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Naturalists Notes
Naturalists Notes 7-10-17

July 10, 2017

 

9:00 AM

Today we boarded the Cetacea for the 9am whale watch and jetted off to the southern portion of Stellwagen bank.  We were thankful to find our groupings of humpbacks hadn’t traveled too far over the past few days. Our first humpbacks consisted of two individuals, Bristle and Pele. These two gave us beautiful flunking dives. Our attention was soon drawn to a larger group of humpbacks. This group was as made up of Mend, Venom, Hancock and her calf.  Captain Billy slowly turned to give this traveling group ample room to pass by. However, the calf changed course and popped up right at the bow, floated between the pulpits and then made a shallow dive. As I watched the starboard side of the boat to find the rest of the group, I looked down to see the that perfect shade of turquoise rising from below.  Not just the glow from one whale, but ALL four. These behemoth mammals emerged so close to our boat that everyone on board got drenched in whale breath. As we were trying to catch our own breath, these whales dove again. Next time they popped up they had a fifth with them! A good visual of how quickly these groups of whales can join and separate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until the next ocean adventure, Lorna and Becca 

 

10:00 AM

 

Greetings Land Dwellers and Sea Shellers, Today aboard the 10am whale excursion we joined the Sanctuary for an inquire along southern Stellwagen Bank, and were jovial upon arrival of ten Humpback whales monopolizing these Atlantic hunting grounds.  We were intrigued by the duo of Pele and Bristle, an association seen gallivanting last year at a similar point in the feeding season.  These leviathans crossed paths with a second association of Pivot and “15BH123”, a Humpback we first encountered in 2015 who has yet to matched to any official catalogue.  Pivot evacuated plumes of feces several times, which engulfed two complacent Gray seals who lulled in our boat wash.  The trip was concluded with the arrival of Venom, Crinkle, and the maternal pairing of Hancock and calf, who showered our bow riders with pungent exhalation whilst passing our pulpits!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Periscope Down, Rich Dolan & Sam Najarian

 

11:00 AM

We were all eager to head to the Southeast Corner today to take advantage of gorgeous seas and cloudless skies. Once we reached the corner, everyone on board the Asteria cheered as we saw multiple blows in the distance. As we slowly traveled closer, we came across two different groups of whales. One group of five whales were feeding together, fluking one after the other as they sank down into the depths to chase sand lance hiding at the bottom. This larger group included Hancock and her calf, Venom, Mend, and one unidentified whale. We were able to predict when the adults were about to pop up by watching where the calf would pop up first. The calf lazily swam close to the surface, sometimes blowing playful bubble clouds under the surface! We also had a pair of whales nearby of Bowline and another unidentified whale, both diving together as well. When the pair dove down, not a minute later the larger group resurfaced and vice versa. As we watched the whales, a kite fishing boat drove straight through the area where the group had just dove. It was a grave reminder to the threats the these marine giants face. Towards the end of the trip as we began to start heading towards Boston, the pair popped up right at our bow pulpits, blowing whale breath all over passengers! Simultaneously the group of five surfaced right off of our stern, creating a boat and whale sandwich!

Another wonderful day filled with whales. Until next time! Connie, Mackenzie & Sam L.

 

2:30 PM

Greetings Land Dwellers and Sea Shellers, We returned to Stellwagen Bank for the 230pm excursion aboard the Cetacea, and were victorious in finding leviathans south of midbank.   We reconvened with Pele and Bristle who had traveled northward amidst four minute dives.  These comrades, clad in cetacean rubber, were unconcerned with our intellectual gaze as they swam under our vessel for an abrupt southern heading.  They doubled back to the north in a rather theatric fashion, as Bristle breached from the seas in a thunderous exclaimation of vivacity!  We were honoured to spend our hours in such mountainous company, and we hope for future whiskered companions, be they whale or pinniped.

Periscope Down, Rich Dolan & Sam Najarian