WHAT A DAY! 2 Humpbacks and 1 was an acrobat!
WHAT A DAY! Today was one of the best American Princess Whale Watches I have ever been on...PERIOD!
Saturday May 12th NOON, Conditions at the time of the cruise “GOOD” – DRY, cloudy/overcast, air temp 59, water temp 54, winds E-ESE 8-15, 1-2ft chop.
We met up with the first whale very quickly. It was the same one we saw on Sunday (the one that was almost hit by the boat off Sandy Hook). The whale was probably sleeping or just taking a break waiting for conditions to get good for feeding. People were saying the whale was logging but it was not. “Logging” is a behavior that whales do when at rest and appear like "logs" on the surface. It is defined as lying without forward movement at the surface of the water with the dorsal fin or parts of the back are exposed. The whale was not doing this, it was slowly moving, with short breaths and then dives that lasted 5+ minutes (just like the last time we saw the whale). Maybe the whale was waiting for the Bunker to hit the surface, so it can start to feed on Bunker. There were tons of bunker in the area, but they were on the bottom. We and the whales need the Bunker on the surface and that’s when the lunge feeding happens but not today and not with this whale.
All spotters on the boat noticed big splashes WAY off in the distance, very close to the shore, like 3+ miles away. Capt. Frank and I thought it was waves breaking on the Jetty. We are traveling in that direction and minutes go by we all notice it’s not wave action, it Humpback Whale action! We quickly motored over and meet up with this very active Humpback Whale.
WOW, this whale was going nuts! The show for us started with some very powerful Peduncle throws or Tail Throws, also known as peduncling. a crack-the-whip rotation with its whole-body, throwing its tail and Peduncle out of the water and sideways ending in a giant splash. This whale did these Peduncle throws for almost an hour! Stopping only for Air and setup, NON-STOP!!
We were on the whale for half an hour and The AP moved away to give the whale a break. WHAT DOES THE WHALE DO, IT FOLLOWS US! Man…this Whale wanted to show off. The whale, at times, was very close to the boat. It did a Peduncle throw 15 feet from the front left side of the AP. Another time it was directly in front of the AP, I was on the pulpit looking down on this beautiful Whale. I was waiting to get totally drenched from a Peduncle Throw but thankfully it didn’t do that, it kicked its tail and slowly did a shallow dive.
The whale switched gears onto Pec Slapping and again it came very close to the boat. The close encounter started with the whale on the right side of the boat, then it came around the front and went to the left side and made a turn and went back the other way! It basically traveled in a half circle around the boat…TWICE!
The whale switched gears and moved into tail lobbing, slapping its tail on the surface making a very loud noise. The whale did this right side up AND upside-down meaning, it was slapping the top of its fluke on the water and then switching to slapping the bottom of its fluke on the water. While doing this he threw in Peduncle throws in the mix here and there. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO STOP!
The whale changes it up again with some heavy Chin Slaps or Chin Lobbing. This is when the whale raises its head out of the water and slams or slaps it on the water surface. The whale took a little break and I know what’s next. My eyes and camera are locked to the surface and it happens A FULL BREACH. It was nuts, this whale almost made it all the way out of the water. It did a few belly breaches then a twisting breach into a backwards breach.
We were with the whale for an hour and a half and it performed non-stop acrobatic maneuvers (tail slapping, pectoral slapping, tail throws, breaches, chin slapping and breaches) My arm were killing me from just holding my cameras, this whale must be exhausted! We have had some epic days on the AP’s Whale and Dolphin Watch, but this truly was the best day on the AP since it started whale watching tours in 2011.