April 28, 2016

Since my first whale watch in March, I have been waiting in anticipation of the feeding frenzy we often observe in the cool, early months of spring. Such feeding frenzies are typically characterized by large bubble nets, throngs of humpbacks, multiple whale species, and hundreds of birds. 

Atlantic white-sided dolphin porpoising

As Captain Dave and I cruised into the speed restriction zone, the bank slowly began to liven up. Looking out on the horizon, our spirits were soon lifted as a long line of blows appeared in the distance. Despite our lack of speed, we successfully made it to what turned out to be an ocean oasis and, in no time, were surrounded by whales and dolphins! 

Close looks at dolphins

As we watched humpbacks emerge from the depths, mouths agape, fin whales and minke whales darted from group to group feasting on an unseen and mysterious food source (likely sand lance). Meanwhile, dolphins in every direction danced in and out of the water.

Mouth agape

A cloud of seabirds is a good indicator of whale feeding
Most of these humpbacks were solo kickfeeding between short bouts of group bubble net feeding. At one point, we identified at least 9 different groups of whales. Among these humpbacks, we recognized Putter, Fulcrum, Pleats, Fern, Shuffleboard, Rapier’s 2009 Calf (not yet named), Tornado (her calf likely nearby), and finally Echo and her current calf.

Our hunger for feeding whales was quenched and so was that of whales for food! I can’t wait to get back on the water to see what the coming days may bring!

— Tasia

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