Monday, June 15, 2015

Whale of a Day

Sunday was a gorgeous day, I spent did with around 100 other people on a whale watching boat (Plymouth Whale Watching), which leaves from the state pier with the Mayflower II is anchored.  The event is the twice a year, "Sea Bird & Whale Tales Excursion" sponsored By the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance.  As opposed to the normal four hour whale watch trip, this is scheduled as a nine hour trip.  There are guest naturalists, NEWAC interns, plus the people on board are interested in nature, bird watching and whales.  Also, the amount of participants is limited.  Therefore, instead of being packed on board like a standard will watch, there is plenty of opportunity to be able to observe and photograph without being crowded.

Today's blog is just going to describe a small portion of the trip.  Since there was enough for a few blogs.  It was a beautiful day with everything from a high overcast bright sunny skies, the seas were basically calm, except in the afternoon down off the side of Cape Cod, where there was more of a slight's swell.  The winds did keep things cool, but not uncomfortable.

After leaving the dock in Plymouth, we slowly made our way around Plymouth Long Beach identifying the birds that were observed.  We then traveled up Cape Cod Bay out into the Atlantic to the Southwest corner of Stellwagon Bank.  As we were coming into Stellwagon Bank in the distance.  We saw a whale watching boat along with two humpbacks that kept breaching.  Slowly moving into the area, we came up to one humpback flipper slapping which it kept up for a while.  Then this whale decided to take a dive, showing us it's tail and then after being down a few minutes, the humpback came up and breached right in front of us.  Lucky I was ready and watching and was able to capture the activity of the breach.  The humpback started flipper slapping again and then for the second time dove and everybody was hoping for another breach.  However, the humpback decided to fool us, swam under the boat and came up on the other side and started flipper slapping.
Humpback Whale - Megaptera novaeangliae flipper slapping

Humpback Whale - Megaptera novaeangliae flipper slapping

Humpback Whale - Megaptera novaeangliae dive

Humpback Whale - Megaptera novaeangliae breach

Humpback Whale - Megaptera novaeangliae flipper slapping and you can see the humpbacks eye


Throughout the day we had other encounters with whales in activity and identified all four of the shearwaters, Northern fulmar, parasitic Jaeger and juveniles northern gannets.

Stay tuned for more of this adventure on future blogs.  The second Sunday in September will be the Fall Seabird & Whales Tales Excursion .  More information can be had at http://www.necwa.org/