Log for September 3, 2015

Today was a stunning day of whale watching. We headed out on the Sanctuary into flat calm seas and Captain Adam took us all the way to the southeast corner of Stellwagen Bank. Initially we spotted a single flipper slapping humpback whale who turned out to be Perseid, a common visitor to the area. 

We moved on when Perseid started to take long dives and found a pair of “lazy whales”. Just two humpback whales lazily swimming at the surface. It took a little while to identify these whales but I finally got enough pictures to identify Brine (a new sighting for me!) and Glo-Stick. 

We continued on where we found Rapier’s 09 calf also doing some lazy diving. This whale has a very distinct scar to its tail stock which aides in identification. Circling back on our original trackline put us in the perfect position to watch two fantastic groups: a pair of Venom and Mostaza, and a trio of Hancock and calf, and A-Plus. All together we got some awesome looks at these last two groups and spotted around 11 humpback whales and a 2-3 minke whales.

We headed to the same area in the afternoon and though we initially spotted a small group of humpback whales being watched by one of the Gloucester whale watches we decided to head a little farther south. We spotted a ton of small minke whales and also a huge number of sea birds and then we saw an ENORMOUS splash in the distance! Heading over (nearly the same spot at the earlier trip) we found the mother-load of humpback whales. 

To begin with there were several small groups of two or three individuals but one animal was breaching on every surfacing. This turned out to be Venom and she was the star of the show with breaches right next to the boat. 

I managed to capture just one though I was too slow with my camera for the most beautiful breach at the end of the trip. Venom remained with Mostaza for most of the trip but was also joined at different times by Jabiru and her calf and Owl and her calf. Many other groups of humpbacks seemed to be appearing out of the woodwork at all times and I think there must have been around 20 whales in this small area. It was another spectacular day of whale watching on Stellwagen Bank.

— Tegan

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