23rd 2009
Fantastic Whale Watch!

Posted under whale watches

I am in Provincetown, MA for my annual Memorial Day Weekend getaway. When here, I squeeze in as many whale watches as I can manage, and I kicked that off today. Went on the Dolphin Fleet‘s Portuguese Princess at 10 AM. Because it was cool and overcast, the boat was not very crowded which is a very nice treat. It still got a little competitive at the rails, but not nearly as much as it could have been were it a sunny and warm day.

The peril of a first in the day whale watch is the challenge of finding where the whales went overnight. We did not have any problem finding whales today. In fact, we found them so quickly that we were not even far off the Cape. The buildings at Race Point Light were easily visible throughout the trip. Our first sighting opportunity landed us amidst 10-12 humpback whales, including at least 2 cow/calf pairs, doing very active surface feeding. We saw some kick feeding and some great open mouth lunge feeding with wide open looks. Not yet eating solid food, we saw some breaching from one of the calves, too. They seem to know how to entertain themselves while mom is busy feeding. After this tremendous “show” for about half an hour, the bait fish seemed to have dispersed because the whales quieted right down. We could still see numerous spouts around, but the dramatic surface activity was much less.

We searched for some more whales and got quick looks at a few. Much to my delight, one of these whales was Salt! She may be the grande dame of Stellwagen Bank, but in my 50+ trips out, this is the very first time I had seen her. She was travelling with Cardhu but again they were being sort of quiet, just hanging out at the surface. We never even got a look at Salt’s flukes (good thing she has that distinctive dorsal fin!).

All told, we had about 19-21 humpback whales today and one distant look at a fin whale travelling through. Named whales ID’d during the trip included Salt, Cardhu, Lavaliere, Ventiska, and Ganesh. I am already eagerly looking forward to my next trip out. Since I am still shooting film, I won’t have photos to put up for a couple of days, but will do so as soon as I have them.

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