Per usual, she was doing lots of bubble net feeding. Today, however, she gave us a special treat. Hancock very unexpectedly leapt clear out of the water with a spinning breach and an ENORMOUS splash! She followed this full breach with two sequential tail breaches which were unlike any I have ever seen! How Hancock was able to throw her tail (which is, of course, her mode of propulsion) so high out of the water is mind blowing!
|Profile of Hancock's mouth|
|Hancock bubble feeding|
As we cruised up to Hancock this afternoon on our 1:30pm whale watch, she again teased us with a full breach in the distance and left us wanting more! While she didn’t deliver on another breach, she did continue on bubble net feeding which is always exciting! She then started traveling south pretty quickly so we moved on to Mogul who was nearby.
Mogul was subsurface feeding with a single bubble cloud as he has been much of the past few weeks. We got some really great looks of him as he dove very near to the boat.
|A Cory's shearwater|
As Mogul repeatedly dove and surfaced for air, we watched a number of Cory’s, Sooty and Great Shearwaters circle the feeding area in search of sand lance. We also noticed a lot of Common terns as we passed Conley Terminal which isn’t anything new. I just happened to get a cool shot that I wanted to share (see photo)!
|A tern passes Conley Terminal in Boston Harbor|
On board the Asteria we headed southeast in search of whales. Early on in our trip we had a surprise sighting of a minke whale. We slowed down but were not able to get a good look. While searching for the minke we spotted a large blow in the distance. We travelled towards it and were lucky to find a finwhale!
|A speedy finback whale|
This finback was traveling quickly at the surface of the water. We stayed with this whale for a bit, but then decided to move on in search of something closer to the bank. We headed towards Provincetown but didn’t have any luck so we headed north.
|Hancock's mouthful of food|
After a while we finally found Hancock a female humpback whale! Throughout the trip, Hancock was consistently doing her signature bubble ring feeding. It was great when we were able to spot the bubble rings before the whale broke the surface with a mouthful of fish! Hancock fluked consistently and the passengers applauded in awe every time she went down on a dive.
We joked that Hancock must have really liked her audience this afternoon because she pooped quite a bit while we were watching her! Despite the brown defecation, it was a lovely sunny day out on the water today!
On the 12pm trip on board the Aurora we headed out to mid Bank, just south of the shipping lanes. We spotted two blows on the horizon and another sure sign of whales, a whale watch boat! As the other boat was leaving we approached the whale they had been watching.
|Hancock feeding again|
It was Hancock doing some great bubble rings which she would rise through showing off her baleen. Hancock seems to be doing a lot of feeding lately which enviably leads to lots of poop. Hancock pooped every time she surfaced and on a few occasions as she dove again.
|As we, naturalists, are always happy to point out, whale poop is amazing stuff!|
Mogul was also in the area and we got some great looks at this humpback as well. Mogul was probably doing some subsurface feeding using large bubble clouds to scare the fish into a bait ball.
A great day with these feeding giants.
— Tegan, Grace and Kirsten