July 24, 2015 - Naturalist Krill Carson

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Northern gannet (juvenile)

We had a great trip offshore today on our Provincetown Whale Watch. As we headed to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank, we moved into an area with lots of seabirds including Cory’s shearwaters, sooty shearwaters, great shearwaters, Wilson’s storm petrels, and Northern gannets.

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Finback whale.

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Finback whale.

As we passed Race Point, we picked up a single finback whale that appeared to be feeding in the rip tide just off Race Point. Finbacks are the largest baleen whale we see in our area and they are known to be one of the fastest whale’s offshore. As we moved on, we picked up a few blows more to the north.  We stayed with a pair of humpbacks that we identified as Scylla and Sprinkler.  This pair was traveling to the northwest as if they had a destination in mind. Suddenly, Scylla rolled over and started flipper slapping at the surface.

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Scylla fippering.

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Scylla flippering.

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Scylla flippering.

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Scylla flippering.

As Scylla lifted her long, white flipper out of the water, she repeatedly smashed it on the water’s surface making a very loud sound. Suddenly, Scylla dove quickly and powerfully and this gave us the idea that she was about to breach or jump out of the water. And jump she did, as Scylla propelled herself clear out of the water.

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Scylla breaching.

Scylla spinning head breaching.

Scylla and Sprinkler flippering.

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Scylla.

Scylla and Sprinkler.

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Scylla and Sprinkler.

Scylla fluking out.

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Scylla flippering with Sprinkler in front.

 

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Scylla.

Scylla and Sprinkler flippering.l

After leaving this active pair, we picked up a single humpback that turned out to be Northstar. This whale had been hit by a boat in 2014, and the healed scars were very visible on the whale’s back.

Northstar’s upper back.

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Northstar fluking out.

After leaving Northstar, we ended with a pair of humpback whales that we identified as Pele and Eruption. Both whales were feeding at depth as they surfaced to breath. A great day offshore. Can’t wait to get back offshore tomorrow. : )

Pele fluking out with Eruption behind.

Pele fluking out.

 

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