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Sun Aug 15 – Whale Watching

Another spectacular 3 species trip! Humpbacks, minkes, and inshore bottlenose dolphins!

We couldn’t have asked for better conditions – unlimited visibility, 10-15 knot winds out of the NW, and 2′ seas that later flattened out as the wind changed to SW. Within 20 minutes of passing Montauk Lighthouse we were on our first whale, MTK.2021.08.15-01, a flipper slapping, rolling humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae). 20 minutes later, we are visited by a small ocean sunfish (Mola mola). 20 minutes later, we  meet our 2nd humpback and our 3rd humpback a few minutes after that. 20 minutes later, we encounter our 4th humpback.  It’s a young whale (small) and has survived an encounter with a propeller that left terrible scars on its left fluke. It was resting periodically and feeding, but it looked to be unwell and weak, or so we thought, due to the tremendous areas of sloughed skin. We ever wrong! Five breaches followed by 10 minutes of flipper-slapping showed how much energy this whale had. Throughout our hours among the humpbacks we encountered 3 different minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). As we headed in, we encountered an aggregation of several small groups of inshore bottlenose, perhaps 45 in total.

What a special day!

4 humpback whales

3 minke whales

60 inshore bottlenose dolphins

1 ocean sunfish

2 Cory’s shearwaters