July 10, 2015 Whale Watch - Naturalist Krill Carson

As we came into Provincetown Harbor from our morning ferry service, we saw that the Kalmar Nyckels was in town. This is a replica of a tall ship built in Sweden in the 1600’s. Although the original vessel sunk in the nNorth Sea while fighting for the Dutch in 1652, this replica was built in the 1980’s in Wilmington Delaware. She was the last ship launched in Wilmington, a city that launched more than 10,000 ships. The Kalmar Nyckels will be in Provincetown through July 19th. To learn more about the Kalmar Nyckel, go to their website at www.kalmrynyckel.org.

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2015_07_10_CDC_1218WW_SonIV_Kalmar_Nyckel_5671 Wooden dog figure on rail.

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Figurehead on the Kalmar Nyckel.

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Stern of the Kalmar Nyckel.

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Kalmar Nyckel sailing in Provincetown Harbor.

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Long Point Light.

After rounding Long Point Light and the tip of Cape Cod, we headed north towards Race Point and the Race Point lighthouse. Here we started seeing large numbers of shearwaters including the Cory’s shearwater, the great shearwater, and the sooty shearwater.

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Cory’s shearwater.

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Finback Whale.

Our first sightings were a small cluster of finback whales just off Race Point. This species is the second largest of all the baleen whales and the largest whale that commonly feeds in our New England waters. These finbacks looked as if they were feeding deep as they surfaced aggressively all around the boat.

Flippering.

Our second sighting was a pair of humpbacks that we identified as Putter and Strike. Strike appeared to be resting at the surface while Putter was very active close by. Putter was lobtailing, flippering, and tail breaching alongside Strike. I have no idea why Putter was so active, but it was interesting to see Strike’s very opposite behavior.

Putter, lobtailing.

Putter, lobtailing.

Putter and Strike.

Putter and Strike. Putter continues to lobtail.

Putter and Strike.

After leaving this pair, we moved into an area where we had lots of humpbacks feeding either subsurface or at the surface. We also had a mother and calf pair that we identified as Fulcrum and calf. Fulcrum is a female that we have seen for many years. In the past, she was hit by a boat and that encounter left her with significant propellor cuts all down her back. It is so severe that it chopped off her dorsal fin. It is amazing that she survived that encounter, and now returns every few years with a calf by her side. We love Fulcrum!

Fulcrum and calf.

Fulcrum and calf.

Fulcrum and calf with another adult behind.

 

Fulcrum and calf.

Fluke out dive.

Bubble net feeding.

Open mouth feeding.

Open mouth feeding.

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