Today aboard the Asteria we were brought onto the Northwest Corner under the charge of Captain Joe, and after a successful joust with some morning fog we saw seas awash with green bubbles. This emerald alchemy was evidence of cetaceans supping, and upon a cautious approach our passengers were seated at the banquet of humpbacks Shuffleboard and Hancock!
These mysticete maidens marauded for mighty meals of miniscule meat, massacring many a herring between short dives of 2-5 minutes. Under the heavy swells the clarity was exceptional, and we would watch curtains of bubbles rise from the depths prior to each feeding display!
|Rising with a mouthful of fish|
|Fish fly as the mouthful is filtered|
Despite feeding within several body lengths of each other, Hancock and Shuffleboard crafted their own bubblenets and did not travel or dive in synchronicity. Each humpback seemed to exercise her own perimeter, covering much ground while changing heading between dives. On each feeding display we were bewildered to watch the elasticity of their ventral pleats fully utilized, and we were dumfounded by the massive scale of these aquatic aliens.
|What a view!|
Arguable the most climactic moment arrived as a bubble ring surfaced within 100’ of our starboard pulpit, and we watched Hancock ascend from the epicenter toward the surface! We witnessed herring reach for safety beyond the familiarity of the sea, while their brethren bounced from and rolled off Hancock’s back! This dame defecated a dazzling nimbus of umber upon diving, and within a moment she surfaced boisterously off our bow as we remained idle. A final sighting on a speedy fin whale was attempted but our hearts were claimed by their smaller, slower counterparts.
I am so happy that the humpbacks are back on the bank! Today aboard the Cetacea on our 2pm whale watch, Captain Jim and his crew brought us to the Northwest Corner to find whales. We had received glowing reports from our two earlier trips, so we were all excited to get out there. Once arriving at Stellwagen Bank, we quickly found a single humpback. It was Hancock!
|Passengers got great looks at Hancock|
She was at the surface frequently, which was awesome for everyone aboard. She would surface with gusto, pleats expanded, rising from a ring a bubbles that she had just blown.
It was great to see bubble net feeding humpbacks again after a winter away from the feeding ground. Passengers loved seeing the green bubble rings appear at the surface and in turn know exactly where to point their cameras.
Overall, it was a great trip on Stellwagen watching Hancock fill her belly with fish!