Whale Watch Log: June 14, 2016

Yesterday’s 12pm trip marked my first whale watch aboard the Aurora with Captain Jeff, and our trip was unreal!

Hungry hungry sei whale

It wasn't long after leaving the harbor that we began spotting huge patches of bait fish splashing around at the surface. We made our way to midbank, and we're seeing a few birds here and there but it took a bit to finally see a blow miles away to our south. All of a sudden, we found ourselves surrounded by shearwaters, Wilson's storm petrels, and gulls, and came upon a basking shark, minke whale, and a fin whale all at once!

We approached the fin whale, and suddenly it turned on its side, evidenced by a glance at the fluke breaking the surface. This whale zigged and zagged its way around the bank foraging for fish. At one point it surface just underneath the starboard bow, and I thought the day couldn't get better. Was I wrong!
Mouth agape, side lunging sei whale
Side lunge
Underside of the Sei whale's jaw
We had spotted a few other blows in the distance, and I noticed that one wasn't too far away. As I tried to figure out the species, I noticed it seemed to be bobbing up and down, almost looking like a giant seal. I had a feeling right away, and I called down to Captain Jeff to ask if we could check out what I was thinking was a sei whale. We approached and it broke the surface again, and then rolled over, mouth agape and baleen clearly visible, and I couldn't believe my eyes. I have been waiting years to see a sei whale, always missing them by a day or two!

Sei whale baleen
Sei whale swimming with mouth closed
After some phenomenal looks at this rare sight, we continued on to find another fin whale who was doing a bit of traveling, and 'ended' our trip with our humpback neighbor Shuffleboard. There was more! As I was walking through the cabin talking to passengers, the boat stopped suddenly and Jeff hopped on the speakers to alert passengers of a basking shark that breached three times! Most passengers had enough time to glimpse the fourth breach before we finally made it back to Boston.

— Laura

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