2017 Whale Watching

We went on a midweek getaway to the Cape. That blog can be found here: https://mmoellerblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/p-town-escape/. We went up to P-Town and went out Whale Watching on the Dolphin Fleet. We saw seven whales: two fin whales, five humpback whales including a baby and one lonely seal. Wink and I took a few pictures to document the event!

The cruise starts in P-Town harbor:

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View of P-Town Harbor
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Harbor Kayakers
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P-Town Monument

After getting the safety briefing we got an introduction to where we were going – the Stellwagen Bank. This is a National Marine Preserve.

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Map

Then we got a briefing on the whales we might see.

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Whales

There were people fishing just as soon as we got out of the harbor, both on private boats and a party boat:

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Fishing (likely for bait?)
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Party Boat

There was quite a commotion in the area as the sea was boiling with bait fish. We were wondering what was chasing them.

VIDEO HERE!

Birds Feeding

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Fish Jumping – Seagull for scale

We discovered the source of the commotion, it was a fin whale scouring the bottom along the beach for bait fish. The fin whale is the second largest whale and can reach eighty five feet long.

Fin Whale

Here are some close ups of the birds. One of the birds grabbed a sand eel right next to the whale.

Black Faced Terns and fin whale

After we watched the fin whale for awhile we headed out to the Stellwagen Bank. Fin whales are negatively buoyant so they can dive easily. Humpback whales are positively buoyant and need to lift their tales to get a little help diving. As such, it is more interesting to watch the humpbacks. The fin whale behavior is pretty stately.

Whale Watching Video

We saw a pod of five humpback whales, three adults and one baby. They don’t normally stay together but seemed to be cooperatively feeding.

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Wink Whale Watching

Thar She Blows

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Mom and Calf

Baby Whale

Diving

Logging near the boat

Diving

These birds were out fishing near the whales. I suppose the whales drive some prey to the surface. One of the birds got a sand eel.

Birds Fishing

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Shearwater

There was one seal way out on the banks with the whales. There are a lot of great white sharks around that would enjoy  it for a meal.

Seal

Whale Pod

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Bye Bye from the Whales

All in all, it was a very satisfying whale watch.

Mark and Wink

 

 

 

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