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Viking Fleet Fishing Reports

Whale Watching

Sat Sept 4 – Whale Watching

What a great day to be on the water! The weather was absolutely gorgeous with unlimited visibility and calm seas. We spent the first hour cruising near shore in search of whales. Soon, a blow was spotted by one of our volunteers and we observed a humpback whale casually swimming and diving in approximately 50 feet of water. Then things got exciting with a surprise breach in full view of passengers watching from the bow. Shoals of bunker (menhaden) were visible at the surface in about 32 feet of water and the whale moved into shallower water to feed. We knew something extraordinary was about to happen when the fish began leaping from the water followed immediately by the lunge-feeding humpback. At this same time, a minke whale was spotted on the other side of our vessel and was either…

Sun Aug 29 – Whale Watching

Another three species day, but a long one The day started out with an Atlantic gray seal (Halichoerus grypus atlantica)feeding in the waters of Montauk Harbor right behind the Starship as we boarded passengers. Conditions were excellent as we headed out to the east where humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) had been spotted earlier in the day….

Wed Aug 25 – Whale Watching

Another multi-species day! As we left the dock, a young gray seal (Halichoerus grypus)that we’d seen before was swimming around searching for food. Our trip on the oceans started out with a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) that just a few of us saw (we call that a “stinky minke”).  We then found a small group (10) of inshore bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and later encountered one large group (50) and another small group (10), about 70 in all.  In the interim we spent time up close with a truly “stinky” humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).  “Stinky” due to the mildly fetid, funky smell of its blow (perhaps due to a lung infection). Stinky humpback blows are and not that common but truly memorable.  The “bait” was abundant often near the sea floor (about 90 feet depth), we saw others blows in…

Wed Aug 18 – Whale Watching

Our best trip of the year!! Once again we had perfect conditions and lots of whales reported to us. 15 minutes after passing Montauk Lighthouse, we saw our first of about 12 minke whales. We encountered our the 1st of 11 humpback whales 30 minutes later! We were able to get close to photograph and identify 6 humpbacks, while the other 5 were seen within a 800 yard radius around us as we left out last whale – we’d run out of time. What made this trip extra special was that the last whale we were close to (the 2016 calf of Nile) was a true survivor. This young male had been severely entangled in 2900 lbs. of fishing gear and was disentangled via a herculean 4 day effort (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/humpback-whale-disentangled-new-york-all-thanks-team-effort). We were the first vessel to encounter this whale last…

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…

Sat Aug 14- Whale Watching

An awesome 3 species of cetaceans day Another great day to be out on the water.  10+ miles of visibility, calm seas, a cool breeze and plenty of sunshine.  Less than half an hour after passing the lighthouse, we came upon a pair of humpback whales giving us plenty of views with short dive times due to large about of menhaden (bunker) at the surface.  One even showed off giving us a few peduncle throws. As the Viking Starship continued heading west we found 3 minke whales with one of them giving us a couple of nice views to make comparisons of size and behavioral patterns with the humpback whales we had just seen.  Next we saw a large mola mola (ocean sunfish) just resting at the surface.  As we headed further south we found another humpback whale and…

Wed Aug 11 – Whale Watching

4.5 year old humpback whale (Liner 2016 calf) again! Today, the fog that had been around for hours lifted and we were able to head out. Our 3 miles of visibility was enough and within 30 minutes after passing Montauk Lighthouse, we found our 1st whale. This was a 4.5 year old humpback whale (Liner…

Sun Aug 8 – Whale Watching

Another AMAZING multi-species day!  Unlimited visibility, flat seas, gray skies, with just a few sprinkles for 2 minutes after leaving the dock – a far cry from the storm/rainy weather to our west. Our first whale was a minke, not far from Montauk Lighthouse. Within 45 minutes we saw 2 other minkes, and then the first of 5 humpback whales. Within an hour we found 3 more minkes, another humpback, and 15 inshore bottlenose dolphins and that was just the beginning. Within the next 40 minutes we encountered 4 more humpbacks and 45 more inshore bottlenose dolphins. To top it off, we found a smooth hammerhead shark on our way back in. 6 humpback whales 6 minke whales 60 inshore bottlenose dolphins 1 hammerhead shark 2 Cory’s shearwaters 5 Wilson’s storm petrels Photos soon at https://drartiek-cresli.smugmug.com/CRESLI-2021-Whale-Watches/2021-08-08-Montauk-Whale-Watch/  

Sat Aug 7 – Whale Watching

Only fainting glimpses today. Nice weather, favorable seas and 10+ miles of visibility, while traveling over 44 miles only yielding a few of us a brief view of a cetacean. We had an unidentified whale blow spotted by one of our CRESLI volunteers a mile or so behind us. We searched long and hard but never saw the whale come up again. A while later, a dolphin was spotted by a few members of the crew only to swim away and not seen again. We also had an unknown shark species swim by close to the boat, giving people on that side a quick view before disappearing. We do not get many trips like this with great conditions and little to no sightings. Our track record says we will have better days in the future. 1 unidentified whale species blow…

Sun Aug 1 – Whale Watching

Another successful trip! 2 minkes and 1 humpback! What a wonderful day we had on the Viking Starship! Unlimited visibility and crisp cool air were perfect conditions for finding whales. Again with 30 minutes of passing Montauk Light, we found a minke whale that allowed us some wonderful views as it swam repeatedly near the bow.  We headed further and 45 minutes later, another minke (larger the 1st one) surfaced within 2 yards of the starboard side of our bow sprit. Captain Davy immediately stopped and the whale dove as the crew collectively held its breath. Within 30 minutes we encountered a 35-40′ humpback that was one we had seen on Wednesday, We had amazing views as this whale rolled over and was logging (resting) with intermittent low-fluking and high-fluking dive to reach the massive concentrations of prey at 40′…

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