The morning trip aboard the Asteria with Captains Earl and Deb was an exercise in patience and understanding of the wild nature of our journeys to Stellwagen. Upon leaving the harbor, we found ourselves completely socked in by a thick bank of fog.
When the fog did not burn off during the afternoon, we remained positive and hopeful. The Sanctuary reported a fin whale only 17 miles out, with 7 miles of visibility, and we were thrilled. Upon reaching the location of this large animal, we found it completely elusive, likely taking long dives and swimming just beyond reach of our sight.
We continued on, and were teased by blue skies outlining the thick fog. After a bit of searching, luck, and communication with the Sanctuary, we were treated to sightings of our recent humpback friends, Hancock and Shuffleboard. With our visibility limited, we had to keep a keen eye out when resighting the two as they dove down between surfacings. They made it easy for us, coming up yards away from the boat for almost the entire trip!
Captain Earl held the Asteria in place so as not to disturb the meal these whales were enjoying. In addition to the great sightings, the energy level on this particular trip was unmatched by any other. The excitement was palpable and there were so many great questions and discussions. We had a school group on board, and the teachers told me that on this same trip two years ago, they along with their students at the time met Hancock, and were so happy to see her again. How cool is that?! It certainly goes to show how much of an impact these animals make on us.