Naturalists Notes 6-25-18
June 25, 2018
For Jeffrey’s Ledge our engines yearned
Under grey swell and oceans churned
But on our plot we spied whale blow
Of Humpback whale, Diablo!
This rorqual sank into a dive,
A submerged path of minutes five,
And while heartbeats were heightened far,
We spied a spout of life on par.
Our second Humpback whale was Sedge,
Identified by dorsal edge.
Adorned with scar, this dame did rise;
Mammalian ascension’s prize!
On conclusion northward quest
A whale ascended from sea crest,
Complete with flipper and baleen,
A flighted Minke, seldom seen!
Like crashing cymbal and beat drum
This whale leapt from ocean kingdom
And for twelve breaches this lad flew,
Stirring the dreams of the mind’s brew!
Periscope Down, Rich W D
Hello All, Our 10:00 am whale watch aboard the Sanctuary braved the wind and rain, and had a magnificent time out on Stellwagen Bank! We traveled north to the area around Thatcher Island to search for whales. We found Spoon and her calf, who breached for us several times! These two may have been communicating with other whales in the area. We also spotted Gondolier, who chin breached for us repeatedly before we had to make our way back to Boston.
Today’s 11AM whale watch took us close to shore today- in fact, we were only two miles off Thacher Island with its twin lighthouses! The sea-worthy passengers who joined us today were treated to some great looks at two humpback whales, Scylla and another unidentified individual. Both whales were likely feeding deeper in the water column, but at one point Scylla did impress us with a single surface lunge amidst a small bubble cloud. Scylla also breached fully out of the water; something unfortunately none of our cameras were ready for! It was certainly a fun trip filled with observations of different behaviors, and we got to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Massachusetts’ north shore as we traveled back to Boston.
We departed a rainy Boston on the Aurora this afternoon for the 12 p.m. whale watch and made our way toward sunny Jeffery’s Ledge in search of whales. We happened upon Spoon and her calf, who were both lazily hanging about in the waves. As Spoon disappeared out of sight, her calf remained at the surface, occasionally tail breaching and rolling through the choppy seas. It was suddenly joined by a small nursery pod of Atlantic White Sided dolphins. At first these newcomers behaved like they normally do, traveling at fast speeds and just barely breaking the surface. Once they approached the calf though, they slowed down and began to mill about all around the calf. Adult and baby dolphins alike slowly swam around the calf, while the calf rolled about, enjoying the company of these smaller companions. Spoon lingered not too far beneath her calf, and we never lost sight of either of them due to their pectoral flippers glowing in the sunlight. After interacting with the dolphins for some time, both mom and baby slowly sunk beneath the surface and out of sight, leaving us with a few quizzical looking dolphins. We caught a brief glimpse of a minke whale before heading south toward another humpback whale, but were first met by a rather round harbor seal! This seal bobbed in the waves, and its’ coloration seemed a little different, leading me to believe it may have been a younger seal. We enjoyed this bonus sighting, but decided it was time to turn our attention to the humpback that was now just in front of us. This whale surfaced through a perfect bubble cloud several times, but never took a fluking dive, and thus its’ identity shall remain a mystery for now. After a few bubble clouds, it was time to head home, and so we turned west, now greeted by warm sunshine.
Flukes up! Ashlyn and Sam
Hello All, For our 2:30 pm trip, the rain had subsided. Upon returning to the same area we visited this morning, we spotted Sedge. Sedge gave us excellent looks at their unique dorsal! We then traveled to see Gondolier once more. In the afternoon, Gondolier traveled throughout the area and even fluked for us once!