August 8th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

On Friday we watched all three species of baleen whales! A day filled with minke, finback and humpback whales. We started the trip off with finback whales and minke whales off of Race Point and slightly to east and then we pushed on further down the back side of the Cape to search for more whales. We did a lot of searching for whales today but in the end it paid off!!

We started the trip off with the largest – which is finback whales. These animals reach a length of 80 feet and weight a max of 70 tons. We caught a quick look at a finback whale out in the distance at Race Point Beach as we passed by. After traveling further to the East we located more finback whales. We came into an area where we thought we had 1 finback but really ended up having 2 finbacks in the area. We watched one of the animals and this whale lunge fed right next to the boat. We got to see the whale glowing green in the water because the whale was traveling with us on our left. This meant we were looking at the right side of the animal which is white. Finbacks have an asymmetrical coloration (the right lower jaw is white and the left lower jaw is gray).

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After a while we moved on from this feeding finback whale to head further to the south heading down the backside of the Cape. After traveling a good distance we started to pick up on a few groups of birds and a minke whale here and there but these whales were not interested in staying on the surface for very long.

At the end of our trip our crew member, Ronnie, located humpbacks! And even better – it turned out to be a mother/calf pair - Nile and her 2014 calf. Nile is a regular in the area; she was first sighted in 1987 traveling by her mother Mar’s side. Nile is a humpback we saw as a calf (her first year of life) so we know that Nile is 27 years old. At age 11 Nile had her first documented calf.    ~  We felt extremely bless to be able to watch this new addition to the Atlantic population of humpback whales ~

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We made our way into the area and drifted to watch this pair. As we sat there Nile and her calf began to log or rest at the ocean surface. As we drifted with the wind and the waves we ended up getting closer and closer. At one time the calf was almost touching the starboard side of our vessel. Having Nile and her calf this close to us was a great opportunity for us to realize the actual size of these animals.

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Since the calf was so close to the vessel I asked all the passengers to start waving their arms from side to side in the air. As they did this Nile’s calf started to roll slightly and then dove and headed towards our bow to surface again. Nile and her calf then alternated to the left of our vessel to start logging again. Each time this mom and calf rested next to us, Nile kept her calf closer to us and Nile stayed on the outside – this gave us the feeling that Nile trusted us with her calf. After a few more minutes with this pair Nile arched her back and lifted her fluke; her calf fluked out only a few seconds afterwards.

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All in all, we had really great day on the back side of Cape Cod watching lots of different whales!

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