July 30, 2015 Whale Watch - Naturalist Krill Carson

Calf tail breaching.

Surfacing off the bow.


Fluke out dive.

Winds were picking up out of the southeast as we headed offshore. As we moved onto Stellwagen bank, we saw multiple blows in the distance. We were delighted to find at least 15 humpback whales, including 4 mother and calf pairs. The mom and calf pairs that we were able to identify included Apex and calf, Pepper and calf, Firefly and calf, and Bolide and calf. As the mom’s fed deep, the calves were very active at the surface.

Firefly and calf.

Firefly and calf traveling with Storm.

Apex and calf

Tail stand by a calf.

Tail stand.

Lobtail by Apex’s calf.

As we watched the calves breach and cavort with one another, we waited for the adults to return to the surface from their feeding dives. One of the first adults that we could identify was a whale named Bat. Bat was named for the black pattern in the center of her flukes that looks like a bat’s wings. Another whale we could identify was a mom named Apex. She has a very distinctive “apex-like” mark on her right flukes. We can identify individual humpback whales using natural body marks and features like the black & white pattern on the ventral or bottom part of the tail. And then we try t come up with a name that relates to a feature on these body parts. 

Calves at the surface.

Fluke out by Bat.


Apex, tail breaching.

It was a fabulous day offshore with lots of activity by both calves and adults. As winds pick up offshore, we often see the activity of the animals pick up as well. That is one of the possible benefits of whale watching on a rough day offshore. Enjoy the photos of the very active calves.

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