood that the adults were subsurface feeding, right on cue they surfaced directly in-front of us! Everyone on the bow was soaked with whale breath! It was an absolute snarge-fest! (Snarge is a whale watch word for whale breath).

When the 3 adults were down, they must have communicated with some of the other whales in the area because this massive, close-to-boat surfacing included 7 whales! (Milkweed and calf, Perseid and calf, Tear, Piano and Snare). In the midst of all the excitement, one of the calves spyhopped (see picture at top)! It was an amazing day out on the water, with very lucky close looks!

— Annie G


Today aboard the Cetacea, Captain Jim gave us a spectacular whale watch! We went north of Stellwagen bank towards Thatcher’s Island off of Cape Ann.  We found several minkes in the area and had a fabulous viewing of a mola mola, or ocean sunfish.  I first spotted a blue shark and then 10 feet behind it we were amazed to find the sunfish!

Mola mola

It came right up to our boat and passengers were so enthralled with this abnormal species.  We then found Storm flipper slapping near the Hurricane II and fluking near our boat. About a mile away we traveled over to Tornado and calf fluking together. Tornado’s calf did an interesting snake behavior with its body, compelling Tornado to trumpet blow.


A finback whale came right across our bow as we were watching the mother calf pair. Several minkes stayed in the area and we were able to see at least 6 harbor seals swimming around us.  We had such wildlife diversity on today’s trip and there was always something to look at in any direction around the boat. Thanks to Captain Jim making the voyage to Cape Ann, we had a phenomenal day out on the water!

— Laura

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