Log for April 23, 2015

This morning we all boarded the Asteria for the morning’s whale watch without having a good idea of what the outcome would be. It has been very rough out on Massachusetts Bay this week and we haven’t had a whale watch since Sunday. Luckily for us, the seas where much more favorable and we made it out to the northwest corner and could see blows in every direction. A little rough weather definitely doesn’t scare the whales away!

Humpback logging at the surface

Friendly dolphin

We started our trip with a group of four humpback whales that were doing some kick feeding behavior but I quickly got sidetracked by a pair of fin whales. We’ve been seeing a lot of fin whales lately but what caught my interest in this pair was that one whale was much smaller than the other – it was a mother and calf! 

Fin whale mother and calf

We don’t see as many fin whale calves but they certainly come to this area just like our more commonly sighted humpback whales. We got good looks at about 8 humpback whales today but the whales where very reluctant to show us their tails and of all of those we only where able to identify one humpback: a whale named Blackbird who has a very distinct tail shape which actually looks like a bird taking flight!


Looking back at my sighting log, I don’t actually have Blackbird listed as a whale that I have ever seen before but I instantly knew which whale it was out on the water. This is exactly how our naming system should work and why we use actual names rather than numbers to name our whales. I would have never remembered this whale’s individual number but a name based on its tail markings is much easier. Apart from Blackbird we got some great looks at a curious humpback whales that spent some time diving beneath our bow and a group of three logging (sleeping) humpbacks. I am pretty certain that this last group contained a mother and calf but again we didn’t get looks at any flukes so we’ll have to keep our eyes open over the rest of the week.

— Tegan

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