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Sun Aug 13 – Whale Watching

Good things come to those who wait!


After a morning of wicked and lingering thunderstorms, the Viking Starship set sail under blue skies and calm seas for its 11th whale watch of our season. We quickly found a pod of inshore bottlenose dolphins, made up of between 30-40 individuals all actively feeding on bait near the surface. We enjoyed views of the dolphins before heading off to find larger cetaceans. Our search led us far offshore into waters where whales had been previously seen. Here, we searched in vain, before, at last, spotting a blow far off in the distance. The whale, observed through binoculars, was a fin whale and, in 170 feet of water, was presumably feeding on abundant bait 100 feet down. This led to extremely long down times and limited encounters. Unfortunately, we had to begin our transit back so we left this whale but continued looking. As the sun began to set on the day and our time at sea, we suddenly found ourselves in the presence of 6-8 (possibly more) humpback whales, dozens of Wilson’s storm petrels and Great Shearwaters, all feeding on plentiful bait at the surface. Upon our approach, one of the humpbacks breached clearly out of the water as if to articulate the excitement of passengers onboard. We then found ourselves in the middle of the action; safely out of gear as the whales popped up in every direction around the vessel. There may have been as many as 10-14 individuals, but it was difficult to look beyond those surrounding our vessel to verify. We spent as much time as we could with these magnificent animals before, once again, needing to return home. As we left, one of the whales began lobtailing (raising and slapping its tail out of/onto the water), as if to bid us farewell. Passengers at the back of the vessels counted 27 slaps before stopping. It was a great and fruitful end to our adventure!

We will be returning to this area on Wednesday. Want to join us?


30-40 inshore bottlenose dolphins

1 finback whale

8-10 (possibly as many as 14) humpback whales

1 sea turtle (loggerhead or green)

80-100 Wilson’s storm petrels

60-80 Great shearwaters

20-30 Cory’s shearwaters


Photos will be posted at