Log for May 6, 2015

On today’s whale watch aboard the Aurora, we headed to the NW corner where all our whale action was yesterday. It was a beautiful bright day with calm seas to look for whales!

Swirly chevron pattern on its back

We when arrived near the corner, we first spotted the tall blow of a fin whale. We got some great looks of this whale’s chevron pattern (see photo), and while we were observing this whale, another fin whale was swimming nearby.


After spending time with these two fins, we decided to check around for some other activity, and ended up finding a pair of humpback whales. When the first whale of the pair fluked, I was delighted to see that is was Egret, a calf of one of my favorite whales from my whale watching days in Bar Harbor, Siphon. I hadn’t seen this whale since it was a calf, so it was great to see it again! (see photo of fluke). The second, larger whale that wasn’t fluking for us, but it was later ID’ed as Zeppelin. These two appeared to be working together to deep feed today, with Egret diving deeper in the water column while Zeppelin stayed more shallow.

Zeppelin going the bathroom

Zeppelin must have been feeding well lately, as she defecated several times at the surface during our trip (see photo of her lifting her fluke to aid in this action!). Compared to Egret, a whale born in 2007, you can definitely see the life-experiences this whale has had. Each time Zeppelin would surface, we could see the white scarring on her mouth, indicative of lots of time bottom feeding for sand lance (Zeppelin appears to be a “righty”). 

Egret's and Zeppelin's dorsal fins

Zeppelin's dorsal fin

Also Zeppelin bears a scar on her dorsal fin (see photo), which was disfigured by an entanglement in a gill net in 1995. Luckily she has still thrived since then (20 years later!). She is the mother of Milkweed, who’s calf we witnessed briefly get entangled last season on our whale watch. Definitely food for thought today when thinking about human impacts.

Laura Howes

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