Sun June 27 – Whale Watching
Humpback and another day with a good variety of pelagic birds
We left the dock at Montauk to clearing skies and fair weather for the second trip of the season. Today the Viking Starship rounded Montauk Point and cruised southeast. Over the next few hours we covered a lot of ocean searching for whales. We observed good numbers and a variety of seabirds along our trip. Eventually we were excited to start seeing isolated “blows” in the distance. We proceeded to close with the whale but it was not making many visible blows and was moving, not feeding in one place. We continued to search heading closer to Long Island and saw a few blows, probably indicating more than one whale in the vicinity. At one point we saw two blows close together, one larger and one smaller, so perhaps a cow-calf pair.
We were able to get closer to a Humpback whale who was taking a series of three surface breaths and then diving for about 10 minutes, probably feeding on the baitfish in the area. Towards the end of our day we got close enough to see it and take a useful photograph of its fluke, allowing us to identify our 1st humpback of the 2021 season. It was whale NYC0005 (part of the catalog of our research partners at Gotham Whale in the western NY Bight). The last time we’d seen NYC0005 was in August 2018 just 1.5 nautical miles from yesterday’s spot.
- 1 humpback whale
- 5 Wilson’s storm petrels
- 20 Great shearwaters
- 14 Cory’s shearwaters
- 3 Sooty shearwaters