Monday, August 26, 2015 Whale Watch - Naturalist Carly Hepburn


Finback whale.

Humpback whale.

Humpback whale.

Ventral tail pattern of Convict.

Cajun and calf traveling together.

We headed offshore today and we were able to see three species of whales, two of which are endangered!  As we made our way around Provincetown Harbor and towards Race Point we quickly came into an area that had hundreds of seabirds and seagulls.  This is a very good indicator for us that the area is productive, because many of these birds feed on the same small schooling fish that our whales do.  We did not stay in this area for very long because we had reports of a group of humpback whales traveling together so we needed to get further offshore, however we did get some great looks of finback whales that could be seen all around the boat.  There was also a single minke whale in the area.

Off to our right, thanks to the sharp eyes of one of our passengers, we saw a blow from a single humpback whale.  We headed towards the blow and were able to watch this animal surface a few times before we continued further offshore

Cajun and her calf of this season.

Cajun and calf.

Our next sighting was of a single humpback whale that we were able to identify as a whale named Convict.  Through the data we collected we saw that once Convict arched his back and went down for a deeper dive he was only staying underwater for 3 minutes.  This was a good sighting for us to see because typically humpback whales spend 5-10 minutes underwater before resurfacing once again.  Convict was staying in the same location each time he resurfaced so we can assume that he was subsurface feeding, feeding on baitfish lower in the water column.

Ventral tail pattern of Pele.

After we left Convict we headed towards the group of humpback whales we had heard reports about earlier.  This group was a group of three and we identified them as Cajun, Cajun’s 2015 calf, and Pele.  For the past couple of weeks we have seen these 3 humpbacks traveling together along with another mother and calf pair, Jabiru and her 2015 calf.  Jabiru and her calf split from the group early this week, so it will be very interesting to see if they join back up again during the remainder of our season.


Cajun and her 2015 calf.

Cajun’s calf got a little active and did a spinning head breach off of the left hand side of the boat.  Unfortunately we were not able to get a picture, but we did get a photo of the large splash caused by this animal heaving its body right out of the water!

All too soon we had to make our way back to Provincetown but we were able to get great looks of these amazing animals.  I would also like to give a huge thank you to Katrina Kleinhans who was the naturalist in training today and was on the microphone and educating passengers on the whales that we saw throughout our trip.

Kick feeding.

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