Sun Sept 17- Whale Watching
The End of an Amazing Season
To be honest, we weren’t sure what to expect on our final whale watch of the season. Although, whales and dolphins remain in the area, Hurricane Lee which passed far to our northeast, whipped up very high seas from Friday night into Saturday, and although conditions calmed for us to sail, we never know what we might find after a storm of such impact moves through. Despite this, spirits were high as we searched an area where two whales had been spotted earlier aboard a Viking fishing vessel. Unfortunately, no whales were found, nor were the dolphins that had also been eyed that morning near the jetty from the same vessel. We saw a few Cory’s shearwaters and patches of diving terns as we sailed east of Block Island, an area where we have found many cetaceans on previous trips. This time, however, the area was barren. For a couple of hours, only a few sporadic gulls could be seen and little bait was detected, very unusual for such a typically productive area. The wind picked up as we sailed westward making for choppier seas, but visibility was unlimited and we continued searching. Then, a blow was spotted by the naturalist and investigated. It belonged to a small humpback whale, which was moving below the surface and completing shallow non-fluking dives, likely to feed on (and/or search for) the very limited bait that was detected at the top of the water column. We spent a good amount of time with the whale which eventually popped up closer to the vessel and finally dove deep enough to raise its magnificent flukes out of the water for all to see (and for CRESLI to obtain photographs sufficient to identify the individual). We continued searching on our transit home, as the summer sun set on our trip and our 2023 season. The storm may have made conditions unfavorable for finding whales, but our dedicated team succeeded one last time to make this another perfect season for finding cetaceans (our second in a row).
We wish to thank everybody who participated in a whale watch with us and hope to see new and familiar faces next season! Thank you for your support.
1 humpback whale
3 Cory’s shearwaters
3 shearwaters of unknown species
Photos available at