The 11:00am trip with Captain Dave started the Cetacea’s whale watching season off with a splash! After scanning the horizon, we spotted a tall blow from a distance of about 3-4 miles. As we approached, we could see the whale make its way to the surface in a somewhat random fashion. A closer approach confirmed that we were coming up to a fin whale!
Upon photographing the markings and dorsal fin of this whale, we realized it was 16BP04, the same fin whale observed on the previous day as well as earlier in the season. The fin whale continued to swim in a somewhat erratic fashion, leaving us guessing as to where it would return to the surface after each dive.
After observing our friend 16BP04 for a while, we noticed another fin whale in the distance. We began to approach closer, however our initial fin whale remained close by and surfaced frequently, while the second spent more time beneath the depths. We decided to stay with our initial mysticete, who began swimming in semi-circular patterns, indicating feeding. As we began to wrap up our day on Stellwagen, bait began to bubble just yards away from the bow of the Cetacea, and suddenly the fin whale lunged upward in complete protest to the laws of gravity. We could see the ventral pleats fully expanded as the whale slowly submerged and circled around for more.
May we be graced with legions of lofty leviathans in the days to come!
— Laura L & Rich