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2012 CRESLI Viking Whale watch reports

BEST OF THE 2012 WHALE WATCH PHOTOS

Things you might want to bring on a whale watch

Sunday July 1, 2012

The first trip of the 2012 season. We had a beautiful day at sea, and a cool sea breeze kept us comfortable during the day. But luck wasn't on our side this trip... We covered many miles in search of whales, dolphins and porpoises but weren't successful. We did find some blue fin tuna. We are looking forward to Wednesdays trip!.

Totals
2-3 Bluefin tuna
1
0 Wilson's Storm Petrels

Wednesday July 4, 2012

Bottlenose Dolphins!!

We had reports of whales 30-40 miles out. Right on the way out we found a pod of inshore bottlenose dolphins. The 12 dolphins included quite a few young ones. We then headed out further but were not successful. It was, in any event, a spectacular way to spend the 4th of July.

Totals
12 Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins (coastal migratory stock)
10 Greater Shearwaters
1 Corey's Shearwater
10 Wilsons Storm Petrels

Photos

Sunday July 8, 2012

Spectacular!!

What a beautiful day and trip. We headed out to find cetaceans and did we ever. By the time we had to head back in we had seen over 150 bottlenose dolphins (offshore subspecies). The dolphins were everywhere we looked and they just kept on coming. On the way back we also found a young loggerhead sea turtle.

Totals
150 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins
1 Loggerhead Sea Turtle
10 WIlson's Storm Petrels
10 Greater Shearwaters
1 Corey's Shearwater
1 Sooty Shearwater
1 Manx Shearwater

Photos

Sunday July 15, 2012

Breaching humpback whale! Incredible sight!

We heard reports of whales west of the point, so we headed in that direction. We saw the humpback whale breaching off Napeague from a distance. We arrived to find a young humpback-around 25 feet long. It breached almost every 30 seconds for 40 minutes, swimming parallel to us, under our bow, rolling over to look at us and pectoral flipper and tail slapping once in a while. Spectacular!! A young whale watching the whale watchers!!

Totals
1 Humpback
3 Corey's Shearwaters
1 Greater Shearwater
8 Wilson's Storm Petrels

Photos
Interactive map with photos
Humpback video

Wednesday July 18, 2012

Turtles Galore!

We headed out to where the humpback had been, but it wasn't around. We searched through several areas and found an area with many sea turtles. We spotted 3 Loggerhead turtles and 1 Kemps Ridley.

Totals
3 Loggerhead Turtles
1 Kemp's Ridley Turtle
7 Wilson's Storm Petrels
2 Greater Shearwaters
1 Corey's Shearwaters

Photos

Sunday July 22, 2012

Dolphins, Shark, Turtles

It was a beautiful day to be out at sea. We had reports of dolphins near the {oint and also near the Midway Buoy. We headed out to check the reports near the Point, then Midway, then we headed southwest. We found 2 loggerhead sea turtles and a blue shark within a few minutes of each other, in the early afternoon. We had a report of dolphins near the Point and sure enough we found two groups of inshore bottlenose dolphins (about 20 total). All-in-all a great day.

Totals
20 Bottlenose Dolphins (Coastal Migration Stock)
2 Loggerhead Sea Turtles
1 Blue Shark
30 Wilson's Storm Petrels
3 Greater Shearwaters

Photos

Interactive map with photos

Wednesday July 25, 2012

Awesome! But what was it?

BREACHING BASKING SHARKS!

Breaching Basking Sharks put on an amazing display today. We didn't find whales or dolphins but we were all thoroughly amazed by a massive basking shark breaching and porpoising over and over again. This 30 foot long shark breached about 10 times right in front of us. Nearby was another smaller basking shark doing the same. We also found a Dusky shark and an Ocean Sunfish. Click HERE to see the video of the Breaching Shark.

Totals
2 Basking Sharks
1 Dusky Shark
1 Ocean Sunfish
2 Greater Shearwaters
1 Corey's Shearwater
1 Sooty Shearwater
16 Wilson's Storm Petrels
Video of a basking shark breach

Sunday July 29, 2012

Bottlenose Dolphins!!

We were planning to head far to the south towards middle grounds where some whales had been spotted days earlier- a long trip but within our range. We didnt have to go that far to find cetaceans- in fact we were just a few miles out. Two large groups of coastal (inshore) bottlenose dolphins, about 40 in total delighted the passengers and crew. Adults, juvenile and very young dolphins were all around us. A great trip was had by all.

Totals
40 Bottlenose Dolphins (coastal migratory stock)
40 Wilson's Storm Petrels
5 Corey's Shearwaters
3 Greater Shearwaters

Photos

Video

Wednesday August 1, 2012

WOW! Common dolphins,Kemp's Ridley sea turtle and more

Another spectacular trip! We found an aggregation of about 60 short-beaked common dolphins, 12 miles out. These dolphinss were very active and included some really young ones that still had their fetal folds (vertical lines along the sides of their bodies from being in the fetal positon).  The dolphins often rode our bow wave, and could be heard vocalizing.  Just before the dolphins, we spotted a Kemp's Ridly sea turtle.  A great day,

Totals
60 Common Dolphins
1 Kemp's Ridley Turtle
85 Wilson's Storm Petrels
25 Greater Shearwaters
12 Cory's Shearwaters
1 Parasitic Jaeger
1 basking shark

Photos

Video

Sunday August 5, 2012

Another Successful Trip!

Once again we found ourselves amongst several groups of Short-beaked common dolphins- a total of about 40, including many young ones. We saw some being nursed as they swam past us and what a beautiful sight that was. After nearly 45 minutes with the dolphins we were treated by thge sight of a great hammer head shark.

Totals
40 Common Dolphins
1 Great Hammer Head Shark
20 Wilson's Storm Petrels
15 Cory's Shearwaters
4 Great Shearwaters
1 Sooty Shearwaters


Photos
Interactive map
Video

Wednesday August 8, 2012

Dolphins (Bottlenose & Common), Sea Turtles, bait & a bat

A double species day for cetaceans. Early in the trip we encountered about 60 Bottlenose Dolphins and watched them feed on Bluefish for quite a while. A few hours later we found a small group, 20 or so of Common Dolphin including some that appeared to be engaged in courtship. A leatherback Turtle surprised us as we were headed in. While we were out there a bat flew around us, which was an amazing surprise.

Totals

60 Bottlenose Dolphins
20 Common Dolphin
1 Leatherback Turtle
1 Unknown Turtle
35 Wilson's Storm Petrels
6 Cory's Shearwaters

Photos
Interactive map with photos

Video

Sunday August 12 - Tuesday August 14, 2012

Another Successful Great South Channel Trip

Another successful Great South Channel trip (our 12th trip since 2002). We are still at 100% success at finding whales on our offshore trips. On this trip we found 17 humpback whales (6 were ID'd by Orla O'Brien of WCNE). We found Filigree and her calf; Wave; Pitcher; Blackbird; Breeze; Divingboard, Dancer; Asparagus, Gargoyle, and Lilium; the other 6 humpbacks may be new;. Only one of these have made it to Stellwagen this year. Also found a few fin whales; a voraciously surface feeding minke whale; and an aggregation of about 600 common dolphins.unknown humpback in the Great South Channel, 8/14/12

Totals
17 Humpbacks
4 Fin Whales
1 Minke Whale
600 Common Dolphins
Wilson’s Storm Petrels
Great Shearwaters
Cory’s Shearwaters
Sooty Shearwaters
Manx Shearwaters
Pomarine Jaegers
Parasitic Jaegers


Photos
Interactive map with photos

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Found them again!

Sightings: 60-80 common dolphins, including ~10 moms with 'babies', multiple leaping displays and LOTS of tail slapping, sustained leaps and body slams; dolphins frequently raced toward vessel and swam alongside or beneath it, often turning backwards on some of the 'attempts'; and we found them again later in the cruise although this time, the group seemed smaller (40?)

60-80 Common dolphins
3 Common Eider
30 Cory's Shearwater
8 Great Shearwaters
1 Manx Shearwater
25 Wilson's Storm-Petrel
20 Double-crested Cormorant
3 Semipalmated Sandpiper
6 Laughing Gull
60 Herring Gull (American)
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
30 Great Black-backed Gull
2 Black Tern
30 Common Tern
2 Forster's Tern

Photos

Sunday August 19, 2012

Oh my, what a trip!

It took a few hours but wow, it was worth the wait. How often do you see hundreds of inshore bottlenose dolphins feeding for an hour. Our first sighting was a group of 60 then others joined in. There were easily 200 dolphins feeding on bluefish. They would drive the fish, swim in circles and dive- utterly amazing! There were also nearly 100 Cory's Shearwaters in the are as well.

Totals:
200 Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins
145 Cory's Shearwaters
40 Wilson's Storm Petrels
Photos
Interactive Map with Photos
Video

Wednesday August 22, 2012

Minke Whale!

We headed west because of a report of a whale off Amagansett and also were looking for the dolphins we had been seeing inshore. We didn't find dolphins so we headed further offshore. We spotted an uncooperative Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle around noon and shortly thereafter we found our whale, a 30 foot, 20,000lbs Minke whale! We were able to stay with it and watch it surface filtering food through its baleen for almost 2 hours. We also found a Leatherback turtle near the Minke. A Great Day!!

Totals
1 Minke Whale
1 Leatherback Sea Turtle
1 Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle
120 Coreys Shearwater
35 Wilson's Storm Petrels
3 Greater Shearwater
1 Northern Gannet

Sunday August 26, 2012

It was a gorgeous day out on the water. We spent the bulk of the trip cruising in and around the vicinity of our recent bottlenose dolphin, minke whale and juvenile humpback whale sightings, unfortunately without any sightings. The animals may have moved further offshore in search of food, or decided that the beautiful weather was enough for us to enjoy for the day. We did, however, enjoy some pelagic bird sightings including:

Totals:
1 Parasitic Jaeger
5 Great Shearwaters
10 Cory's Shearwaters
5 Sanderlings
5 Wilson Storm Petrels

The Parasitic jaeger is a nice treat, as we often don't see these birds so close to shore.

Wednesday August 29, 2012

An amazing 3 cetacean species day!

Totals:
1 Minke whale
15 Bottlenose dolphin
40 Common dolphin
2 shearwaters

Sunday September 2, 2012

Cavorting common dolphins!

It was a long but worthwhile trip today. It took a few hours, but eventually we got a brief view of a leatherback turtle and shortly thereafter, we encountered 100 common dolphins. The dolphins were moving quickly, but came over to check us out and ride with us. Some were engaged in courtship and mating and were too busy to do much else, and who could blame them! Its rare to see this behavior and always interesting. A nice way to end the season!

Totals:
100 Common Dolphins
1 Leatherback Turtle
20 Great Shearwaters
1 Sooty Shearwate
5 Cory's Shearwaters
10 Wilson's Storm Petrels

Photos
Interactive map with photos
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