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Naturalists Notes
Naturalists Notes 11-24-17

November 24, 2017

12:00 PM

Hello Friends of Salt and Earth, The first of our final three days in the brine of Stellwagen Bank was celebrated on the northwest corner of a feeding ground vital to those of foot and flipper.  We were most fortunate to find incantations of vapor, spells cast forth by Wizard, a female Humpback whale of breeding age! She raised her fluke as it were a wand, displaying her ventral cloak of alabaster white.

This was the dame to our aluminum duke, sauntering in silence and once even encroaching complacently toward our vessel .  Our ears were attuned to the melodic chuffs of this mysticete maiden as she exhaled between dives of 5- 7 minutes.  We unburdened ourselves with the hazard of overstaying our welcome and headed towards the south to permit her solitude in the brisk emerald ceiling of the seas.

Our southern crawl was rewarded with the sighting of two Humpback whales.  The first of two icebergian giants was not seen again after a dive of 17 minutes.  The second Humpack whale revealed a fluke pattern known only to Decimal, seen for the first time this season!  We were gifted observations of this leviathan between dives of 7-8 minutes.  Elation was the theme of our return back to a harbor abundant in seals, buoyant for all to ponder.

Thus marks the end of my fourth season with the New England Aquarium Whale Watch.  My gratitude to our peers cannot be quantified in electric script, but I bestow thanks to our comrades at the Center For Coastal Studies and the NOAA Sanctuary in Scituate, MA.  Further thanks are due to the captains, management, and crew of Boston Harbor Cruises.  I am also grateful to our interns and naturalists for their diligence in engaging passengers in dialog of conservation.  May I cruise with thee again for further seasons of a yet to be told future.

Periscope Down, Richard W Dolan