On our 12pm trip aboard the Asteria, we went to the Southwest corner of Stellwagen bank and found numerous whales, as well as many recreational fishing boats. First we spent time with a pair of humpbacks; Tracer and Tornado. These two were taking some nice fluking dives, making it easy to ID them. Only moving about 1/2 a mile west we observed a group of 4 humpbacks!
It was Venom, Music, Aswan, and Calderas. We had some awesome looks at these four while they were at the surface between feeding sessions. Cassie, the intern on board, and I believed that there were 5-6 other humpbacks, 4 minkes, and 3 more fin whales in our general area.
I am not even sure how to begin yesterday's 5pm sightings. It was one of those trips one will never forget. As we left Central Wharf we got a glowing report about whale activity on the southeastern edge of the bank. We hurried as fast as we could out to Stellwagen. As we approached the spot where we spent our earlier trip, we started seeing whales.
We quickly stopped with Aswan and Music as lay logged at the surface. Logging whales? That wasn't what we heard from the report. So Captain Joe wisely made the decision of keep traveling east along the bank to see what more we could find. And wow, it was worth it!! As we traveled along we saw blows EVERYWHERE. Cassie and I counted blow after blow. There were 40+ humpbacks whales out there! And to top it all off, most of them were surface active!
We didn't know which individuals or groups to stop with first. Everyone on board was treated to repeated tail breaches, pectoral flipper slapping, breaches, and tail slapping.
We stopped with as many humpbacks as time allowed during our trip while enjoying a perfect summer sunset. Some of the IDs from the trip included Samovar, Glo, Reflection, Pitcher, Perseid, Pregunta, and Seal. We also watched 2 different mom/ calf pairs and are working on IDing them. All in all its was a FANTASTIC trip.
Big shout out to Captain Joe and the crew on board the Asteria for going above and beyond for us to have sightings like we did. We were welcomed back to Boston by the Queen Mary 2 and the Portugues Naval Ship, The Sagres, completely lit up awaiting a grand fireworks display over the city.
I hope we get more trips like this throughout the season.
— Hannah Pittore