Thursday, August 13, 2015 Whale Watch - Naturalist Carly Hepburn

With sunny skies we left Provincetown and headed offshore where we were able to see 7-10 humpback whales.  As we moved into the area of our sightings we saw blows all around the boat, so we settled in and we were quickly able to spot the different groups of humpback whales traveling around us.

Belly fluking out with Ventisca behind.

Venom’s ventral tail pattern.

Our first group in the area was a group of 3 humpback whales.  We were able to identify all of the humpbacks in this group as whales named Ventisca, Venom, and Belly.  While we are offshore we are able to identify a lot of the humpback whales that we see because they have several unique characteristics that differentiate them from each other.  Ventisca has a very white dorsal fin that makes it easy for researchers to identify her. Venom has two lines on the underside of her left side fluke that resemble fangs and part of her fluke is missing because she was struck by a boat.

Ventisca’s right dorsal fin.

Pumba and Echo’s right dorsal fins.

Ventral tail pattern of Echo.

Ventral tail pattern of Pumba.



Tail flick by a humpback whale.

Our second group was a group of 2 humpback whales, and we were able to identify both of these individuals.  Their names are Echo and Pumba.

Our final sighting in the area was a single humpback whale with propeller scars on the top of her flank, the area behind a whales head/rostrum and before their dorsal fin.  Initially I thought this was a whale named Owl who was also struck by a boat on the same part of the body, but after looking at this whales’ ventral fluke once we were on land I was able to identify this humpback as a whale named Medal.

It was a beautiful day offshore as we watched these animals surface around us, and at one point it seemed that our group of 3 and group of 2 might have joined together.  However when they resurfaced they were separate groups once again, so we can assume that they were only passing by each other.

After watching these separate groups for quite some time all we had to head back towards Provincetown.  Luckily we were able to quickly get one last look of another humpback whale on our journey back to the dock.  Overall a fabulous trip whale watching, thanks for joining us offshore!


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