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Naturalists Notes
Naturalists Notes 5-25-18

May 25, 2018

10:00 AM - Cetacea

Hi all, What a great day on the water! The Cetacea searched far and wide in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to find whales today, and we were rewarded for our efforts with wonderful looks at five to eight humpback whales feeding in the southwest corner.

We identified Springboard, Falcon, and Canopy who alternated between creating bubble clouds, kick feeding and taking fluking dives. Our passengers were also wowed by a variety of surface active behaviors, including a flipper slapping humpback. A majority of our passengers were part of a school group, which focused on aquaculture and studying fish species. They were greatly appreciative to be able to integrate their school work with what happens in the field!

What an absolutely lovely day! Chelsi N.


10:00 AM - Asteria

What an adventure today was. We boarded the Asteria and headed out to the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank. We first came to find two humpback whales- one large, one tiny. As mom (Spoon, who is known in the whale watch world for being a sleepy whale) napped her calf made close approaches and swam around and under the boat. We really enjoyed watching this little one as much as it seemed to be curious in us.

We continued on and found a group of humpbacks scattered out over a wide plane, kick feeding and darting back and forth between schools of fish. I was just looking back up to the water after answering the question of someone next to me when we witnessed a perfect full body spinning breach! What a marvelous sight to see. A whale sudden emerged just feet away and began kicking and I wasn’t surprised at all to see that it was Sundown. The whale later moved on to feed with Mayo, Dome, and Orbit.

As if the action wasn’t hot enough, Canopy and Falcon double breached in complete synchronicity! We were then treated to one more breach and some sporadic flipper slapping. Lollipop, Mend, Etch-a-Sketch, Trimmer, 17BH06, and Mira joined in one the feeding frenzy and we headed home satisfied with another day.

As we commence the hectic summer season I’d like to take a moment to thank and acknowledge our team of naturalists. Each and every individual brings so much talent and passion and are truly great individuals. We support each other, problem solve together, and I genuinely feel so lucky to be a part of this tight knit, remarkable team. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Laura L. and Eman


12:00 PM

Aluminum hull proved not a cage

For enchantment by Atlantic mage,

For southwest Stellwagen cast a spell

Of humpback spirits not easily to quell.

From Poseidon’s cupboard rose a steed,

A midnight mare charging without heed.

This Humpback whale galloped as if island,

Revealing her namesake with fluke’s bend.

A lass named Springboard from below

Cast canopy breath of dewy blow

And along horizon’s limb there perched

A forest of humpback vapor scorched.

A fleet of Atlantic White-sided dolphin,

20 melons of adult and kin,

Did impart a glimpse as our final act.

And this trip we hope to soon enact.

Periscope Down, Rich W D


12:00 PM - Aurora

Happy Friday! Today we had a feeding frenzy out on the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank, complete with 10-12 humpbacks and one lunging sei whale. Most of the humpbacks were subsurface feeding, but every so often we were surprised at the surface with a quick and powerful lunge! Throughout the trip we spotted Dross and her new calf, Tripod feeding with Cacophony, Shuttle and her new calf with Badge, and Nine. Overall it was a fun and exciting day to be out on the water.

Sincerely, Kelsey