I’ll admit, I’ve complained lately about the cool, wet spring we’ve had. Yet there seems to be no complaints from the whales!
Our 3 affiliate whale watch boats have been out for 2-3 weeks now, and have been lucky enough to see some rare species. We’ve seen our traditional four species: fin, humpback and minke whales, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins, plus sei whales and even a North Atlantic right whale!
Sei whales are streamlined animals that are about 50 feet long. They sometimes skim-feed at the surface on zooplankton and krill, and we were lucky enough to see them doing that! These whales are only here once in awhile, presumably when the prey conditions are best.
North Atlantic right whales feed on similar prey as sei whales, so when we see sei whales, there’s sometimes a right whale nearby. At only about 500 individuals remaining in the world, seeing a right whale, even from a distance, is a great treat. Here’s an interesting fact: these 50-60 foot animals have distinctive callosities on their head, which are actually rough patches of skin infested by cyamids (whale lice). Interesting and gross at the same time!
On top of these great sightings, several of our adoptable whales have been seen already, including humpback whale Owl with a new calf! She had her last calf in 2015, and this one, born 2 years later, is just as precocious, often venturing away from mom to go exploring or play at the surface. Other adoptable whales seen so far include humpback whales Hornbill, Satula and Pinball.
Join us for a whale watch! Contact the companies directly for schedules and reservations:
- Atlantic Whale Watch, Rye, NH
- Capt. Bill and Sons Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA
- Granite State Whale Watch, Rye, NH
Image: Sei whale feeding. See the whale’s eye?