2014 Sightings | October 19

We had a breachtastic whale watch out on Stellwagen Bank this morning! The seas were high and the ride was a little bumpy, but we spotted Thalassa and her calf immediately when this enormous mother jumped clear out of the water creating a powerful splash.

Thalassa erupts from the water

As we cruised on over to investigate, I warned passengers that, while breaching often occurs in bouts, it can often stop as soon as it begins. This duo, however, breached for about half an hour straight! It was as if these whales were one with the sea splashing up into the air with the waves. Palette, another humpback, joined in on this breachingfest right as it was passing our boat!


Thalassa breaching 

There must have been tons of bait in the water. Thousands of birds congregated in large masses feeding in all different areas of the bank. At this particular feeding frenzy, we saw hundreds of diving gannets, Cory’s and great shearwaters plus a flock of white-winged scoters that scattered as Palette breached amidst them.

Palette breaching away scoters

Palette helped these feeding birds out, forcing fish to the surface with a single bubble net. We then watched as Palette slowly filtered out the fish on the surface of the water. There were a number of additional whales spread throughout the area, but the sea conditions made it very difficult to ID or keep track of these others.

No such thing as too many breach pictures

The breaching activity we observed today was truly incredible. Seeing these majestic, 30-ton animals leap clear out of the water is an inspiring sight. Today’s whale watch is definitely one I will never forget!


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