July 2nd, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

Today we left the dock in Provincetown and ventured off into the sunny Harbor with high hopes of finding whales. The temperature was warm yet tolerable and the seas where mildly rough with wind.  Our captain headed North-West towards Stellwagen Bank. After only traveling for 50 minutes we saw blows off into the distance approximately 1 mile from our boat. We soon could tell at least one was a humpback, which we were all excited about. Our first whale soon “fluked out” as it began to take a deep dive. Patterns on the fluke allow us to identify humpback whales – this whale was identified at Measles.

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We consider Measles as a “friend” as we have been seeing her regularly since 2012, when she was first identified. We spent some time observing this animal in its natural habitat, but decided to look for the second animal as we do not want to spend too much time with one animal – don’t want to stress the animal out.

We soon saw a “blow” only a short distance away so we proceeded into that direction. It was another humpback!!  Upon approaching this whale we identified it as Hancock, another “Friend”. This sighting was even more exciting than the last as Hancock was feeding. We were able to see her blow a bubble cloud then lunge up to the surface with her mouth wide open.

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Again we observed this beautiful and large animal for quite some time, but wanted to give it space and moved on hoping for the opportunity to find another whale species.

As our allotted time on the water dwindled, we began to head back toward Provincetown, but we were able to get a quick glance at a finback , the second largest animal to ever be on earth! Heading back to shore, a bit wet and salty we all laughed and spoke of out favorite parts of the whale watch; I think Hancock’s lunge feeding stole the show:)

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July 1st, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

This afternoon we made our way out of Provincetown Harbor on a beautiful hazy summer day. The wind was coming out of the southwest 10-15 knots, which made the waters offshore rather choppy. As we were leaving Provincetown Harbor and traveling alongside Herring Cove, we spotted a large blow in the distance. We tracked the whale down and it turned out to be Loon, a finback whale identified by the ship strike scar on her back as well as her damaged dorsal fin. We got a few good looks at this animal before heading further offshore in pursuit of other species. We covered a lot of ground without luck before coming across another beautiful finback who allowed us to follow him/her for 20 minutes!

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We had to head back soon after but still had a great day on the water in spite of the chop.

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June 30th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

Today we left the dock with beautiful blue skies – a good 8 to 10 mile visibility. Once offshore our captain located our first animal. He spotted the blow up ahead of us – this animal turned out to be a finback whale. We spent a few minutes with this animal. We watched as the fin whale surfaced on our left and we were able to see the whale’s lower right jaw. As the whale surfaced we watched the glowing green water. The fin whale surfaced gracefully to the surface a few more times and then arch its back and headed down for a dive.

We pushed away from this animal and moved off to find another. After traveling for a few minutes we located a blow up a head of us. This tuned out to be a humpback whale! We were very surprised by this. The animal surfaced and giving up an excellent look at the dorsal fin on its back.

Right away we could tell that this was a humpback whale named Orbit. Orbit is a female humpback who was first sighted in 1979. She has had 10 calves ~ her first calf was born in 1984 and her last calf was in 2013.  Orbit showed us some beautiful fluke out dives. While in the area we saw a finback whale surface out in the distance.

After watching Orbit for some time we pushed off and moved out of the area. After searching for a while we were not successful in finding another animal so we had to turn around and start heading in the direction on Provincetown. Our captain circled back through the area of where we had spotted Orbit earlier in the trip and this allowed up to catch a few more looks at Orbit and we spotted the finback whale in the distance again before picking up speed and heading home.

All in all we had a beautiful day offshore watching finback and humpback whales!!

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June 29th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Michelle

As we left Provincetown Harbor today, the clear skies and great visibility made us very hopeful for a sighting of a whale! We first came across an adult female humpback whale named Hancock. Hancock has been seen regularly for the past couple of weeks and we are glad that she has stuck around! Hancock is well-known for her near perfectly circular bubble nets and we were excited to see if she would be feeding! As we moved closer, we could see that Hancock was displaying behaviors consistent with feeding below the surface of the water. A couple of times, we saw her perfect bubble nets rise to the surface, but she popped up further out, meaning she either abandoned those bubbles or fed lower in the water column.

Hancock gave us great looks at the underside of her tail and her beautiful black and white fluke pattern! After spending time with Hancock, we left to see who or what else we could find! Our next sighting was of another female humpback whale named Orbit.

Orbit is one of our favorite whales to see because she is an older whale and has many very well-known children. This means that she is a very good mom! Orbit has had 10 calves, with her most recent being just last year in 2013! We were so lucky to see these two endangered humpback whales today and we hope they continue to stay in Stellwagen Bank!

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June 28th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Michelle

We had the nicest day of the season thus far offshore today! We left Provincetown Harbor and soon came across a single finback whale.  Finback whales are the second largest species of whale in the world and are much bigger than any dinosaur that ever walked the planet. As we were watching the finback whale, a minke whale popped up not far from us. This finback had a couple of boats around it so we decided to leave this whale and see what else we could find. We soon came across a humpback whale named Orbit. Orbit is an adult female that has been seen in the area this past week. Orbit gave us great looks at the black and white pattern on the bottom of her tail.

After watching Orbit, we came across another single humpback whale. This whale is also an adult female named Hancock. Hancock got her name from the signature like marking on her fluke pattern which many think resembles a signature.

Hancock seemed to be feeding lower down in the water column and was coming to the surface to stain the salt water out of her mouth! Our time with the whales was quickly coming to a close and we started to head out of the area. On our way back to Provincetown Harbor, we came across two more minke whales along our way! Thank you to everyone who came out with us today!

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June 27th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

On Friday we left the dock in Provincetown with beautiful blue skies! Such a great day to watch whales!!  We only made it a little way out of the harbor and located a blow! This turned out to be a humpback whale named Orbit. Orbit is a whale who was first sighted in 1979. She is a female – she has had 10 calves so far, her last calf was born in 2013.

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Humpback whales are medium-sized baleen whale (they have baleen in their mouths instead of teeth, it’s their filter).   These whales are 45 to 50 feet long and weigh 35 tons!!  Today we watched Orbit traveling and diving. After a few minutes we watched orbit surface in a bubble cloud. We watched teal green bubbles rise to the water’s surface. This is because orbit was using bubbles to feed under the water. Humpback whales are known to use bubbles to help them corral and frighten their prey.

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Next we were able to watch another humpback named Measles. Measles was also feeding deeper in the water column using bubbles to capture the fish.  We were lucky again when we moved on to another animal which happened to be a humpback named Mogul. Mogul has a beautiful white ventral fluke pattern. We were able to take a look when Mogul would head down for dives.

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While watching mogul we witnessed a breach ~ Mogul tail breached right in front of us!

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What a great view of the entire animal. Good way to get a feel for how big the animals are!!

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June 26th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

We had a very eventful whale watch this afternoon. Our first sighting while looking for whales was a grey seal, swimming right beside the boat.  Next we came across a humpback whale named Measles, an animal frequently seen around the Stellwagen Bank area.

Measles was traveling, going down for dives. He surprised us by doing a tail breach right next to our boat!

Measles was also producing bubble clouds from deep in the water column, feeding on small baitfish just below the surface. Measles fluked out several times giving us a good look at the pattern on the underside of the tail.

We saw another blow off in the distance, and found out it was another humpback whale. This second humpback was very mellow, resting at the surface and coming up to breathe every couple of minutes. We were able to identify this whale on the way back home, an animal named Orbit.

A little further off, we got a quick look at a minke whale, but the whale quickly swam off.

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June 25th, 2014 ~ 12:00 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

We set out this afternoon with high hopes and where not disappointed! The first whale we came across was Loon, a well-known finback whale. Loon was struck by a ferry in 2005, damaging her dorsal fin, giving it a distinctive “hook”. She has been seen regularly since, and we were lucky enough to spend some time watching her today.

Another finback whale swam into the area with Loon, at one point we had finback whales on both sides of the boat! The whales went in different directions, and we chose to follow the second finback whale. We got some great looks at this second finback, but saw a blow off in the distance and left the area to watch this third animal.  This finback whale was not spending much time on the surface, coming up quickly for breaths before going down for a dive. We caught a quick glimpse of a seal, but he quickly swam off.

We saw a fourth blow off in the distance, close to the shores of Race Point. It turned out to be another finback whale! This finback came incredibly close to the boat, giving us a wonderful view of the cream-colored pattern on its right jaw. This whale was travelling, coming up to breathe, and then taking dives that averaged 5 minutes each.

We had a great day off shore watching these beautiful animals!

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June 24th, 2014 ~ 12:30 p.m. Whale Watch - Tiffany

We started out of Provincetown Harbor and almost as soon as we left the harbor we found a finback, who was traveling and non-fluke diving.  Not long after, blows were spotted in the distance so we left the finback to head towards the other animals. When we arrived in the area, there were 2 whales feeding! One of them lunge-fed as we were approaching - lunge feeding is when a whale surfaces mouth open directed toward its prey.

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We then left the two whales and began watching two other whales. The one further from us was also feeding using bubble nets (blowing bubbles deep in the water to confuse and scare the bait fish). We stayed with the closer whale, watching them travel around without ever lifting it fluke (tail) out of the water.

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It’s hard to identify them, but it is possible to determine which whale we are watching by comparing his/ her dorsal fin to those in our humpback whale catalog.

We then returned to measles, who was still feeding and even lunge fed once, giving us an amazing view of the inside of the mouth. We then watched measles surface, breath, and fluke out before heading back to shore.

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September 1st, 2013 ~ 12:00 pm Whale Watch - Tiffany

Our trip started out with rain but this didn’t stop us from watching whales offshore.  After traveling past Race Point Beach and then 15 miles to the north/north-east we spotted blows in the distance!  These blows were humpback whales.  We ended up finding three humpbacks who were traveling together.  These whales were Nile, Mogul and Conflux.  These three were traveling and fluking out before each longer dive.

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While watching this trio, one of the whales Nile performed 2 tail slaps.  She arched her back and lifted the lower half of her body high out of the water and then slammed her fluke down.

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We also witnessed a close approach spyhop from Conflux.

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Our second sighting for the day was a mom and calf humpback pair.  This pair happened to be Nine and her 2013 calf.  The calf was actually being quite active by flipper slapping!

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We even saw a couple of tail breaches too!

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