August 5th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

On yesterdays trip we were surrounded by whales, sharks and sea birds!! It was just amazing!  Captain Jonny decided to head toward the back side of Cape Cod instead of heading to Stellwagen Bank. On the back side we reached an area loaded with bait and whales. There were patches of bait jumping all over the place. We watched as the fish breached through the surface as predators underneath pushed them to the surface. As the fish jumped we were able to identify the fish as herring.

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As we sat and drifted we could look in any direction and see whales surfacing – minke whales and finback whales on both sides.

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While watching these finbacks and minkes all of a sudden a humpback whale surfaced. We were taken by surprise because we didn’t think we had a third species in the area. Humpbacks are the species that we LOVE to watch!  This whale took a few breaths and then arched its back and lifted its fluke (heading down for a dive).

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This was a very black tail and we still have not identified this animal.  A good 15 minutes passed while watching the finbacks and minkes and the humpback whale never surfaced, so we pushed out of the area to search for more whales. As we were leaving the area the humpback surfaced behind us and then dove back down. We continued to push on and scan the horizon for whales. While searching we came across countless wilson’s storm petrels along with sooty, great and Cory’s shearwaters. Sitting under a patch of wilson’s storm petrels we found a blue shark! This animal was not frighted by us so as we drifted into the vicinity the shark stayed on the surface and ended up right next to our boat.

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After moving on we found more blue sharks and then all of a sudden we spotted a bigger dorsal fin cutting through the water. This was a basking shark! The shark was swimming just bellow the ocean surface feeding on plankton. As we came into the area we were able to look down into the water and see the animal’s whole body since the water was so calm.

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While watching this basking shark a humpback whale surfaced on our right side. We were again taken by surprise! This humpback surfaced and took a few breaths and then headed down for a dive – meanwhile lifting its fluke so that we could see the underside of the tail.  We later identified this humpback as Palette!

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We stayed in this location for the rest of the trip and while here the humpback surfaced after a 6 minute and 8 minute dive. At one point we had the humpback surface on our right side and then a second humpback whale popped up right next to it. This REALLY took us by surprise!!

Off in the distance we even spotted two more humpback whales come to the surface. BUT these humpbacks that were closer to us were just amazing – to have them so close (and by their chose) was great; you could see and sense the true size of these endangered whales.

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These humpbacks dove back down and we waited for them to resurface. The next time only one of the humpbacks surfaced (the original one we were watching - Palette).  Palette gave us a few more amazing looks since she kept surfacing so close to us.

On our way home we passed lots of finback and minke whales and even a pair of humpbacks – and our captain was nice enough to let us take a look.  All in all, we had a VERY eventful day out on the water, with all three species.

** Please check out our Facebook account @ Plymouth & Provincetown Whale Watching **

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