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Wed June 30 – Whale Watching

Finback whale!

We left the dock at Montauk to look for whales and escape the heat.  Once we got into water with sea surface temperatures in the 63-640F, we relished the cool air. The winds were as predicted, SW at 15-20 knots, the seas were as predicted also at 3-4 feet. We headed SW 8 for nautical miles and saw few birds and no cetaceans. We then headed due east and 3 nautical miles later, a whale blows right next to us. It was a faint blow, but a blow none-the-less. This was our first encounter with what eventually was identified as young finback whale ~45′ long.  We slowly followed this deep diving, 5-8 minute diving whale for 5 nautical miles, the whale was feeding near the bottom (120′) on dense prey patches.  The sea conditions and the speed of this whale made it nearly impossible to clearly identify (although we believe it to be a fin whale) until it steeply surfaced and we could see the unique fin whale characteristics: white right lower jar, blaze, eye stripe, chevron. This whale had distinctive killer whale raking scars on its dorsal fin, and entanglement scars across its back.

What an amazing sight! What a special day! Our 168th identifiable fin whale since 2009!

  • 1 finback whale
  • 2 Wilson’s storm petrels
  • 1 Great shearwaters
  • 3 Cory’s shearwaters

a whale jumping out of the water a whale jumping out of the water a person riding a wave on top of a body of water a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the water