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Naturalists Notes
Naturalists Notes 7-31-18

July 31, 2018

10:00 AM

Greetings Whale Town, The M/V Cetacea opened the morning of whale watching upon the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank, 37 miles into the heart of whale country.  We found ourselves in the company of Freckles, Samara, Mudskipper, and an unknown humpback whale who evaded identification.  These creatures did prove erratic in their random trajectories that did change between dives, but the leviathan Crisscross did dual flipper slap upon glass seas shattered by mammalian percussion.

Periscope Down, Rich W D


11:00 AM

The wildlife sightings started with some schooling fish at the dock and just west of the bank we watched a minke whale and 5-6 humpbacks. They crossed paths enough that we would often find ourselves watching one whale but being surprised by another. Etch-a-Sketch would surface fast amid her bubble clouds while Samara would snack while taking breaks from her nap. Mudskipper held a loose association and Freckles swam away from the area at the beginning of the trip only to return a half hour later. My favorite part of today’s trip was watching Etch-a-Sketch’s flippers flexing under the glass calm water. What a unique aspect to a great day!

Laura, Evie, and Sam


12:00 PM

Hello all, The Aurora had an impeccably smooth journey for our whale watch today. With glassy seas, we were able to see each ripple on the surface of the southern corner of Stellwagen Bank. Our trip began by watching several single whales in the area, including Freckles and Etch-a-Sketch. These whales were taking long dives, occasionally arching their backs only to never follow through and lift their tails .

With many boats in the area, we decided to make our way to a single humpback a bit further away from the other vessels. Mudskipper did not fluke for us either, but made this whale watch quite memorable! With the calm seas, we could see Mudskipper below, streaming water from the sides of her mouth right next to our boat. It was quite a sight! We were able to continue watching her by following the green of her flipper illuminated by phytoplankton. Another humpback was feeding in the same area as Mudskipper, but has evaded identification for now.

Chelsi N.


2:30 PM

Greetings Whale Town, The M/V Cetacea did embark again for waterworld, instead opting for an afternoon in the southwest reaches of Jeffrey’s Ledge, 34 miles from port.  Two miles from Gloucester’s coast our eyes encountered the Humpback whale Satula, marked with a creased back that seemed more a cowboy throne of saddle rather than dorsal fin.  This rotund rorqual did surface with great speed amidst lengthy submersions, but Pinball did attract our attention whilst navigating buoys and Harbor seals alike.

The immersion of adjacent whale habitats did diversify the findings of this day, and may the future impart encounters of equal gravity.

Periscope Down, Rich W D