Thursday, August 7, 2008

Whales Whales Whales!

Today was a great day to be out in Stellwagen Bank. I'm new to the whole whale watching scene but after today's lovely excursion to sea I will without a doubt be going again. The ride up was more bumpy than expected and the roughness seemed to have gotten to a lot of people. I found that being outside in the fresh air definitely helped so I spent the majority of the ride out on the lower deck. 

On our way, I noticed some small seabirds that were flying close to the surface of the water. They had black and white markings and sort of paddled their feet on the water. I found out that these are called Storm Petrels. I was also told that they're mean and spit at you but have no evidence to prove this so...we shall see. 

 The boat stopped about 28 miles out at the north west part of the Bank and that's when the whales started to grace us with their presence. I was amazed at how close we actually were to these huge mammals! I found the announcer to be quite informative in explaining the physical features of the whales we saw and how they get their names (by 2 years of age- fluke pattern, scar or other physical feature). 
I ended up learning some new terms in the process as well - association, tubercles, rounding out...I know there are some more but they're not coming to mind right now. 

I was able to see 6 humpback whales but word is out that there were maybe 7 out there? 2 of which were named Crown and Cajun - both had one calf! 

I felt lucky to observe the number of whales we did because apparently they rarely group together in the way we all saw them today! 

Maybe the next time I venture out on a whale watch I'll be able to see some other marine life that is part of Stellwagen - seals, dolphins, turtles...maybe a right whale? 

Great times! 

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