Sunday, May 20 2012

Another exciting day on southern Stellwagen.  The whales were slightly closer to home today.  When we first got to the area where there were at least 20 humpbacks, you could see the focus was on feeding.  The bubble nets were floating to the surface in all directions, the birds were going crazy and whales were surfacing on all sides of the boat.  We started by watching one group of 3 adult humpbacks and one calf surface feeding right next to the boat.  The mom was a whale named Anchor (interestingly, we spotted one of Anchor’s calf from a previous year, Snare, in the area as well), and she was feeding with Fracture.  The last one never fluked, so we were not able to get an ID.  As we were watching the feeding, a large splash caught the eye of the captain a short ways away; so we decided to investigate.  A whale named Bowline was engaged in almost every surface behavior that humpback whales are capable of.  We saw all kinds of breaching, lob tailing, and pec slapping.  What was most interesting about this was as soon as this surface behavior began, it seemed that most of the feeding behavior stopped, and all of the whales in the area switched gears and were surface active, like Bowline.  Very exciting for everyone on board!

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