Log for May 30, 2015

Today on board the Aurora with Captain Earl for the 11 a.m. trip we headed to the Southwest corner where we almost immediately encountered a very surface active group of humpbacks. What initially looked like three whales turned into five! 

These whales were displaying lots of close to boat behavior and were, for the most part, consistently making fluking dives though a few out of the group were consistently making non-fluking dives. This group also included a very active calf who turned out to be Owl’s 2015 calf. In addition to Owl and her calf we were able to identify Tornado as a member of this group. Unfortunately, the other two whales were not fluking in our direction, or at all, so we were unable to identify these individuals.

We also had another sizable group in the area that was first being watched by the Whale Watcher. When this vessel left the area we made our way over to this other group. Like the first group, this one was deceptively large and ended up including at least five whales. This group also included a very active calf who breached multiple times. This calf turned out to be Jabiru’s 2015 calf. In addition to Jabiru and her calf were Nile, Perseid, and an unknown whale who we now readily recognize in the field as he/she has been seen so much. We also had two seals visit the Aurora but were unable to get a positive species identification.

On the 3 p.m. trip we again headed out to the Southwest corner but the weather had gotten a bit windier! This not only made it a challenge to spot whales (though luckily we were successful!) but taking photos and staying close to the whales was a bit tougher as well! We initially encountered a mom and calf pair who unfortunately didn’t fluke. This pair wasn’t spending too much time at the surface so we moved on to another group that was in the area.

This second group contained at least six whales who were constantly changing directions, sides of the boat, and associations. It seemed like they were definitely part of one large group! Included in this group was Owl, her calf, and Nile. The rest of the whales were fluking away from the boat, or not at all. However, this entire group displayed a large amount of close to the boat behavior and gave passengers a great view! Owls’ calf also spent much of its time close to the boat and spent much more time on the surface than the adults. We also had another seal visitor!

All in all, a great day out on the bank!

— Annie W, Jess, and Ann

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