On yesterday’s whale watch aboard the Sanctuary, we had a fabulously calm day (especially for late October) offshore. We spotted our first sighting a bit west of the SW corner, which was a breaching humpback in the distance! As we slowly approached this whale, it then began to flipper slap continuously on its side, also rolling a few times.
|Jungle flipper slapping|
One of the hypotheses for flipper slapping/other surface activity is that is helps the whale remove whale lice/barnacles attached to them. By looking at this whale’s flipper, perhaps it was trying to knock off the large goose barnacle (see photo above). After all that activity, this humpback began to log at the surface. Our fall intern Kady was able to later ID this whale as Jungle, by just the tip of the fluke!
|Jungle creates a rainbow with its blow—it's a rainblow!|
We then moved onto a group in the distance, which turned out to be Diablo and calf, and Wyoming. This trio was traveling slowly and hanging below the surface to rest (and also not fluking much). This however did not stop the curiosity of Diablo’s calf, who came up to our boat and repeatedly swam under us the remainder of the trip, alternatively popping up each side of the boat!
|Diablo's curious calf|
|Curious whale, straight ahead!|
We got some of my favorite looks of the fall from this calf – and at one point it even popped up between the pulpits! (see photo). We also spotted a few harbor seals offshore, and combined with the calm seas it was a wonderful day.
|Diablo's calf at surface in gloriously calm seas|
On another note, I’m happy to share that our whale watching season has been extended to Nov. 8th. Excited for some November whale watching!