White Island Lighthouse on the Isles of Shoal.
Sunday morning was a bright, brisk morning as Ken and I set out on our mission....to visit with my whale friends. Every year for my birthday we try to get out on this adventure. Usually we head out for a long weekend in Plymouth, Ma, but this year I had a show to work on Saturday, so we stayed a bit closer to home.
Heading out for Rye Harbor, we gave ourselves 2 hours to get there which should have been plenty of time, but as we headed for the beach road realizing we had only 15 minutes before the ship headed out, it was a race! Poor Ken was sighing and groaning. I knew how much he wanted to give this to me for my birthday, which made me feel so bad. We rounded the corner into the harbor with barely a minute to spare!
...and just like that we were off! A much smaller boat than we were accustomed too made for even more fun as we were very close to the water. The waters were fairly calm and the sun was brightly twinkling off the waters.
After seeing some small minke whales and harbor porpoises we headed out for deeper waters. Soon enough we came upon two logging humpback whales. Whale rest is referred to as logging. Whales don't sleep like people do in regular rest periods as they need to "think" to breathe, so a portion of their brain has to be awake enough to remind them to breath.
...and the other would follow suit. They gave us a long show before we headed off to even deeper waters for more whales. Before we left however I was able to catch this picture of the florescent green light that appears when a portion of a whale is right under the surface. It's the barnacles that live on the whales.
There were times when we were as close as 6 feet away from these majestic animals and as you can imagine it was just breath taking. We could almost reach out and touch them.
We stayed with them as I said for a while but then the captain was told there were some fin whales further out, so we set out again. Fin whales are HUGE!! Not only are they huge, they are FAST! So fast that I wasn't able to get a clear enough picture as we followed 2 of them. One a suspected male, named Fjord was chasing a female named Comet. It appeared that Comet did not want to be caught because the ground she was covering at the speed she was moving at was amazing. It felt more like a whale chase than a whale watch.
We stayed with them for a good amount of time although not nearly as close as we were to the humpbacks because of their massive size and the huge waves that they were producing as they move that quickly through the waters.
As the sun was getting lower in the sky, we headed back to the harbor in the chilly Autumn air relishing every single moment of the wonder that we were blessed to witness on this beautiful day....and of course an ocean trip would not be complete without one of my favorite little friends.
If you get a chance to spend an afternoon with whales....DO IT!