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Naturalists Notes
Naturalists Notes 6-22-18

June 22, 2018

10:00 AM

Greetings Whale Town,

Asteria trekked to northwest

Brought us on clouds breathed from whale breast.

These plumes were cast by Shuffleboard,

Measles, and Hancock; maiden horde!

These queen did each construct a crown

Of emerald exhumed from down

Beneath the waves of Stellwagen

In bubble cloud of green flagon.

Each Humpback whale acted as self,

On short dives lived in fishy wealth.

Within a mile they did stew,

Coronas green in hunting brew.

Periscope Down, Rich W D & Bruna S


12:00 PM

We traveled aboard the Aurora to the heart of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary where we spotted a fast-disappearing fin whale before seeing Shuffleboard shortly thereafter. Within minutes of arriving to her dining area we witnessed a giant, fizzy bubble cloud followed by a powerful lunge, sending water and fish flying. She then displayed one round of kick feeding, but then started saying subsurface longer so we meandered over to Hancock. Now that passengers knew what to look for they excitedly began pointing when they spotted the tell-tale green in the water, however Hancock switched things up a bit and formed a bubble net. In a similar fashion as Shuffleboard, she lunged upward rapidly.

I’ve noticed that whales sometimes switch up their feeding and do not perform the same actions over and over again- for example with each of these two whales I have seen them feed cooperatively and surface more slowly than what we were seeing today. It appeared that they were foraging on herring this afternoon, which we could see against the bright green water, so it appears they need to move a bit quicker than if they were feeding on the slower moving sand lance. One of my favorite aspects of whale watching is the ability to observe these animals over time and notice patterns as well as changes in behavior. Is there anything that comes to mind when you think of a certain species or individual?

Laura L., Haley, and Medha


2:30 PM

Sanctuary made for midbank

Made afternoon’s gaze on calf rank,

For Dross swam east in solitude

Leaving us with her blubber brood.

Her calf did clap two flippers vast

And frothy spill this whale amassed

As it careened in breach and lob

To merriment of biped mob!

Whale blows were cast to seas southwest

And our resolve does stand refreshed.

More wanderers do return near

For future sightings we shall steer!

Periscope Down, Rich W D & Bruna S