Newburyport Whale Watch

We See Whales!

Get Adobe Flash player

Thursday July 31

Perfect day for watching whales.  We headed south today to see what humpback whales may be around and we found 2 friends together once again “Hippacampus” and “North Star”.  Though we haven’t gone south everyday, these 2 whales we have seen together since July 25.


“Hippacampus” a 5 year old humpback whale


Our 2 friends swimming along side of each other


Pectoral flipper



“North Star” with terrible wounds, very sad!


North Star seems to be fine with the above wound but we simply never know what is going on internally.  Could there be damage to  bones, or organs?  It was very interesting when I mentioned to our passengers that these two have been together for days that many asked if Hippacampus was staying close by North Star to protect or keep an eye on North Star?  I only wish I had the answer.


“Hippacampus” tail breaching


“Hippacampus” just being a very cool whale

 On our trip home we stopped quickly on a fin whale just miles from the beach, unfortunately we were running late but we did get a couple of “quick” looks at the second largest whale in the world

 Wonderful passengers today with great enthusiasm for our gentle giants, especially a woman who adopted “Midnight” several years ago and I was happy to update her on Midnight’s life.  She had her eleventh calf this past winter and is doing just great!

Thank you to everyone who joined us today on another day of great conditions and of course great whales!



Wednesday, July 30

Some unexpected fog made today’s trip a bit challenging. Patience was the name of the game, and our lovely passengers were just that. As soon as we left the Merrimack River we were socked in thick fog. We had a report of a whale from another whale watching boat before the fog rolled in. We headed to that area but in fog so thick that we’d almost lose sight of the pulpit chances of finding a whale seemed slim. After a lot of driving through the fog hoping something would pop up near by, we found a clearing. And shortly after being in the clearing we found a fin whale! After a few distant looks at the fin whale, it led us right back into the fog.  A few times we heard it exhale but couldn’t see it through the fog. After losing that fin whale, and spirits being down we went back to the clearing and things turned around completely.. we found 3 more fin whales!


What the foggy morning half of our trip looked like as our first fin whale lead us straight into thick fog.



Close looks at a passing fin whale


We easily recognized two of our fin whales. We had Dingle and Fjord, two regular visitors to the area! One of our whales even gave us some awesome looks as it decided to swim right across our bow as we stayed put. Many of our passengers got a great look at Fjord’s unique dorsal fin!


Fjord’s dorsal fin


Dingle’s unique dorsal fin, notice the small bump on the dorsal giving this whale it’s name


Fin whales are huge!!

Going from a morning of solid fog and little hope, to an afternoon with at least 4 different fin whales is always a great day and just goes to show how unpredictable both the weather and whales can be. And thanks to our all passengers who kept smiles on their faces and helped us immensely in spotting whales in the fog!

Tuesday July 29

It’s hard to believe August is just a few days away, summer in flying by, its been a great summer both weather and whale wise.  Today was a picture perfect day on the water.  Cool breezes, calm sea’s and once again whales close to Newburyport.


Fin whale exhale with Cape Ann in the back ground


Dorsal fin and massive length of a fin whale


One of our other boats fishing and whale watching with us today. 


Our fin whales have spent a lot of time the last few days in this same general area.  At one point we were only in 100 feet of water and fin whales can be 70 feet!!  They would take sometimes 2 breathes then arch but then pop back up again close by.  At other times they stayed down longer and took up to 5 breathes!  Captain Ryan was maneuvering the boat in all directions today.


Brighter side of our fin whale, the right side.



Dorsal fin can be up to 2 feet tall!

The forecast looks great for the week ahead, make your reservations now to see our beautiful whales and also enjoy downtown Newburyport during our Yankee Homecoming festivities, the best of both worlds!

See you soon!



Sunday, July 27

Had a FIN-tastic day of whale watching today spending lot of time with our fin whales that have been hanging around close to shore the past couple weeks. We’re so lucky the fin whales have been more consistent than our humpback whales and being so close to the beach means we get to spend ample time with them!

In the morning trip we spent time with 3 different fin whales and also got some great looks at a minke whale that decided to hang around while we waited for our fin whale to resurface. We were able to ID two of these fin whales that visit the area year after year as Comet and Fjord. We may have gotten a little wet as we drove through a bit of rain on the ride home but other than that it was a nice morning of whale watching.


One of the morning’s fin whales


Minke whale!


Fjord the fin whale


Comet the fin whale leading us towards the Isles of Shoals

The afternoon trip was similar to the morning trip, we headed back to the same area and found our fin whales once again. A little bit more rain and wind didn’t deter us from finding our fin whales. We found Comet once again as well as another whale that’s know by a couple different nicknames Flower or Patches but doesn’t have an official name. This whale was given these nicknames because of a small patch on the right side of it’s body. Comet is named for large white scars on the right side of it’s peduncle. Unfortunately this afternoon we always only managed to see the left sides of these whales, never seeing the reasons for their names but was able to identify them by their unique dorsal fins. In total we had about 4 or 5 fin whales throughout the afternoon.


Comet the fin whale and her “fake out” dive, always looking like she would raise her tail


The huge long body of a fin whale

And just so you all don’t think I was crazy today with a few of our quick sightings today here are some pictures. We quickly passed by a small jellyfish and I managed to spot a very small single Harbor Porpoise, these small toothed whales usually travel in groups, this one could have been lost or it’s group could have been nearby but the sea conditions made it very difficult to see more than the few quick sightings in between waves.




Harbor Porpoise








Special thanks for all of our passengers who didn’t complain about the rain showers and especially to our hearty afternoon folks who not only willing came onto the boat when it was already raining but remained outside the whole trip and enjoyed themselves despite the rain showers and building seas! It’s thanks to you all that we get to go spend time with these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat!








Saturday July 26 AM&PM trips

Two very different trips yesterday and lots of different species also.  Everyday can be so different.  Our morning trip kept us close to home whales only miles off the beach.  Photo’s from our am trip.


Fin whale


Blow holes and a huge exhale










Fin whale “Chevron


“Dingle” the fin whale

In total on our AM trip we had 3 separate pods of Harbor Porpoise, being shy as usual.  One Minke whale busy below feeding, and 3 Fin whales, “Dingle”  was still around staying close by.  We think Dingle is a male just based on the fact we have never seen this whale with a calf.

Our PM trip was all about Humpback whales.  Our first whales of the day were “North Star” with its friend “Hippacampus” both young whales who we also saw together on Friday.  We had a total of 7 Humpbacks whales and we spent time with 6 of them.  After leaving our young friends we came across “Nile” and her new calf, and “Perseid” with her 3rd calf.  Our mom’s were busy feeding below, like young children they get bored waiting and AT TIMES they need some excitement, so what do they do?  They BREACH!


Baby whale “belly-up breach”DSC_9669DSC_9641


Check out the eye of this baby whale just in front of the pectoral flipper!

Its wonderful to be able to see so many species in just one day, The Gulf of Maine brings us so many marine species from large to small, how lucky are we!!

Thank you to all of our new and past passengers, its so nice to see folks return year after year.





Friday July 25 AM & PM trips

Beautiful conditions on the water today, cool breezes, and of course very cool, mellow, and relaxed whales.  Each of our trips today had whales that were relaxed, by taking a few cat naps and staying close by. No matter what species we see or what they display, as far as behavior, how fortunate are we that we live in an area where whales return to year after year.


Humpback whale heading toward us


Humpback whale “fluke”


“Northstar” a humpback sighted in 2008 who sadly has had in interaction with human activity



“Hippocampus” born in 2009

The Humpback whales are still far from Newburyport. Although the whales can be distant, we are dedicated to travel to them as long as they are within a reasonable distance.  At Newburyport Whale Watch, we will do our best to show you as many species of whales we can within  in our time frame.  No matter what species we see or what they display, spending time with whales in their natural habitat will leave anyone ecstatic! It goes without saying that a time with Newburyport Whale Watch will leave you speechless, and looking forward to another whale watch.


Thursday July 24

We stayed close to home on todays trip, our whales from days past have decided to disappear on us, which they do from time to time.  Fin whales were the species of the day, 4 in total, 2 Minke whales, small group of Harbor Porpoise, and a baby Harbor seal born just a couple of months ago came by to say hello.


Harbor Porpoise



Harbor Porpoise, very small toothed whales

I am actually surprised to get the above photo’s as these little whales are quite shy and stay away from boats, we got lucky today!  Porpoise max out at about 6 ft and weigh 200 lbs, the majority are much smaller at 5ft and 130 lbs.  They like to feed on herring, cod, pollack, squid, and sardines.  They consume 10percent of there body weight each day, 13 lbs.  Calves are 27-31 inches long at birth and weigh 14-22 lbs



One of our 4 Fin whales


Huge Fin whale only 4 miles from the beach





“Close to boat” approach

I a;ways say to passengers be sure to be looking all around at all times we simply never know where or when they will pop up and today was a perfect example of just that!

Many thanks  to all who joined us today, please come back and see us again.



Wednesday July 23

It was all about calves today, and once again our whales moved more south since yesterday, making the ride longer but so worth it!


Milkweed’s 2014 calf doing a chin breach


Milkweed’s 2014 calf who has been so playful, check out the calves eye!



Milkweed’s calf doing a spinning head breach right in front of the boat!



Milkweed and calf – who’s mouth is wide open!


Perseid and her 2014 calf, makes a total of three for this mom.


Once again we do need to travel a long distance to spend time with humpback whales, is the ride worth it?  Absolutely!  Special thanks to one of the best whale identifiers I know, Amy who is our other naturalist on The Captains Lady III that I have the pleasure of working with everyday and who is gifted at identifying whales!  Thank you to Jenn our resident photographer who is producing amazing CD’s on our trips so our passengers can relax and not worry about taking photo’s,  you can simply relax and enjoy and leave the photo’s to us!.  Jenn is also identifying a lot of whales for us too!  We knew we could turn her into a “whale head” welcome to the club!

We had a wonderful group of folks onboard today, especially our family from Ohio who Captain Chris invited to the wheel house where he could talk all about our beautiful vessel, The Captain’s Lady III.

Many thanks to everyone that joined us today, we look forward to seeing you again!





Tuesday July 22

As a naturalist you do a lot of talking and anyone who knows me knows  I love to talk, especially about whales! But I’m feeling like a broken record saying how wonderful, amazing, incredible our trips have been but honestly they have been!  I’ll let the photo’s tell the story!



Huge humpback, talk about a close look!


Open mouth feeding



Humpback whale filtering


Open blow holesDSC_9461

Our sighting today included Nile and calf, Milkweed and calf, Bayou, Pepper, Perseid and calf, Cajun, Aerospace, Pele, and one we are still working on for ID.

ID UPDATE: The last whale to ID was named Eruption. We also saw Canopy and calf at a distance.

Most Humpback whale sighting are south which means its a longer ride and we may hit the dock late, be sure you have some flexibility with time when you make your reservation.  Whales are always on the move, we never know where they will be day to day, even hour to hour.

Many thanks to everyone who joined us today, it was another heart pounding, breath taking day, thank you to Captain Chris who once again took us to all of those wonderful whales.






Monday, July 21

Today’s trip was an extended whale watch with intentions to not only spend more time with whales but also try and see some fun sea birds throughout the day. Unfortunately we ended up looking at fog more than anything and also heard more whales than saw them. We were not expecting the fog offshore though we were lucky that a whale watching boat from the New England Aquarium had already found the whales, so we knew where to head. When we first arrived there were lots of humpbacks whales, the same group of whales we’ve been seeing the past few trips. We were able to spend a good amount of time with this group of whales, occasionally seeing a few others at the edge of the fog. We even had a couple moms with their calves, the calves being very active. The calves were tail breaching, lob tailing, rolling over, flipper slapping  and even a few full breaches as moms were busy feeding under the surface.


So many whales in such a small area!


One of our favorite humpback whales Nile (for the black line on the left fluke) who is a mom this year!


The “smudgy” underside of this calf’s tail as it throws it’s tail around


Playful calf rolling over with it’s belly up!



The unique pattern of Cajun’s tail

After a great show all of a sudden the whales all went down on deeper dives, as they had been but then 15 minutes went by and we realized they were gone. With only about 300 feet of visibility the whales didn’t have to go far for us to lose them. Often times we could hear whales but couldn’t see them through the fog. After a bit of searching Captain Chris spotted them but they gave us the slip again after the next dive so we took the opportunity to head home. Just off the beach we broke out of the fog to a beautiful day.

We were able to identify many of our whales today: Nile and her 2014 calf, Milkweed and her 2014 calf, Perseid and her 2014 calf, Cajun, Bayou, Draco, and Aerospace. Not too many bird sightings today but we did see a few Great Shearwaters and some Wilson Storm Petrels.

Leaving the boat for the day, I happened to turn around and notice the fog bank had moved in. May have not been the best weather day on the water but finding whales in the fog being next to impossible, we definitely lucked out. Cooperation between whale watches vessel is key!


Notice the fog bank in the background

1 2 3 6