Friday

Our 8:30 trip was just perfect when you talk about conditions to see and spend time with whales.  Morning trips are so quiet in the river and off shore.  Boat traffic is slow and conditions lately have been glass like.

We spent time with a familiar Minke whale, “Scar Minke”  this name has been given to this whale only by local whale watching vessels, sadly it does bare a large scar.  This whale was in 200 feet of water with bait at about 50 feet down in the water column, each breathe it exhaled all of us were witness to the 900 lbs of prey they take in each day!  Minke breathe is quite strong smelling, but when are you close enought to witness the  smell and also see them close by swimming freely is so calming,

Wew saw in total 6-8 minkes,keeping us on toes as we attemptred to get looks at all the specied we had todsy.  Almost out of time we found :Sedge”the male  humpnack whale  he was hungry searchinh for food even.

Our afternoon trip we continurd t see several minkes , and finding Sedge once again, freeding and also sowing evidencemog feeding,  We did see s vary largr Blue Fin Tuna jump clear out of the water, and a MolaMola sataying very cloce by, we decieded to name  it Hailey.

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Thursday July 2

“Sedge”

Another wonderful day of watching whales in The Gulf of Maine.  It really is amazing how quickly reports change and of course where whales are located day to day, hour to hour.  Today we had “Sedge” the humpback whale all to our selves!  We weren’t certain how our looks would be like as he was down for any where from 4-6.5 minutes, come up take a few big breathe’s, show us his enormous tail and then down he went.  When he reapperared for air he had moved a bit away but as time passed he began to stay closer by and stay up longer, even popping up next to us as we watched him go right under the boat!

Whales will be were there tends to be large, and even small concentrations of food.  Some bait is on the bottom, some close to the surface, either way when it dries up they move along to find more.  Just 2 days ago “Sedge”  was 25 miles from his location today!  It’s all about large consumptions of food during the summer months.

During our travels today we did spot a very shy Minke whale who had plans for the day, and his plans did not include spending any time with us.

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“Sedge” the Humpback

It is a big holiday week end and we are running trips Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8:30 and again at 1:30.  Be certain to leave plenty of time, with so many folks in town for the holiday.  The weather looks great, not tot hot but always remember to dress in layers, the temp can drop 15-20 degrees.

Who or what will we see tomorrow/, Saturday?, and Sunday??  Join us and lets find out together.  Call now for a reservation.

See you soon!

Cheers!y

 

 

 

Saturday June 27 8:30 & 1:30 trips

Best day of watching whales so far this season!

Our morning trip was so peaceful, light breeze, not a lot of boat activity, and sea conditions we dream about.

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Our morning Minke enjoying a peaceful morning

 

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Our first Minke sighting was only 7 miles from shore which gave us plenty of time to talk about these “smaller”  whales who don’t always get a lot of attention.  As I have said before they are one of my favorite species.  They dart all around, pop up when you least expect it, and show there pointy heads when they come up, just love them!  In total we had 3 Minke whales, 2 of which were very cooperative, the 3rd sighting was traveling and we never got really close looks.

The afternoon trip could not have been more different!  Many folks ask “when is the best time to see whales?  The honest answer is I’ll let you know in October!  Today was a PERFECT example of how sightings change even in just a matter of hours!

Captain Chris decided to head to the same area we were on our morning trip, keeping fingers crossed we hoped to see our minkes again, but really hoped to see some there species too!  A great decision by our captain and calls from our other whale watching friends.

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Our first Fin whale of the day

The above fin whales dorsal fin is obviously not normal.  Many fin whales have nicks, scars, parts of the dorsal missing. Whales are are the top of the food chain and have a important role in the over all health of the marine environment.  Unfortunately they are highly vulnerable to human activities in the ocean.

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So happy to see a “baby” whale today!

It wasn’t just any “baby”  whale it was “Comet’s”  new 2015 calf!  “Comet” is a very familiar Finback whale.  She was first seen in 1997, making her about 18 years old.  This calf makes # 2 for Comet!  This new calf was so much fun to watch!  It would swim all around us, roll over, ever showing us its tail!  Not something we often see!

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The stark white belly of our baby fin whale, glowing green  against our plankton rich waters

 

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“Comet” and calf

Our amazing day ended with mom and calf in close contact with each other, heading off to only they know where!

Each day we leave the dock with passengers it allows us to collect data on our Gulf of Maine whales, share our data, which in turn becomes a very important tool to help protect and conserve these incredible marine mammals, with out all of you so much important information would not be collected!

On behalf of all the whales in the Gulf of Maine

WE THANK YOU!

Cheers!

Friday June 26 1:30

Whales today had traveled over 10 miles since yesterday making finding them a bit more difficult. As I always say patience pays off.  Our first whale was a very fast minke whale who only came up for 2 breathes, making  a lot of white water doing so then then disappearing below the surface.  We tried our best to wait but in the mean time a report came in about a fin whale mom/calf pairDSC_0258DSC_0165

Mom was keeping her calf under wraps and mostly out of sight, but mom was cooperating very nicely, just making circlers around us and the area.  At one point she was heading right at us on our starboard side giving us looks at her straight on!  Not a approach we see often, it sure to my breathe away!

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Each day brings new and exciting sightings, we never know what each day holds for us, no matter what its never a dull moment, where they will be, how many, how far we go?  its all part of the ride into a whales world.  It could be one whale or 20 they continue to capture my thoughts and my enthusiasm to do the best I can do to educate and pass on knowledge to keep all marine mammals safe and respected.

Thank you for joining us today!

Cheers!

Thursday June 25

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“Pinball” exhaling and enjoying the glass like conditions.

Mother nature has been on our side the last few days, with the exception of Tuesdays crazy weather!  Today conditions were near perfect.  Our first sighting of the day, the largest boney fish in the world, the Mola mola.

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Close to boat Mola mola.

Our next stop on our journey was another day with “Pinball”.  She is a beautiful 26 year old who has contributed to our North Atlantic population with 6 calves to date.  Her appetite has been ferocious!  Humpback whales in the North Atlantic fast during the winter months.  When they arrive in The Gulf of Maine it is a feeding frenzy!

 

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“Pinball” and her unique tail pattern

balloonDuring most of our whale watching trips, I would say daily we see some form of marine debris.  Marine debris is a HUGE problem in all the worlds oceans.  Being a part of WHALE SENSE we are committed to following guide lines set by NOAA in partnership with Whale Dolphin Conservation.  When conditions allow us to retrieve items from the ocean we do our best to do so (keeping crew and passengers save does come first.)  Today another mylar balloon very close by were “Pinball” was feeding!  Thankfully Captain Chris turned around and allowed Amy to get the balloon and string out of harms way!

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Some familiar faces onboard today, passengers from London and all other parts of the world spent the day with us to see the wonders of the open ocean.  Passengers buying a tickets to whale watch shows the importance of these animals, we no longer to we seek to hunt but to observe and to educate, teach conservation,and health status.  “Gulf of Maine whales are the most documented whales in the world”- (Regina-Asmutis-Silva WDC N. America Executive Director)

Thank you to everyone who joined us today,remember to pop those balloons and dispose of them properly!

Cheers!

Wednesday, June 24

Another exciting day on the water, after severe storms and even a tornado came through Newburyport on Tuesday, it gave way to today’s wonderful trip! The wind on land didn’t bother us much off shore.

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We heard of a lot of activity while on Jeffreys Ledge today but the star of the show was our humpback whale. When we approached we thought it may have been Sedge who we had spent our past few trips with, but one quick look at the tail and we knew it wasn’t. It turned out to be one of my personal favorite whales, Pinball!

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Pinball’s unique tail pattern, all the dots on her tail are her namesake

Pinball is a 26 year old female who we see every year on Jeffreys Ledge. She was very busy feeding under the surface while we spent time with her, blowing small bubble clouds and coming up to the surfacing while filtering gallons of seawater out the sides of her mouth.

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Pinball coming to the surface while filtering!

 

While watching Pinball we noticed a bunch of jellyfish in the water. There has been an excess of Lions Mane Jellyfish in our area lately, no one seems to be entirely sure why, but was definitely a cool sighting for us.

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Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

On our way home we spotted a blow but were unable to get good looks at the whale. Based on reports from other boats and the quick sighting we saw it may have been a rare sighting of a Sei whale! Overall, another beautiful day on the water and we were extremely happy to welcome Pinball back to the area this season!

Monday June 22

Happy Monday

What better way to begin  the week than with a cool breeze, partial clouds, minimal humidity, and “whale poop”  Strange as it may sound whale poop is KEY in phytoplankton growth in our oceans.  Its filled with nutrients from which we humans, fish, bird,  life depend.  Over 80 percent of the air we breathe is produced by phytoplankton.  Phytoplankton attracts zooplankton which in turn is fertilized by whale poop.  It is simply GREAT stuff.

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“Sedge” the humpback whale

Sedge has been in the area for several days now, feeding, circling his prey, lifting his gigantic tail, and being quite the gentleman allowing us to spend time with him during all of his activities.  Sedge wasn’t alone today, he had 3-4 minke whales darting around, making quite a bit of white water as they did so.

As each day passes the sightings are picking up, which we have been anxiously waiting for, their have been some very tough days earlier in the season.  Many factors contribute to sightings, it is not a short list but all I can say is THANK YOU to all the whales that have returned to our area, especially the ones who are sticking around.  The other big THANK YOU is to our passengers who continue to come out with us and understand its a very large ocean and whales can and will be just about any where. All of us at Newburyport Whale Watch appreciate your patience, returning with us, and mostly your understanding of the ups and downs of viewing wild animals in there natural habitats.

See you all again soon!

Cheers!

Saturday June 20 8:30 & 1:30 Depatures

 

Our 8:30 trip took us roughly 20-22 miles off shore. Our first sighting of the day was of a very shy humpback whale who only fluked (lifting its tale) twice and then disappeared into the depths. As waiting for about 20 minutes for its return, we then decided to continue on our journey.

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After getting a few tips from local fishing vessels we then found ourselves in the company of “Sedge” the humpback whale. He is a male who was first seen in 1988, he is approximately 27 years old. He was actively feeding and creating many bubble clouds and also showing evidence of lots of feeding…..whale poop!

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The unique pattern that gives Sedge his name

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Nice close looks at Sedge’s large head and his tubercles (bumps)

Sadly “Sedge” has a dorsal fin unlike other humpback whales.

IMG_3149Unfortunately whales in all parts of the world face threats, whaling (outside the U.S) boat strikes,

entanglements, acidification, rising water temperatures, and pollution, to only name a few.  “Sedge” despite his unusual dorsal fin seems to be doing very well, he was a hungry man today circling his prey and then exhaling below to drive them even closer together making for a very easy feeding.

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Our afternoon trip again was spent with “Sedge” but he wasn’t alone he had 4-5 minke whale friends in the area. Minke whales keep us on our toes.  They are so unpredictable! They pop up unexpectedly, constantly change direction, and even breach!  A very fun whale species to get to know whales friends all around. Humpback and Minke whales are two of my favorite species. Humpbacks for there curiosity, acrobatics (at times), and the data that has been collected about them and the fact they still spend time with us even after centuries of us almost depleting them.

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One of the many minke whales in the area

We are now running our full time summer schedule.  Monday through Thursday 10:00 am departure returning at 2:00.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 2 trips per day, 8:30 departure returning at 12:30 and 1:30 departure returning at 5:30.

A highlight of todays trip was fulfilling a wish of a passenger who received a whale watch ticket as a birthday/mothers day gift.  Her wish was to see whales and check it off her bucket list.  Happily we were able to make that wish a reality, thank you “Sedge” and your minke whale friends.

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This minke whale’s very distinctive scar allows us to identify it easily, we’ve already seen this particular whale many times this season.

Many thanks and appreciation to ALL who joined us today.  We do hope you enjoyed your time with us today and we look forward to seeing you all again on a future trip!

Cheers

 

Friday June 19

Today was the picture perfect weather day on the water!  A light breeze and temps in the high 70′s, chance of rain 0!  Days like today are perfect for whale watching.  After leaving the river and heading into The Gulf of Maine the water continued to flatten out, with no other boats in sight it was like having the whole ocean to ourselves.

As many of you may know finding whales in a huge body of water isn’t always easy, unfortunately there are no electronics we can simply turn on and “BAM” whales are every where.  We rely on communication with other whale watching vessels, fishing boats, even the occasional pleasure boater will contact us with a sighting.  Other than that we have eyes wide open scanning all around looking for any type of disturbance on the surface.

In the past few trips the number of whales are picking up, today we had 4, maybe 5 Minke whales.  A big increase from prior weeks.  Most of time was spent in about 250 feet of water with “spots” of bait around.  Our Minke whales were quite cooperative, even though they darted all around, changed direction, picked up speed, slowed down, we were thrilled at the sightings and the number we saw today!

Today began our very busy summer schedule.  Monday through Thursday ONE trip at 10:00 am returning at 2:00, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday TWO trips, 8:30-12:30 and 1:30-5:30.

Many thanks to everyone who joined us today we hope you enjoyed the perfect conditions on the water today and one of my favorite whale species… the Minke whale!

Cheers

Patty

Wednesday, June 17

We finally had a slight hiccup in our run of perfect whale watching weather. Today’s trip started a bit breezy and bumpy but it did calm down for the end of the trip. We headed out in the direction of a few recently reported sightings and after a bit of searching we decided to make a turn south to an area no other boats had been recently and almost immediately our captain spotted a blow up ahead! We had found ourselves a fin whale! We hadn’t seen a fin whale in over a month so we were all very excited about it! This particular fin whale was definitely show us it’s ability to turn on a dime and pick up speed quickly!

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Felt like this was all we saw for the first several surfacings!

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Fin whale popped up right in front of us!

We’d be following a trail of fluke prints, thinking the whale was right next to us, and then all of a sudden it would be 100 yards ahead of us! This whale was most likely feeding under the surface, and we did travel with it a bit and noticed it was following the edge of Jeffreys Ledge. It took us a while to really get some decent looks at our fin whale and as we were trying to catch up to it we started suspecting there being a second fin whale in the area. But once we got a photo we realized it was a fin whale we know very well… it was Ladder!

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We finally got a look at the “ladder scar” that gave this whale it’s nickname

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Close encounter with a large whale! Great look at the white lower right jaw!

We unfortunately never got photos of the second fin whale but we also believe there were at least two minke whales in the area as well. It was definitely an exciting day on Jeffreys Ledge complete with a few close appearances by both our fin whales and minke whales, and we even spotted some tuna jumping on our ride home!