Naturalist Notes – End of Season 11/11/21

Whale Watching

Whale Watch End of Season 11/11/21

Please find the Naturalist Notes for the week of 11/11/21 from the onboard team of naturalists for our New England Whale Watching tour in partnership with the New England Aquarium. 

 

Good afternoon

After a few days of bad weather, it was wonderful to get offshore on a sunny November day. We had an enthusiastic crowd that didn’t mind the cold and we were happy to take them out into the sanctuary aboard the Aurora! We headed towards the NW corner of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in hopes of finding similar sightings as we had last week. A little bit south of the NW corner, we spotted two blows in the crisp fall air. This pair, Samara and Banyan, was taking some recovery breaths after a deep dive. Samara is a familiar female that we’ve been able to track four branches within her family lineage, and Banyan is unfortunately recognizable due to its entanglement scarring. After a few shallow dives, Samara and Banyan took a deep dive, and we headed off to some other blows in the distance.

We wrapped up our trip with three humpbacks in close proximity – Snare traveling by himself, and Kappa and Lilium taking similar dive patterns as our first pair. At one point, however (just as we were talking about hormonal blips at the tail ends of the feeding season), Snare seemed to get right up into Lilium and Kappa’s space, causing Kappa to tail flick with a big splash, then followed by Kappa rolling alongside Snare (see photos). After that Snare quickly split from the group, so we can only guess what was happening under the water. We then headed home towards Boston, spotting lots of eiders and gannets throughout the day.

As our season wraps up Sunday (weather dependent), I just want to give a big thank you to our naturalists this year: Laura L, Kate, Colin, Mira, Ashlyn, David, Sydney, Bruna, Linnea, and Chelsi, for their hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm this season. Their daily email reports are just a small snippet of their passion and love for their job, and I’m lucky to get to lead them as a team. We also had a wonderfully dedicated team of interns: Allie, Anna, Sulmaan, Alexis, Madeline, & Heidi, who volunteered hundreds of hours of their time this season. And as always, our hardworking captains and crew also deserve a big thank you – as it truly is a team effort to do what we do!

Cheers,

Laura H, Kate, and Sulmaan

The Whale Watch will be back in March of 2022 – stay tuned here for updates and of course, feel free to browse past blogs for incredible sights!

Can’t get enough of our whales? Don’t forget to check out our San Diego Whale Watch Tour Reports as well! 

More Images From This Week

Center for Coastal Studies Logo
Boston Harbor City Cruises proudly contributes its data to the GOM Humpback Whale Catalog curated by Center for Coastal Studies.
Whale Sense Logo
As a proud member of Whale Sense (whalesense.org), we are committed to responsible whale watching practices.  All photos were taken in compliance with established guidelines and regulations.