Our 12pm whale watch this afternoon was filled with excitement! Just north of the shipping lanes, we saw fin whales, minke whales and humpbacks! The first fin whale we came across was one of the largest whales I have ever seen! This behemoth surfaced right off of our bow on a dive return with a powerful exhalation that startled everyone on the bow!
|Big fin whale, big breath!|
The bulk of our attention was paid to a humpback named Shuffleboard who was using various bubble configurations to feed on bait beneath the water’s surface. A handful of times Shuffleboard even lunged through the bubble clouds, and we got to see her mouth overflowing with water as she filtered out the fish (see photo).
|Shuffleboard diving with an LNG tanker in the background|
Not surprising the week following Memorial Day, we came across a ton of balloons floating on the water today. Of the many types of marine debris and trash we see on the water, balloons are among the most harmful to sea life. We took the opportunity between Shuffleboard’s dives to pick up a nearby bundle of balloons (see photo) hopefully saving a sea turtle or two in the process!
|Retrieving balloon debris|