Whale Sightings 09/20/23 to 09/22/23. Please find the Naturalist Notes for the week of 09/20/23 to 09/22/23 from the onboard team of naturalists for our New England Whale Watching tour in partnership with the New England Aquarium.




Saa 10 alfajiri Whale Watch Sightings

Mchana mwema

Today aboard the Sanctuary we made our way to the NW corner of Stellwagen bank, traveling south along the western edge until we found a new humpback whale sighting for the season, Paddleboard! (see if you can find the Paddleboarder and wave markings on his fluke!). Paddleboard appeared to be searching for food, when eventually he stuck around in one spot, most likely bottom feeding. Later in the trip, Paddleboard made a sudden thrash with his tail and trumpeted a few times, perplexing us! Perhaps he had some barnacles he was dislodging, or maybe he is even beginning to show some hormonal behavior which we occasionally start to see in the tail ends of the season before humpbacks head to their breeding ground. We can only hypothesize and there is always more to learn about humpback behavior. We also spotted some Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Northern Gannets today as well.


Laura & Siân


Saa 12 jioni Whale Watch Sightings

Mchana mwema!

The 12pm whale watch headed out on the Aurora towards the Northwest Corner of Stellwagen Bank! In a nice change of pace from the last few days, we were met by fantastic weather and clear blue skies. We quickly found the solitary humpback, Mostaza, slowly cruising through the area. Our humpback was traveling in a consistent easterly direction, allowing us to follow alongside our whale throughout the entire trip! We got to see some beautiful fluking dives and even a “rain-blow” – when the light catches the blow justttt right.

Kate and Jane





Saa 10 alfajiri Whale Watch Sightings

Mchana mwema

The crystal clear skies made for excellent visibility and viewing conditions, which helped us locate whales well west of Stellwagen Bank by the splashing caused by either breaching or flipper slapping. We turned to the north and found A-Plus and her calf even closer, so we watched as the two milled about. The whales were initially taking slightly longer dives, as mom seemed to be enjoying a late morning nap, but the calf quickly became curious of the Aurora and the passengers aboard. It continuously circled the boat, angled itself to see us better, and held us in position until something finally signaled that it was time to rejoin mom and dive down with her.

From where we were, we could continued to see the splashing from the original whale, so we ventured over and found not one but two- Valley and her calf. Mom engaged in flipper slapping throughout most of our time with them, but the sighting became even more special when the two began to, well, snuggle! The calf cuddled up to Mom, occasionally rolling onto her back and bringing its flipper up and over her. We even witnessed a true, high spyhop from the little one, a unique behavior I haven’t seen in quite a while. Take a close look at the photos to see this tender interaction as it played out!

Laura L., Kate, and Kiley


Saa 12 jioni Whale Watch Sightings

Mchana mwema

The Asteria made its way out to Stellwagen Bank determined to find whales. Our search was met by two Humpback whales which were identified as Valley and her 2023 calf. This was my first encounter with Valley since I last saw her in 2022, and I was thrilled to find her today! As we arrived in the area, both whales arched their backs and disappeared below the surface on a dive. While we waited for their return, we noticed a small fin sticking out of the water in front of the bow. It turned out to be an ocean sunfish (Mola mola)! We watched the sunfish swim along our portside before we got distracted by the whales coming back up! Upon surfacing, the calf immediately tail breached, rolled over, and then started flipper slapping! The calf kept up the activity for several minutes before calming down. Within moments, the two whales promptly went to sleep! Logging whales are my favorite whales and today was no exception! It was a joy to watch these whales as they slept. After a pair of fluking dives from the whales, the Asteria slowly turned and made its way back to Boston.

It was a wonderfully sleepy time with the whales today!

Eman and Colin




Saa 10 alfajiri Whale Watch Sightings

Mchana mwema

With beautiful blue skies, the 10am whale watch headed out on the Asteria towards Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary! We quickly spotted the blows from one our favorite mom and calf pairs: A-Plus and her 2023 calf. Initially, mom seemed to be resting a little bit at the surface, while the calf rolled around and continuously approached our vessel – seemingly expressing curiosity towards us. In incredible fashion, the calf would frequently turn on its back, swimming upside down with both flippers extended out of the water – like a backstroke!  We got to see cute features close up – such as its barnacle covered chin. The calf even swam towards us, upside down, lifting its chin out of the water right next to our port pulpit. Soon after, the calf rocketed into a series of surface activity that basically lasted the entirety of the trip! The calf spent more time out of the water than it: flipper-slapping, tail-breaching, lobtails, inverted lobtails, rolling, and even a spyhop! Just when we thought the calf was tiring itself out, it launched into even more surface activity – practicing a few “handstands” – with almost its entire tailstock out of the water. With such great looks, we were able to spot a hemispherical lobe on the calf – confirming that this 8–9-month-old whale is a baby girl! (Look for the round bump on the tailstock in the lobtail/handstand photos). With a few lazy flipper slaps from mom, this was such a fantastic and wonderful trip!!
We eventually turned back to Boston – with the calf still lobtailing and tail-breaching in the distance!

Kate and Siân


Saa 12 jioni Whale Watch Sightings

Halo wote,

Today aboard the Aurora, the 12pm whale watch made its way out towards Stellwagen Bank in search of whales and other marine life.  After a little searching, we spotted some splashing in the distance.  This turned out to be A-Plus and A-Plus 23 Calf who were both very surface active!  The calf was breaching up a storm while mom was inverted lobtailing!  The calf even breached right near the boat a few times!  This activity went on for several minutes, so everyone was able to get some incredible looks!  Once both mom and her baby settled down, they began cruising at the surface.  We got several beautiful fluking dives from both mom and her little one.  After some incredible looks at our awesome mom and calf pair, we had to start heading back to Boston.  It was a really awesome day out on Stellwagen Bank!

Hadi wakati mwingine,

Colin and Kiley





Nembo ya Hisia ya Nyangumi
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.




Kituo cha Nembo ya Mafunzo ya Pwani
Boston Harbor City Cruises inajivunia kuchangia data yake kwa Katalogi ya GOM Humpback Whale iliyopangwa na Kituo cha Mafunzo ya Pwani.












Boston Whale Watching: Naturalist Notes – 09/20/23 to 09/22/23