Log for October 6, 2015

Hancock and Aerospace

After a week long drought of whales due to high seas, today we finally got back out to Stellwagen to find some whales! After the bout of weather such as we had over the last week, sometimes things can really stir up and change offshore. We tried our hand back the SW corner, and we were elated to find that there were still many whales in the area! In total we estimated about 18-20 humpbacks spread out amongst the SW corner.

Check out this big group

We spent our trip with three different groups, all appearing to be subsurface feeding and moving fast through the area. One of our first individuals we spotted was Putter, a male humpback who recently loss part of his dorsal likely from a “rowdy” group of males competing for females in the breeding ground. He was traveling today with Bounce, who surprised us with a tail breach and a few tail flicks early in the trip (see photo). Hanging nearby but not associated was Zeppelin, who appeared to travel nearby most of our whales today.

Bounce does a tail flick

We also then spotted a group of five humpbacks that consisted of Aerospace, Jupiter, Wizard’s 2014 calf, and Hancock and her 2015 calf. It was great to see one of our favorite calves again, who didn’t disappoint by occasionally swimming up to our boat, and even surprised us with a breach! This group was moving fast through the area, most likely scrambling to feed as much as they can before they head back south for the winter. 

A rainblow, courtesy Hancock and Aerospace

We ended our trip with all 8 humpbacks in various spots around our boat. Despite a little bit of swell, it was a crisp wonderful day to observe wildlife, as we also observed Northern Gannets, Great Shearwaters, and White-Winged Scoters.

Cheers to getting back on the water!

— Laura

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