Log for June 3, 2015

This morning on our 9am whale watch aboard the Cetacea, we faced a serious swell, remnants of the storm that just passed through. Captain Bill and all passengers on board championed these sea conditions as we cruised slowly and carefully up to an area known as the dumping grounds and back down to the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank. 

Unknown humpback

There on the corner we found a humpback whale that we were unable to readily identify (see fluke photo). This whale was taking relatively long dives, lifting its fluke high up out of the air with each dive. It began slowly traveling south before we had to make our way back to Boston.

Northern fulmar

We also spotted a fin whale nearby along with a couple other unknown mysticetes. Bird activity was minimal but I was ecstatic to, for the first time, sea a northern fulmar, a tube-nosed bird related to albatrosses and shearwaters (see photo). We only had a brief look of this bird before it flew away!

Tasia Blough


The 2pm whale watch aboard the Cetacea brought our scientific minds into the wild Atlantic waters of the Southwest Corner. Captain Bill was enthusiastic in his search for megafauna, and he laid claim to an elusive finback whale as the first sighting of the afternoon. 

This turbulent titan partook in 4 minute dives of great distance, leaving us only with sparse photos that cannot summate the impressive velocities such a species can reach. We soon grew restless in the mysticete marathon and opted to examine some blows further east across heavy seas.

We soon happened upon two humpback whales who were diving as a pair.  The smaller of two beasts revealed a fluke pattern recognized from the morning trip on the Cetacea, but unknown to us in the last season. A third humpback in the area stirred excitement in my belly, as my last sighting of this curious character was nearly a month ago. 

This chap has a dorsal fin that is unique for its scars, as the spacing and characteristics of the dentition marks suggests predation by orcas! 

The rough seas of Stellwagen Bank only spared few secrets today. We will return again to gander at this battle-scarred humpback and its cetacean neighbors, in hopes of unfurling many a unique tale.

— Rich

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