Whale watch trips start July 7, 2019
By: A. H. Kopelman, Ph.D.
CRESLI/Viking Fleet 2019 Whale Watch
Wednesday July 3, 2019
Basking shark, Ocean sunfish, and dolphins!
We started out just where we left off, still finding cetaceans on every trip - ~70 short-beaked common dolphins.
What a gorgeous day to be on the water. While it took sometime before we found interesting animals, we did indeed find all kinds of critters. A small basking shark was our first aquatic vertebrate and the first seen by many of our passengers. Shortly thereafter we found a small ocean sunfish that gave us great views of its swimming and jumping capability. A short while later we found our first aggregation of
about 30-40 short beaked common dolphins. This group was loaded with lots of, you guessed it, small dolphins. moms with calves and loads of juveniles.
Many of the adult dolphins were engaged in mating, a rare sight for most people. Perhaps that's why the young ones were all together. Ourt second aggregation of 30 dolphins were similarly "engaged." We also were able to find Wilson's storm petrels, Great shearwaters, Cory's shearwaters, Sooty shearwaters, and Manx shearwaters
70 Short-beaked common dolphins
1 Basking shark
| Friday, July 5, 2019 |
A Big Minke Day
Today's Viking Fleet/CRESLI Whale watch started off with a dramatic fog bank that sweep over our boat as we were leaving the Montauk area. The thick fog soon fell away and we progressed through calm seas and sunny blue skies for the rest of the day.
1 Loggerhead sea turtle
25 Wilson Storm Petrels
1 Great shearwater
Sunday, July 7, 2019
Humpback whales, Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, and ocean sunfish!
What a special day we had – our first humpbacks of the season. The day was sunny, breezy, and chilly enough in the shade to make most of us wear sweatshirts, in other words a welcomed relief from the heat and humidity. We heard reports of whales off the Nappeague stretch, as well as further offshore. The NE winds helped us decide to head westward and we found whales off Ditch Plains. We first encountered a really small humpback, perhaps a calf or yearling. It was busy with searching for food on extremely long submersions. Later a larger humpback appeared and we stayed with it long enough to get excellent fluke shots and see some typical humpback behaviors. As we followed this whale to eastward for several miles, while doing so we had a brief encounter with a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle and an ocean sunfish. A nice day in every way!
2 Humpback whales
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Finback whale! 1st of this season, and another ocean sunfish
We left on a warm afternoon, looking forward to relief from the heat and to find whales. Both were accomplished. As soon as we got past Montauk lighthouse, we felt relief from the stifling heat on land. We had reports of whales inshore around Montauk and Cap’t. Dave saw a whale in the morning right where we had seen one on Sunday. The hazy fog and limited visibility made our task difficult. We eventually decided to head offshore into areas with more visibility. There we were able to find our 1st fin whale of 2019, a young (no more than 40’ long) and hungry one.
It was spending 9-13 minutes down feeding at 60-80 feet beneath the surface. We got great views and stayed with this whale until it was time to head back in. we came back late, but it was worth it.
1 fin whale