Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island

Whale Watch Sighting Reports (2013-2019)

2013-2019

By: Arthur H. Kopelman, Ph.D.


Whale Watch Sighting Reports (2013-2019)

 

CRESLI/Viking Fleet Whale Watch Sightings

2013-2019

Join the crew with over 30 years of whale watching experience. Come away with geat memories, great photos and videos, and an education about whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and marine life that is second-to-none.

  • The Viking Fleet and CRESLI are offering special family friendly marine cruises focusing on the sights of the ocean! Enjoy a day on the water with your family looking for whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea birds and sunfish. Along the way you can view the Montauk lighthouse and all the landmarks of the east end.
  • A qualified naturalist / marine biologist will narrate the tour and answer all of your questions!
  • The Viking boats are equipped with clean restrooms, comfortable seating and full galleys onboard. We recommend reservations. You can either do so by phone (631-668-5700) or https://vikingfleet.com/activities/whale-watching/
  • The trips will depart the dock at 2:00 PM and return at 7:00 PM Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from July 3, 2019 - August 28, 2019
  • The fare for these trips is $75 for adults, $49 for children 5-12y/o, FREE for Children under 5y/o

CRESLI/Viking Fleet 2019 Whale Watch

 

2019 - 95.8% SUCCESS (23 OUT OF 24 TRIPS)

 

 DATE/REPORT

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
1 Ocean sunfish
25 Wilson's storm petrels
15 Great shearwaters
2 Manx shearwaters
1 Sooty shearwater
1 Cory's shearwater

PHOTOS

 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.

After reaching a point about 12 miles from Montauk point we encountered the first of the Minke whales. They were apparently feeding on the thick schools of small fish below us. The adults and children aboard got many looks at these small baleen whales as they spent time around the boat. We continued along at a leisurely pace and stopped several times as we encountered several small groups that day, for a total of 12 whales seen. 

Many small seabirds, Wilson's Storm Petrels, where dipping into the seas around us for food too. A sharp-eyed passenger also spotted a young Loggerhead sea turtle alongside the boat.

12 Minke whales 
1 Loggerhead sea turtle 
25 Wilson Storm Petrels
1 Great shearwater

PHOTOS

 

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
1 Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle
1 ocean sunfish
 

PHOTOS

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
1 ocean sunfish
20 Wilson’s storm petrels
1 Great shearwater
2 Cory's shearwaters

PHOTOS

Friday, July 12, 2019

Minke Whale on a Beautiful Day

We left Montauk harbor today with beautiful blue skies and good visibility to search for whales and had just enough of a swell to give the passengers an exciting "ride". We cruised along the south shore of Montauk and enjoyed great views of the bluffs and hills. As usual we saw some pelagic seabirds, either skimming the waters or diving for fish and although we were several miles offshore we also had many butterflies fly past the ship.

We then came upon a Minke whale, about 5 miles south of Montauk town. It surfaced several times in a few locations around the boat. Since there were patches of small fish under the ship we assume it was actively feeding. After leaving that whale we continued to cruise towards the southeast towards where we had recently seen whales, but had no luck with for the rest of this day.

Totals:
1 minke whale
1 ocean sunfish
10 Wilson's storm petrels
4 Great shearwater
4 Cory's shearwaters


PHOTOS

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Humpbacks Galore! Lunge-feeding, breaching, flipper slapping, and more

Our first multiple humpback trip. Once again, we escaped the heat on land to find whales in water that was comfortably in the mid to upper 60's. We began looking as soon as we traveled past Montauk light. Within a few minutes we found our first of 4 humpbacks. This one was intent on long feeding fives of prey near the surface and traveling due east without changing course. We got some nice views and ID photos and headed west to find more. Did we ever.

We found one humpback lunge-feeding on bunker (Atlantic menhaden) with an ocasional breach thrown in, as usual - spectacular to observe and hard to capture. we stayed with this animal for quite some time. This humpback was oblivious to us and once lunge-fed within a foot or two of our port bow.

Eventually we needed to head back, but were stopped when we encounterd 2 humpbacks logging (resting at the surface) together. At first, from afar we thought it might be a mom and calf, but these animals were almost the same size (one just slightly larger) - so not a cow/calf pair, but clearly an associated pair. One of the pair rolled over and flipper slapped for a bit. What a great trip - so many typical humpback behaviors, and so many people on board who had never seen a whale, let along 4 humpback whales, a blue shark, and an ocean sunfish.

Totals:
4 humpback whales
1 blue shark
1 ocean sunfish
2 Wilson's storm petrels

PHOTOS

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

 

Well, it was bound to happen. After 29 consecutive trips with whales or dolphins since July 2017, we were unable to find them today. The haze and occasional limited visibility made it difficult to spot then from a distance. We covered 45 nautical miles in our search but no whales or dolphins. There was bait, bunker, and a few pelagic birds, even an unidentified shark, and an ocean sunfish, but no cetaceans. We will try again on Friday 7/19/19.

One plus was the cool sea surface temperatures that kept us in sweatshirts, while folks were sweltering on land. Another plus was seeing a submarine heading out to sea.

Totals:
1 unidentified shark
1 ocean sunfish
11 Wilson's storm petrels

Friday, July 19, 2019

Back with the Whales!

We are back on track! found bottlenose dolphins and fin whales!!

Today we left Montauk with clearing skies and a cool breeze. We traveled south and within an hour saw some splashes in front of us. This turned out to be a group of dolphins. These were the first bottlenose dolphins we have seen this year and they crossed right in front of our bow. The group stayed very tightly together as they moved around the boat, sometimes "porposing" out of the water. We stayed with them for some time before moving onward.

After another 45 minutes we spotted our first whale; a large fin whale. Fin whales are the second largest of the whales and second largest animal on the planet. We watched it as it continually dove down (we assume to feed on the thick bands of small baitfish under the boat) and surfaced with that long conical blow so characteristic of fin whales.
We had a birding group with us today and we were pleased they were able to see several pelagic bird species that can only be seen at sea, including 3 different shearwater species gliding along just above the waves.

After proceeding south from Montauk we came upon 2 more fin whales, again feeding through thick bands of baitfish, about 50 feet below the surface. We finished our day cruising back along the south shore, close in to the cliffs and bluffs, before rounding the point and returning to Montauk.


Totals:
5 bottlenose dolphins
3 finback whales 
12 Wilson's storm petrels
2 Great shearwaters
4 Cory's shearwaters
1 Sooty shearwater

 

PHOTOS

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Humpback action!

Once again we headed out to find whales, and as soon as we got past Montauk Lighthouse and onto the Atlantic Ocean, we were out of the heat! Sea surface temperatures were in the upper 60’s, a welcome relief. 

We headed west towards where humpbacks had been for the past few days and in a short while found one. This 40’ (-13 m) whale, probably weighed 45,000 lbs (-20 metric tons), and was logging (resting at the surface) just as it had done one week earlier. We spent some time with this whale be heading further west. At the Napeague Stretch, we headed offshore for a few miles, then began heading eastward. We saw a whale a few miles ahead, got up to it; it was the same whale we’d seen logging. Not logging now! This whale was doing “tail throws.” Over and over, we lost count at about 15 times. What an amazing site for all of us. We eventually left the whale and headed home.

Totals:
1 humpback whale
Herring Gulls
Great Black-backed Gulls
Common terns
~30 plovers (unknown species) in 2 groups flying southwest about 2 miles from shore

PHOTOS

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

100 bottlenose dolphins to start, humpback and more bottlenose to end!

When we start our whale watch trip with unlimited visibility on sunny dry afternoon, we have great expectations. We hadn’t even gotten past the Lighthouse when we found a massive aggregation of inshore bottlenose dolphins – over 100! We watched and followed as they were chasing their prey, driving them into tight circles and then diving. Adults, juveniles, and new born calves were all around us. What a beautiful sight.

We left them to continue their journey and ours, and headed towards where we had been seeing humpbacks whales for the past few weeks. We found a good sized humpback and stayed with it, observed it, photographed its dorsal fin and flukes for ID purposes. We were in neutral and ready to leave but the whale had other plans, it decided to swim right up next to us, along the port sight, then under us, and come back on the starboard side. Needless to say, we couldn’t move until the whale moved away. Nobody complained.

We headed a bit further offshore and began to encounter pelagic birds, rafts of Cory’s shearwaters, a few Great shearwaters, and a few aggregations of Wilson’s storm petrels too. Shortly thereafter we found a pair of whales swimming together. As we found a few weeks ago, these whales, staying right next to each other were not mom and calf, as you might expect, but of similar size (about 36 feet (11 meters). We were able to stay with them for quite some time and got great photos, videos, and recollections. Again, almost nobody on board had seen whales or dolphins before and were just as happy as can be.

Totals:

115 Bottlenose dolphins
3 humpback whales
25 Cory’s shearwaters
2 Great shearwaters
10 Wilson’s storm petrels
1 immature Northern gannet

PHOTOS

Friday, July 26, 2019

Bottlenose dolphins, Minke whale, and Finback whale!

Today's CRESLI/Viking Fleet whale watch left Montauk Harbor with clear blue skies and calm seas. Cruising for less than an hour southeast of Montauk we came upon 2 groups of dolphins. There were about 15 bottlenose dolphins all told and we watched them for 45 minutes as they socialized around the boat. These dolphins all were side by side as they put on an energetic display. They were splashing, spy-hopping, "lob-tailing" and did back flips in the water. Their behavior was all about social bonding and perhaps establishing dominance within the group. Our passengers took some great photos of the dolphins with the cliffs of Montauk in the background.
We decided to move on and went further offshore. We continued to pass many "baitballs" of small fish the whales like to eat; menhanden at the surface, being pursued by larger fish. Losing sight of land we came upon 2 whales of 2 different species. Both a minke whale and a fin whale were feeding in the area. At first they were hard to follow as they came up for a quick breath and immediately went down to feed on the very thick schools of small fish. We were patient and were rewarded with some good looks at the fin whale. About 50 feet long, it began to stay on the surface and moved slowly along as it performed a series of several blows. We watched it for several of these series fairly close. The whale finally came up very close and headed directly for our boat. It was right at our stern when it made a final blow that rose above us and then dove underneath the boat for a spectacular "final good-bye"!

Totals 
15 Bottlenose Dolphins
1 Fin Whale
1 Minke whale
1 Ocean Sunfish
5 Wilson Storm Petrels
30 Common Terns
20 Black Backed Gull

PHOTOS

Sunday, July, 28, 2019

Bottlenose dolphins to start; humpback to end

We had a long trip today with a sold out boat. We escaped the heat right away as we turned east at the jetty. Found 2 small groups of Bottlenose dolphins and a small ocean sunfish just west of the Lighthouse. We search nearshore and offshore, didn’t find much else until we began to get head back toward Montauk. At 6:30 we saw something flash off in the distance and the blow of a humpback about 2 miles ahead of us. It was doing inverted lob-tailing, partial breaching, tails throws, etc. and as we got closer a small fishing boat ran super-fast right to the whale, stopped way too close. The whale reacted by diving and tail-throwing once – then took off to the southwest, with 5-6 minute down times and just surfacing a few blows each time and heading away. Had that vessel not harassed the whale, it would have continued its behaviors. It was spectacular to see this active whale, but to see it chased down by those jerks in the small boat was upsetting to all. All-in-all, a long but successful trip. Even though we got back at 8:10 PM, people loved it. BOATERS, REMEMBER TO NEVER CHASE DOWN WHALES! GIVE WHALES THEIR SPACE!


Totals 
10 Bottlenose Dolphins
1 Humpback Whale
1 Ocean Sunfish
3 Wilson Storm Petrels
1 Great Shearwater
Common Terns
Great Black-Backed Gulls
Herring Gulls

PHOTOS

Wednesday, July, 31, 2019

3 Humpbacks, pod of bottlenose dolphins, and a minke whale!!

Once again, we left the sweltering heat and cooled off almost immediately after leaving the harbor (sea surface temperatures have been in the upper 60's to low 70's for a while). We headed towards an area where dolphins had been seen earlier, but they had move on, as nomadic dolphins almost always do. We then headed off towards one of our known whale feeding areas, and there we encountered 2 large humpbacks swimming, diving, and obviously feeding together, we also see a small pod of bottlenose dolphins. We see a third humpback. The 3rd whale heads North and we stay with the pair. Their prey are in bands from the surface to 50' below, and they're spending feeding below and occasionally defecating at the surface. One of the whales is a known whale from the Gulf of Maine, Komodo, the 2007 calf of Rune, the other remains to be identified. We headed in search of the 3rd humpback but were unsuccessful but eventually found a minke whale, just before heading back to the dock. An amazing time for everyone.



Totals 
15 Bottlenose Dolphins
3 Humpback Whales
1 Minke Whale
5 Wilson Storm Petrels
PHOTOS

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Whale Trifecta! 2 Minke whales, 5 humpback whales (including a mom and calf), and a finback whale! 8 whales in all!

What do you get when you have unlimited visibility, flat seas, and good eyes? Lots of whales. Shortly after heading out past the Lighthouse, we spot our first whale, a minke whale. They are relative small baleen whales and this one was not only small, but also entangled in fishing gear. The gear was loosely wrapped, but still obviously having an effect. The Coast Guard was notified, they in turn notified the Center for Coastal Studies
Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team. CRESLI sent photos and all folks are asked to keep an eye out (seehttps://drartiek-cresli.smugmug.com/CRESLI-2019-Whale-Watches/2019-08-04-Montauk-Whale-Watch/i-VsXTmxz/A for a photo). All too sad to see, but we were glad to help.

We continued on our way and found our first of 5 humpbacks about 30 minutes later. We began to see blows in many directions and were ultimately able get close to photograph others. Very nice to see our first mom and calf of this summer. As the day progressed were saw more, including the same tail-throwing whale that we’d seen on 7/14 and 7/21, and it threw its tail once this trip too. The whales were busy eating and we were able to get a quick glimpse of a fast moving finback and another minke. When we headed back in, we looked behind us and found blows all over – I guess we know where to go on Wednesday


Totals:
2 Minke Whales
1 Finback Whale
5 Humpback Whales
5 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
1 Immature Northern Gannet

PHOTOS

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Breaching Humpbacks, Minkes, and a few Great shearwaters and a mature Northern gannet!

Another beautiful day on the water with whales, what more can you want? Our minkes were “stinky” and avoided being photographed, but were seen none-the-less. Our humpbacks showed us most of their repertoire of aerial behaviors. Our first pair of humpbacks included one whale (MN.CRESLI.2019.07.14-04) that’s been seen by us for the past 4 weeks, each time in close association (swimming synchronously and within a body width of the other whale) with a different humpback. Interesting! At one point MN.CRESLI.2019.07.14-04 and MN.CRESLI.2019.08.07-01 breached together, not 100’ in front of us, and a few seconds later, MN.CRESLI.2019.08.07-01 breached by itself. WOW. We left those whales and traveled our searching pattern, finding whales a few miles away- another pair? Yes, but - there’s MN.CRESLI.2019.08.07-02 with MN.CRESLI.2019.07.14-04. Incredible – another associated pair that includes MN.CRESLI.2019.07.14-04. That’s some gregarious whale.


Totals:
3 Humpback whales
2 Minke whales
2 Great Shearwaters
1 Mature Northern Gannet

PHOTOS

Friday August 9, 2019

Whales and Dolphins Too... Again!

The CRESLI/Viking Fleet whale watch left Montauk on a beautiful day with blue skies and unlimited viability. We were only a mile south of the lighthouse when we saw our first blow and came upon our first whale. It was a young humpback whale and we followed it for almost an hour as it remained in the area. The passengers got some nice photos of the whale with the cliffs of Montauk in the background.

Our vessel, the Viking Starship, then proceeded to the west along the coast and then turned south, away from Long Island. We started to see many schools of bait fish at the surface- just what our whales are looking to find. After a short cruise we suddenly came upon 2 whales and a pod of dolphins. The dolphins were bottlenose and the whales were more humpbacks. The pod of 8 dolphins was moving around the area with speed and sometimes leaping from the water. One of the whales did some tail slapping which made large splashes and was probably done to make a sound to communicate with others.
We spent a couple of hours in the area and were treated to many "down dives" with one humpback showing us its flukes and letting us take some great identification photos for our research. One whale also lifted its head up out of the water for a nice view.
As we started to make our way back to harbor we saw another pod of bottlenose dolphins, about 10 this time, and we watched them too. This group had several very young animals and they were also tail slapping in unison. Sadly our time at sea was up and we had to leave the dolphins and head back to Montauk.


Totals:
3 Humpback Whales
18 Bottlenose Dolphins
2 Great Shearwaters

PHOTOS

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Finback whales and humpback whales

A little sea mist on the horizon had everyone on board the Viking Starship becoming a spotter. Captain Dave began his search East of Montauk and we were soon rewarded with a large Finback whale feeding. A beautiful cone-shaped blow and the incredible power of this marine mammal enchanted everyone on board. Next we found a 2 Humpback whales feeding and got a fabulous tail wave. This is a whale we have seen before. We also managed to see a Blue Shark that was feeding near the Humpback whales. As we continued our search we were able to see a few Minke whales nearer the Montauk Lighthouse. We had reports of a cow-calf pair of Minkes, but were unable to confirm. Birds of note today included A Cory's Shearwater and a number of Wilson's Storm Petrels dancing on the waves and surface feeding


PHOTOS

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Humpback, a Minke and a Fin Whale...


It was a good day for a whale watch with great visibility and clearing skies as the CRESLI/Viking Fleet whale watch left Montauk harbor. After some time we spotted a tall blow in the distance. As we closed we saw it was a fin whale. This lone animal was about 40 feet in length, not large for these whales. It remained in this one area with a regular series of 4 surface breaths and then dives down, most likely to feed on the small fish our sonar saw close to the bottom. We got some nice looks at this animal as we stayed with it for some time. After continuing our search we discovered another species of whale, a young humpback. It was swimming slowly at the surface, sometimes "logging", and we all got some nice looks. As we continued on our search we saw a breach in the distance as a whale leapt from the water and so the boat went to investigate. This turned out to be a Minke whale, the smallest of the rorqual whales. After another trip where we hit the 3 species "whale trifecta" we headed back to harbor.


Totals
1 Humpback Whale
1 Minke Whale
1 Fin Whale
13 Wilson Storm Petrels

PHOTOS

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Spectacular Humpback Whale Breaching

We left Montauk today with clearing skies and very calm seas. There was a report of a humpback whale a short distance from Montauk Point and we went looking for that whale first. After 30 minutes it proved easy to see as the humpback was breaching in the distance and creating huge white splashes of water. We approached this young animal and were treated to several bouts of breaching. It lunged its entire body length out of the water over and over - for a remarkable 30 plus breaches. In between breaching (and delighting the passengers) the whale stayed lounging on the surface and continually "flipper-slapped" the water, creating a sharp "crack" sound with each hit. 
After spending some time with this charismatic whale we continued our journey and spotted a minke whale close in front of our boat. We came upon a few other humpback whales, one after the other, saw another breach, and spent some time with those whales.
Suddenly 2 bottlenose dolphins swam up to the boat, with one leaping or "porposing" out of the water. We were running out of time, after such a full day, and headed back to Montauk, with a brief look at yet another humpback whale along the way.


Totals
4 Humpback Whales
2 Minke Whales
2 Bottlenose Dolphins
1 Sooty Shearwater
1 Wilson Storm Petrel
3 Greater Shearwaters


PHOTOS

Friday, August 23, 2019

A Spectacular Day with the Whales

What can you say about a trip where we saw 11 humpback whales, 2 other whale species and dolphins!
The trip started with cloudy skies and great visibility. We spotted whales agin within an hour of leaving Montauk and then usually had more than one in sight all day. Cruising southeast of Montauk we spotted the blows of humpback whales and watched them making short dives in shallow, 50 foot, water to feed on the baitfish below. 
One humpback made a spectacular, full body, breach and then thrilled the passengers with some flipper slapping for some time.
We continued to see humpbacks throughout the area and then spotted 2 minke whales. One of the minkes popped-up about 10 feet from the boat.
A group of about 15 bottlenose dolphins, the inshore type, played around the boat for awhile, to the delight of the children aboard.
This day ended with whales all around the boat, humpbacks, a fin whale and a minke. After a humpback treated us to some tail slapping on the surface we were out of time and sadly had to head back home.

.

Totals
11 Humpback Whales
15 Bottlenose Dolphins
1 Fin Whale
2 Minke Whales
3 Cory Shearwaters

PHOTOS

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Whales Close to Montauk

What started out as a cloudy and someone rainy trip turned into a productive day of whale watching. After less than an hour we spotted some big splashes in the distance- there was a whale breaching and flipper slapping. Unfortunately by the time we got to the area, with the overcast background, we were unable to find the whale. We continued on our way and suddenly came upon 2 humpback whales and 18 bottlenose dolphin. There was a lot of surface bait fish and the whales were feeding.The dolphins came into our area in 2s and 3s until there was a big group. They swam around the feeding whales for some time and some passengers got some special pictures with a whale and dolphin in the same photo! They showed us some fun behaviors such as leaping or "porpoising" out of the water. A minke whale joined this group and we got a few quick looks.
We continued on and found 2 more humpbacks and more minkes. As we headed back to Montauk several dolphins approached the boat, probably the ones we saw earlier in our trip, coming for one final good-bye.



TOTALS
4 humpback whales
3 minke whales
18 bottlenose dolphins

PHOTOS

Friday, August 30, 2019

A Beautiful Day with Whales all Around

Today was a sunny , beautiful day as we set out again in search of whales. We only had to round Montauk Point and cruise along the south shore for 40 minutes before seeing our first whale blowing. This turned out to be a humpback whale, in very shallow water (50 feet) making shallow feeding dives. The water was literally teeming with giant schools of bait fish, menhaden, at the surface. The whale was only going down for a bit over 2 minutes as it's food was right at the surface.
Within a half hour we spotted several other blows and investigated. We watched these other 4 humpbacks feeding on and off for the rest of the afternoon.
Looking towards the beach we saw a pair of whales moving very closely together. Captain Dave brought the Viking Starship over to them and we were amazed to see they were fin whales- at one and a half miles from the shore, we had never seen this species so close to shore! This pair of medium whales, about 40 feet long, gave us several good looks as they too were feeding on the surface menhaden. Within the hour we saw quite a few other whales, more fins, humpbacks and a couple of minke whales.
The children aboard kept yelling with delight as whales surfaced over and over around the boat. We were running out of time when a humpback whale, as if to wave "good-bye", did a "down dive" and put its tail fluke up in the air before disappearing again.



Totals
7 humpbacks
5 fin whales
1 minke whale


PHOTOS

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Great way to end our season!

Great trip today started with a humpback whale 15 minutes past the lighthouse. Spotted two identified whales while watching this humpback. After leaving humpback whale we came across 2 Finback whales. Approximately 12 bottlenose dolphins joined the two Finback whales for a brief time. After leaving the Finback whales we came across our second humpback whale fluking several times. This whale also gave us some flipper slapping which everyone enjoyed. We continued our search for more marine life to find blowes off in the distance from to different whales. Unfortunately unable to identify the whales as they disappeared as we approached.



Totals: 
2 Humpback Whales
2 Finback whales
4 unidentified whales 
12 bottlenose dolphins


PHOTOS

 


 

 Humpback whale  - Unknown 2018-01

Sunday July 1, 2018

Wow! What a way to start the season! Dolphins and Whales

Our first trip was a success. We had reports and coordinates for hundreds of dolphins and a minke whales sighted this morning and a humpback sighted yesterday. Off we went to find them and we did. The minke was “stinky minke” seen by just a few people. As we continued searching, we found a large aggregation of about 100 short-beaked common dolphins. The aggregation included adults, juveniles, and calves.

We left the dolphins and headed towards the coordinates for the humpback. We found it about an hour later. Its dorsal fin was partially gone probably due to an entanglement. It was diving often and searching for food. We stayed in the area and the whale consistently came up ¼ to ½ half mile away. Fluke shots were taken for identification and it was a eventually time to leave. We got back to the dock late but everyone was exhilarated and everyone had a wonderful afternoon.


Totals:
~100 short-beaked common dolphins
1 Minke Whale
1 humpback whale
8-10 Great Shearwaters
15-20 Cory’s Shearwaters
 
5-10 Sooty Shearwaters
25-30 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
10 Manx Shearwaters

PHOTOS

Sunday July 8, 2018

3 Species of Whale, 1 Species of Dolphin, and 11 species of Pelagic and Coastal Birds!


What an amazing day on the water. We had reports of whales from Saturday, but we had friends out there and said there weren’t seeing anything. With no information except our 30 year knowledge of whale feeding areas near Montauk, Captain Dave Marmino and Naturalist Dr. Artie Kopelman formulated a plan and headed to an area that has almost always has been productive. Within an hour of passing Montauk Light, we had our first minke whale. Like other minkes, this one was elusive. As we were waiting for the minke to resurface, we saw the blows from a larger whale about 1.5 nautical miles (nm) away. Off we headed to find our second species - humpback whale. The humpback breached about 1 nm ahead of us, we were able to stay with this whale for 40 minutes as it circled, traveled, and dove over a 3.5 nm path . We got great views of the ID patterns on the ventral side of the flukes. From this point we saw the massive blows of a fin whale ½ nm away (our 3rd baleen whale species)! The fin whale was only about 50’ long and had easily seen entanglement scars on its right flank and harder to see shallow propeller scars on its back just in front of its dorsal fin. About ½ mile from the fin whales we saw an aggregation of about 60 short-beaked common dolphins and spent the next 20 mi9nutes being amazed by the dolphins as they rode our bow and swam and porpoised all around. What a day!

Totals:
1 minke whale
1 humpback whale
1 finback whale
60 short-beaked common dolphins
98 Cory's Shearwater
53 Great Shearwater
14 Sooty Shearwater
4 Manx Shearwater
148 Wilson's Storm-Petrel
1 Northern Gannet
8 Double-crested Cormorant
7 Laughing Gull
130 Herring Gull
121 Great Black-backed Gull
Bird totals thanks to Taylor Sturm

PHOTOS

Wednesday July 11, 2018

2 Species of Whale and 5 species of Pelagic Birds!


2018 is starting out right where we left off in 2017, with 100% success in finding whales! A beautiful, yet cool and windy day, with a large swell from a distant ofshore storm, gave us a day with good visibility and really 'tricky' whales.

We had reports of whales to the east of Block Island, too far for us to do anything but drive out, look for 30 minutes, and drive back.  on our way to Sunday's whales grounds, we got a report of several whales south of Block Island, only about 7 miles from where we were on Sunday.  Off we went. Our first two whales were "stinky" minkes, with just a few of us seeing the whales and their dive times were VERY long. Luckily we saw two whales about 1.5 miles ahead of us, one with characterstic massive finback whale blow, the other was less prominent. We found a large fin whale and a minke feeding in this area several miles south of the Deep Water wind farm. The whales, pelagic birds, and coastal birds were feeding on large quantities of prey from the surface to about 50 feet down.  The whale down times were long, but we did manage to get good photos of the fin whale.

Totals:
3 minke whales
1 finback whale
~65 Wilson's Storm-Petrels
~60 Cory's Shearwaters
several Scopoli's Shearwaters
~30 Great Shearwaters
4 Sooty Shearwaters
1 Manx Shearwater

PHOTOS

Sunday July 15, 2018

A trip for the ages! 18-20 Humpbacks and 8 fin whales feeding voraciously!

We had reports of whales feeding not far from Montauk Point, so we headed to the area we were in the reports. Less that an hour from the dock we found our first of nearly 30 whales!! Humpbacks and finback were feeding on massive quantities of sand eels. We’re used to seeing bubble feeding humbacks on our trips to the Great South Channel, not necessarily near Montauk, but there they were. In fact, many of the humpbacks were photographed are know members of the Gulf of Maine stock – and obviously aren’t in the GOM. We saw bubble rings, bubble mists, Kick-feeding, and open-mouth surface filtering humpbacks galore. There were breaching and flipper slapping humpbacks too. The fin whales were surface lunging and rolling sideways into concentrations of prey right at the surface. We were surrounded by whales feeding non-stop for 2 hours. An amazing trip!

Totals
18-20 humpback whales
8 finback whales
~100 Wilson’s Storm petrels
~30 Sooty shearwaters
~150 Cory’s shearwaters
~80 Great shearwaters
2 Manx shearwaters


PHOTOS

Wednesday July 18, 2018

Whales, whales, and more whales!

We returned to the area where we found the whales feeding on sand eels on 7/15/18 and the whales, sand eels, and pelagic birds were still there, with new additions! We found 2 minke whales, 4 finback whales, and about 15-20 humpback whales again, feeding voraciously on sand eels. Some of the humpbacks from Sunday were still there including Columbia, Dome, and Reaper, and they were joined by many new ones including W, a whale known to spend sometimes part of the summer in the Bay of Fundy. Why go to Fundy when you can hang out near Montauk and feed-up on tons of sand eels. In our last 2 trips we've photographed 19 different humpbacks including: Columbia Combat Coral Dome Ganesh Reaper W!

Totals
15-20 humpback whales
4 finback whales
2 minke whales
>100 Sooty shearwaters
>100 Cory’s shearwaters
>100 Great shearwaters

In our last 2 trips we've photographed 19 different humpbacks
including:
Columbia
Combat
Coral
Dome
Ganesh
Glo-Stick
Jigsaw
Multiply
Reaper
Reflection
W


PHOTOS

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

More humpback whales!

It had been a week since we were out last. We wondered whether the stormy weather had affected the prey distribution and whales, but had reports of whales, and Capt. David Marmino had seen whales earlier in the day while fishing. We headed out, and chose a path that would provide the most comfortable conditions when we reached the whale grounds. It was a bouncy ride out, but well worth the effort. It took a few hours of travelling and searching and we found humpback whales again near where we had seen them a few weeks ago. Although we saw blows from about 6 whales, only 2 were close enough to identify – these were whales we had never seen before: an unnamed calf of Photon; and Nile, a grand old dame of the Gulf of Maine Stock of humpbacks. Nile was first seen 31 years ago, and had been seen 5 days earlier on the southern edge of Stellwagen Bank National marine Sanctuary(Massachusetts), 170 miles away swimming around the Cape and Nantucket (34 miles per day). Wow.

Totals:
6 humpback whales
including:
Nile
Unnamed calf of Photon

~200 Cory’s Shearwaters
~80 Great Shearwaters
~50 Sooty Shearwaters
~20 Wilson’s Storm Petrels

PHOTOS

Sunday, July 29, 2018

4 Cetacean species day!

Well we found them again. Finback whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and short-beaked common dolphins. The whales weren’t particularly “cooperative,” spending long times down feeding near the sea floor, but they are there to feed. We found 5 finback whales including 2 mom/calf pairs, 5 humpbacks, 2 minkes whales, and about 150 dolphins. The dolphin rode our bow wake and rode the bow wakes of some of the fin whales. Birders on board were happy to find loads of pelagic birds too.

Totals:
5 finback whale
5 humpback whales
2 minke whales
150 short-beaked common dolphins
125 Cory’s shearwaters
40 Great shearwaters
5 Sooty shearwaters
4 Manx shearwaters
7 Parasitic jaegers
1 immature Northern gannet


PHOTOS

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

5 species of dolphins and whales!

Another successful Viking Fleet/CRESLI whale watch on the Viking Starship! This time, we were able to find finback whales, minke whales, and humpback whales, as well as bottlenose dolphins and short-beaked common dolphins – 5 different species! The whales were spending long times down feeding near the bottom, the action of the dolphins made up for the relatively uninteresting whale behavior. Porpoising, bow riding, and high jumping happened in the bottlenose dolphins that started our day about ½ hour after passing Montauk Lighthouse. Whales and dolphins kept up busy for the next 3 hours, non-stop, ending with a massive aggregation of common dolphins. Another wonderful trip.

Totals:
2 finback whale
3 humpback whales
3 minke whales
150 Bottlenose dolphins
100 short-beaked common dolphins
75 Cory’s shearwaters
25 Great shearwaters
2 Manx shearwaters
1 Parasitic jaeger


PHOTOS

Sunday August 5, 2018

Finback whales and Minke whales

We headed out to check for whales where we’d been seeing them for the past few weeks. It was wonderful to get offshore and away from the heat, and even more wonderful when we found our first of 5 finback whales and 3 minke whales. We found the whales feeding on sand eels near the sea floor and as the sand eels rose in the water column to great densities we found more whales. Ultimately 3 singleton fin whales (40, 60, and 75 feet long, respectively) and one mom/calf pair. Intersperse among these larger baleen whales we found 3 minke whales. We headed back in to search for dolphins that were seen earlier but they were not found. All-in-all a great trip!

Totals
5 finback whales (including 1 mom/calf pair)
2 minke whales
16 Cory’s Shearwater
27 Great Shearwater
1 Sooty Shearwater
12 Double-crested Cormorant
2 Parasitic Jaeger
11 Laughing Gull
42 Herring Gull
25 Great Black-backed Gull
7 Least Tern
122 Common Tern
5 Royal Tern
1 Fish Crow
Bird Count via Arie Gilbert

PHOTOS

Wednesday August 8, 2018


7 humpbacks and 1 fin whale!

We found whales again. As usual, when it’s warm on land, we were glad to get offshore, but it was still pretty warm. We didn’t have to go far to find our first whales – 2 humpbacks, a mom and her calf. The mom had been seen by us 1 month earlier about 7 nm further east. She and her calf were our first of 7 humpbacks for the day. These whales were thin and feeding, a must for them this time of year. The calf showed signs of having been entangled, but no gear could be seen, so the calf had also been freed of its entanglement. We continued to find humpbacks whales throughout the trip, including several that were also relatively thin. We got ID photos from most (underside of flukes) and are checking against our catalog for LI, as well as others from NYC, the Gulf of Maine, and Mid-Atlantic. We found an incredibly rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle and heard about whales east of our location and headed there to find more humpbacks and a young finback whale. While there, we heard of dolphins in Fort Pond Bay and decided to head in to look for them. We didn’t find the dolphins, but found lots of bait and birds (terns, gulls, and shearwaters). Another amazing trip!

Totals
7 humpback whales
1 finback whale
1 Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle
35 Cory’s shearwaters
5 Great shearwaters
1 Sooty shearwater
1 Manx shearwater
1 Parasitic jaeger
10 Semipalmated plovers


PHOTOS

Wednesday August 15, 2018


3 species of whales again!!

We had some reports of whales and headed towards those coordinates, but didn’t find them. Off we went to the areas where we have been successful on previous trips, and once again found whales. A mom and calf fin whale – were amazing to watch. Their grace and beauty were evident and we were privileged to watch the calf nursing. What a beautiful thing to observe. We found a minke whale out here as well.It was eventually time to head back, but we were stopped I our tracks by a small humpback. Shortly thereafter we found a trio of fin whales exactly where we had been searching hours earlier. What an amazing day on the water.

Totals
5 fin whales
1 humpback whale
1 minke whale
15 Great Shearwaters
5 Cory’s Shearwaters
2 Sooty Shearwaters
1 Max Shearwater
1 Wilson’s Storm Petrel

PHOTOS

Wednesday August 22, 2018

 

Crazy Breaching Young Humpback

Our streak of successfully finding whales continues (12 consecutive trips in 2018, 8 in 2017); 122 out of 132 trips since 2009 (92.42%). This trip brought us westward and we found a young humpback breaching like crazy. From afar, we saw 5 breaches - later when nearer this whale, but still about 400 yards away, we watched it breach 18 consecutive times within a 3 minute period. Two whales had been seen in this area for the prior 2 days. Could this young whale wave been using the sounds produced by breaching to send a non-vocal signal to the other? Probably. We stayed with this whale as long as we could, then searched for others to no avail. Still, it was a spectacular trip.

Totals:
1 humpback whale
10 Great Shearwaters
2 Cory's Shearwaters


PHOTOS

Sunday August 26, 2018

Humpbacks, fin whales, and minke whales again

Our 21st consecutive trip with whales started with a breaching humpback near Montauk. This young humpback, like so many others showed signs of entaglement. We headed to another area (about 11 nm out) where we found 2 whales that we believe were fin whales, but couldn't get good enough views to confirm absolutely. On our way back in, we found another breaching, flipper slapping humpback and a minke whale.

Totals
2 humpbacks
2 fin whales
1 minke whale
12 Cory's Shearwaters
1 Scopoli's Shearwater
4 Great Shearwaters


PHOTOS

Wednesday August 29, 2018

Whales throughout the day!

We had another spectacular day. We began the trip by surveying an area SW of Montauk where whales have been consistently spotted. The day started slowly until we spotted several huge bait balls of small fish at the surface. We immediately spotted several minke whales. Typically for minkes they would briefly surface than disappear. A good sized hammerhead shark cruised within an arms length of the boat to the excitement of some of our younger passengers. We saw a few blows in the area and soon a large fin whale crossed directly in front of our bow and treated us to a thrilling view. The activity picked up as several humpback whales of various ages were also feeding in the area and we spent considerable time with them. As we started to return to Montauk we had to stop again as we were treated to 3 humpback whales breaching repeatedly. We finally had to say goodbye and returned to the dock a bit late – Not that any of the happy passengers minded!

TOTALS
6 Minke Whales
1 Fin Whale
5 Humpback Whales
1 Hammerhead Shark
3 Cory's Shearwaters


PHOTOS

Sunday September 2, 2018


2 whales, 2 different species!


We had perfect conditions, unlimited visibility, 2 feet seas, and clear skies. We headed towards whales had been seen earlier, but saw none. We headed through the areas where we had been seeing whales all summer and saw none, unfortunately. We began to turn towards Montauk and a minke whale popped up right in front of us. It surfaced a bunch of times and allowed many people to view it, albeit briefly. We continued back towards Montauk and at 6:30, we saw the high billowing blow of a larger whale. We found a 1.5-2-year old humpback that we had seen on 8/8/18 (nearly 1 month earlier and about 5 nautical miles SSW), Scylla’s 2016 calf. We spent a while with this whale, but had to leave – we were late enough as is. On our way back to the dock we were able to see a beautiful sunset. Another successful trip.

Totals
1 minke whale
1 humpback whale
8 Cory’s shearwaters
2 Scopoli’s shearwaters
1 hammerhead shark


PHOTOS

 

Sunday July 2, 2017

Wow! What a way to start the season!

Things started slowly, with little action until we saw the Ocean Sunfish. Shortly thereafter, we began to see large numbers of shearwaters and petrels and we got a report of whales just 1.5 miles directly ahead of us. We found 5 fin whales there, spreadout over a half a mile, including a mom and calf (our first whales) and 3 others. There was bait on the water from 50-170 feet down. We began to head home and found 3 more fin whales and 1 minke whale. It was an incredible first trip! A perfect day!

Totals:
8 Fin Whales
1 Minke Whale
1 Ocean Sunfish
1 Blue Shark
46 Great Shearwaters
80 Cory’s Shearwaters
25 Sooty Shearwaters
120 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
4 Manx Shearwaters
1 South Polar Skua
1 Black Tern


Bird counts thanks to Anthony Collerton
PHOTOS

July 9, 2017

Whales, dolphins, sunfish, and a sea turtle. What a day we had! An amazing trip-even better than last week's.

We saw 11 fin whales, 500 dolphins, a loggerhead turtle and lots of action and pelagic birds. We were headed to a spot around 15 nautical miles away but began to find whales closer. Our first whales were a cow/calf pair with the calf logging (sleeping) at the surface and the mother was searching for food. This pair we had seen a week earlier 10 miles to the southwest. The calf was logging (sleeping) just under the surface. After a while with them, we headed further out and found another cow/calf pair that were staying close to each other as we would expect because the calf was small and young, diving together, swimming together. The calf decided to come close and roll over next to us and swim across our bow twice. Mom decided to swim between us and the calf, the calf swam around mom and moved next to us again. We left them to find yet another cow/calf pair and then several other singleton fin whales. These whales were joined with 500 short-beaked common dolphins. All were feeding . One fin whale came up and did a sideways surface feeding lunge. We found and stayed with another cow/calf pair until it was time to head back even though we were surrounded by fin whales in all directions all around us. Everyone had a great day!

Totals:
11 Fin Whales
500 Short Beaked common dolphins
1 Loggerhead turtles
1 Ocean sunfish
300 Great shearwaters
300 Cory’s shearwaters
10 Sooty shearwaters
1 Manx shearwaters
100 Wilson’s storm petrels


Bird counts thanks to Arie Gilbert and Pat Aitken

PHOTOS and VIDEO

July 16, 2017

Humpbacks, bottlenose dolphins, fin whale, and more!

Another great whale watch trip! We started the day with a plan to head about 15 nautical miles from Montauk, where whales had been seen the day before. As we passed Montauk Lighthouse we received a report of dolphins and a whale about 3 miles from where we were. So, we headed there and a few miles later found our first humpback of the 2017 season, a young and active whale. There were about 200 inshore bottlenose dolphins, including many young ones swimming and feeding in the same area. This young whale surprised us all by doing a beautiful full body rotating breach. After 40 minutes and 4 miles with these animals, we headed further offshore to find more whales. Six miles later we found another young humpback, and 15 miles after that, a massive finback whale. Throughout the trip we encountered various fish, from an ocean sunfish to a hammerhead shark. We also found quite a lot of pelagic birds.

Totals:
2 Humpback whales
1 Fin whale
1 Ocean sunfish
1 Hammerhead shark
200 Bottlenose dolphins (inshore population)
15 Cory's shearwaters
10 Great shearwaters
1 Sooty shearwater
300 Wilson's storm petrels
1 Northern Gannet (immature)


PHOTOS

July 23, 2017

4 Humpbacks! We are still at 100% success for 2017!

We didn’t have to go far to find our first whale- right at the edge of town, shortly after turning west at the Lighthouse. It was a large, active humpback. Tail throws, flipper slapping and rolling over tail throws! There was lots of action as it fed on some bunker. Bunker was everywhere and we found 3 other humpback whales over the course of the next few hours from Gurneys to miles off of Ditch Plains. Our last humpback whale was one we had seen 6 nautical miles further south one week earlier. There were more humpbacks seen breaching off in the distance, but we we were unable to spend the time getting to them, There's always next week.

Totals:
4 Humpbacks
10 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
20 Cory’s Shearwaters
1 Great Shearwater


PHOTOS

August 06, 2017

15 Humpbacks!! 100 Bottlenose Dolphins……


Our streak of finding whales continues. This time, within 40 minutes of leaving the dock and about 10 minutes past Montauk Lighthouse we found the first of our 15 humpbacks! There was bait all over – mackerel, sand eels, and bunker. The first few whales were feeding on sand eels. The last were feeding on bunker. Single whales and mom/calf pairs were seen. Humpbacks breaching, tail throws, and flipper slaps happened. Oh, and loads of bottlenose dolphins too. It was an amazing day with non-stop whales for over 4 hours.

Totals:
15 Humpback Whales
100 Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins
5 Cory’s Shearwaters
2 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
1 Mako shark

PHOTOS

VIDEO

August 13, 2017

Can we find whales in the fog? YES WE CAN!


The trip started out with clear skies and full visibility until some patchy fog rolled in. We had repeats of whales and when we got to the area, the fog lifted and we found our first humpback. Our second humpback showed up next to us as we travelled through foggy areas. We saw one farther off fin slapping, but lost that one in the fog as the near one lured for bunker. Our third humpback also feeding on bunker. When the fog had finally cleared we were able to watch it for a while as it selected dense large bunker patches and avoided smaller ones. A spectacular day again!

Totals:
3 Humpback Whales
22 Great Shearwaters
76 Cory’s Shearwaters
153 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
Bird counts courtesy of Taylor Sturm and Pete Morris

PHOTOS

August 20, 2017

We found whales again! Whales and a turtle.


Shortly after passing the Lighthouse we found our first whale, a young humpback that we hadn't seen before. It stayed near us feeding for some time, totally ignoring our presence. It breached once surprising everyone pleasantly. After a while we left to find others. Our second whale was seen from a mile away breaching and flipper slapping. This one was also new to us. It stopped breaching and began logging (a resting behavior) for quite some time. We eventually left to look for others offshore. Before we left we found a loggerhead turtle. Around 2pm we headed back to the earlier area and found a third humpback also new, and older/larger than the rest. While with this humpback, a minke whale surfaced. It was time to leave, but what a great trip!

Totals:
3 Humpback Whales
1 Minke whale
1 Loggerhead sea turtle
1 Manx Shearwater
5 Great Shearwaters
3 Cory’s Shearwaters
5 Wilson’s Storm Petrels

PHOTOS

August 27, 2017

Mom and calf humpbacks!


A gorgeous day on the water was made even better by finding 3 humpbacks and spending time with 2 of the 3, a mom/calf pair, identified by Dr. Artie Kopelman as Manhattan and her 2017 calf. We first met Manhattan 10 years ago in the Great South Channelas the 2007 calf of Appaloosa. We saw Manhattan again in July and August 2009 off Montauk, just about where we saw her this time.

While we had to go further on this trip we were rewarded with a beautiful pair of humpbacks, synchronized swimming and diving and many tail throws to the calf. These were only surpassed by their close approach to the Viking Star on several occasions. Beautiful to watch. Even though there was another humpback near us we didn’t have time to spend with it. Next Week?


Totals:
3 Humpback Whales
6 Cory’s Shearwaters
1 Parasitic Jaeger
24 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
3 Red-Necked Phalaropes
2 Black terns
2 Northern Gannets

Bird counts by John Gluth
PHOTOS


 

 

 


 
2016 CRESLI-Viking Whale watch reports

Sunday August 28, 2016

Breaching Whales & Dolphins! Oh, & Sea Turtles too

We found our first whale - a young humpback very shortly after we passed Montauk Point. A few inshore bottlenose dolphins joined this young humpback. We eventually headed further out and found a minke whale. We headed back closser to shore and found a green sea turtle on the way. Then near our first whale area we found more. Another two humpbacks. One was a subadult, the other a juvenile. The last humpback was breaching, flipper slapping, than slapping for nearly 40 minutes - a wonderful show and a nice way to end the trip.

Totals:
3 HUMPBACK WHALES
1 MINKE WHALE
6 INSHORE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS
1 GREEN SEA TURTLE
1 UNKNOWN TURTLE
3 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS
2 CORY'S SHEARWATERS
1 GREAT SHEARWATER

Photos

Sunday August 21, 2016

Long trip but no whales. We headed out and covered over 50 nautical miles but had no luck finding whales or dolphins. Even the balls of krill near Montauk Point had nothing feeding on them. We will try again next week.

Totals:
46 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS
3 CORY'S SHEARWATERS
1 GREAT SHEARWATERS
7 RED NECKED PHALAROPES
5 OTHER PHALAROPES

Sunday August 14, 2016


It was a long hot trip, cooler than on land, but hot none the less! We covered over 52 miles, searching inshore and several offshore feeding areas looking for the whales that had been reported 2 days ago in our usual spots. No luck. No whales, no dolphins, no turtles, a few birds and a few sharks.

Totals:
5 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS
2 CORY'S SHEARWATERS
25 GREAT SHEARWATERS
2 BLUE SHARKS

Sunday August 7, 2016

Everywhere we went we found whales!

3 Humpbacks, 2 Fin Whales, 1 Minke.
The humpbacks were close in, near the shore, one on the way out and two on the way in. We also found a new mother/calf fin whale out where we had seen them before. Not may whales, but a nice variety of species.

Totals:
2 FIN WHALES
1 MINKE WHALES
3 HUMPBACK WHALES
1 LOGGERHEAD TURTLE
25 YOUNG THRESHER SHARKS
50 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS
100 CORY'S SHEARWATERS
350 GREAT SHEARWATERS
5 SOOTY SHEARWATERS


Photos

Sunday July 31, 2016

Utterly Spectacular day again!

We could hear a young child at the bow say "this was the most spectular day of my life". It was a trip to remember. Not just the 12 fin whales, 2 minkes and 40 common dolphins, but one of the 3 cow/calf fin whale pairs put on an amazing "show". They lunge fed and rolled over onto their sides, or upside down over and over again for about 30 minutes. Something that our seasoned (almost 30 years) naturalist (Dr. Artie Kopelman) had never seen before. Wow! Wait! As I write we found a humpback! This is a new humpback for us this year (our 2nd), it is another from the NYC catalog of Gotham Whale, NYC0031, but hasn't made it to the western NY Bight yet this year. What an amazing, spectacular, outrageously productive day.

Totals:
12 FIN WHALES
2 MINKE WHALES
1 HUMPBACK (NYC0031)
40 SHORT-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS
35 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS
15 COREY'S SHEARWATERS
3 GREAT SHEARWATERS
2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS
1 NORTHERN GANNET

PHOTOS
VIDEO

Sunday July 24, 2016

Another Multispecies Day! Humpback & Fin Whales

We started the trip with reports of a humpback near the lighthouse. We found it, a young humpback that had been seen and photographed by Dr. Artie Kopelman in NY Harbor in late June (Gotham Whale Catalog #NYC0040). Later we headed to where we'd seen fin whales previously this year. This time we found them a little closer in. Again mom and calf pairs (2 Pairs) and seven other fin whales. On our way back we found the humpback once more near the lighthouse. As we left it breached behind us.

Totals:
1 HUMPBACK WHALE (NYC0040)
11 FINBACK WHALES
20 CORY'S SHEARWATERS
10 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS
5 GREAT SHEARWATERS
1 OCEAN SUNFISH

PHOTO SLIDESHOW
Video

Sunday July 17, 2016

Another Banner Day! Whales & Dolphins

We started in fog, but had reports of whales and knew (hoped?) the fog would lift. The fog lifted and whales were found. 8 fin whales were photographed along with a quick view of a minke. The whales were spread over a 2 mile radius. 4 mom/calf pairs of fin whales were great to see. On our way back 120 common dolphins.

Totals:
8 FIN WHALES
1 MINKE WHALE
120 SHORT-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS
12 CORY'S SHEARWATERS
14 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS
1 MANX SHEARWATER
2 BLUE SHARKS

PHOTOS
MOBILE APP WITH PHOTOS

Sunday July 10, 2016

SPECTACULAR TRIP!! 2 species of whales and 2 species of dolphins

Today's trip couldn't have been better! We found a leatherback and bottlenose dolphins (60) shortly after passing Montauk Light. Before 11:30am we found our fin whales. We spent time with 5 fin whales (1 singleton & 2 mother/calf pairs). There were 2 minkes and 3 other fin whales in the area. Great views of 5 fin whales were had. As we headed home, we found an aggregation of 120 short-beaked common dolphins. They swam to us and around us, rode our bow, vocalized and gave us a great chance to watch them. Also, tons of birds.

Totals:
8 Fin whales
2 Minke whales
60 Inshore bottlenose dolphins
120 Short-beaked common dolphins
 
3 Manx Shearwaters
6 Great Shearwaters
13 Cory's Shearwaters
177 Wilson's Storm Petrels
1 Sooty shearwater
1 Leatherback Turtle
11 Short billed dowitchers

Bird counts thanks to Frank Stetler and John Gluth

PHOTOS
MOBILE APP WITH PHOTOS

Sunday July 3, 2016

Beautiful day on the water!

It was a beautiful day on the water with some birds, a loggerhead turtle, but no whales or dolphins.

Totals:
8 Manx Shearwaters
2 Great Shearwaters
10 Cory's Shearwaters
20 Wilson's Storm Petrels
1 Loggerhead Turtle
1 Ocean Sunfish

 

 
2015 CRESLI-Viking Whale watch reports



 

Sunday July 5, 2015

Whales, Sharks, Portuguese Man-of-Wars and Ocean Sunfish!

What a great way to start the 2015 season. We found an amazingly cooperative young fin whale, who provided great views and photographs while it logged near the surface. A few miles awaywe found a large fin whale (over 70 feet long). This whale was feeding near the bottom and would provide us with great views as it surfaced and rolled to close its mouth. It was a fin whale with distinctive propeller scars and was seen by us last year. We also saw a variety of pelagic birds today including Wilson's Storm Petrels, Great Shearwaters, Cory's Shearwaters, Manx Shearwaters and some sort of phalaropes and a gannet. We saw two hammerhead sharks and one ocean sunfish as well.

Totals:

2 Fin Whales
2 Hammerhead Sharks
1 Ocean Sunfish
40 Wilson's Storm Petrels
20 Phalaropes (unindentified)
10 Great Shearwaters,
10 Cory's Shearwaters
2 Manx Shearwaters
1 Northern Gannet
Photos
Interactive Map with Photos

 Sunday July 12, 2015

A Motherload of Fin Whales

An hour and a half after leaving the dock, we found our first of 10 fin whales! The whales were spread out over a 3 nautical mile diameter area. Both single individuals and pairs. Some of the whales were feeding near the surface, others were feeding on the prey at the sea floor. It was an amazing day that included at least one whale that had been seen last in 2009. 

Totals:

10 Fin Whales
200 Cory's Shearwaters
100 Great Shearwaters
1 Manx Shearwater
10 Wilson's Storm Petrels

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Whales & Dolphins!

It took a while to get out of the fog - several hours in fact, but we did and we found an aggregation of about 100-120 short-beaked common dolphins and 1 fin whale shortly thereafter. We had headed east to where whales and dolphins had been seen yesterday - 24 miles from the Point, but the fog was everywhere. Eventually, we headed back towards where we had seen whales last week. When we got there, the fog lifted and we found them. The dolphins included many young ones and some newly born. The 60 foot long fin whale was a new one for this year. A long but great trip!

Totals:

100-120 Common Dolphins
1 Fin Whale
10 Wilson's Storm Petrels
45 Cory's Shearwaters
5 Great Shearwaters
20 Common Terns
20 Forster's Terns
1 Roseatte Tern (near jetty)

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos
Video

Sunday July 26, 2015

OH MY! What an AMAZING day! surrounded by whales and dolphins for 4 hours!

It was a spectacular day. Our first whales were just 9 miles from Montauk Point! These were the first of 18 whales- we found 16 fin whales and 2 minke whales and about 60 common dolphins in a 4 mile diameter. There were lots of mother/ calf pairs of fin whales, some trios as well. Sadly, two of the whales had propeller scars. We also found a loggerhead sea turtle on our way back in. It doesn't get much better than this!!

Totals:
16 fin whales
2 minke whales
60 short- beaked common dolphins
75 Wilson's storm petrels
12 great shearwaters
50 cory's shearwaters
2 phalaropes (unknown species)
1 loggerhead sea turtle

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos

Dolphin Video

Fin Whale Video

Sunday, August 2, 2015

 

We found them again! Whales and Dolphins!

What a perfect day to look for whales- perfect visibility and clean crisp skies! We found our first whale about 1 and a half hours after leaving the dock. It was a small fin whale logging at the surface. Shortly after we found our first of 2 pairs of fin whales. The whales spent a long time down, but gave us great views when they came back up. While checking on the whales, a group of common dolphins followed us for a while. A seventh fin whale blew in the distant, but we couldn't find it.

Totals:

7 Fin whales
1 Minke whale
20 Short-beaked common dolphins
30 Great shearwaters
20 Cory's shearwaters|
50 Wilson's storm petrels


Photos

Interactive Map with Photos

Video
 

Sunday August 9, 2015

WILD RIDE WITH A WHALE!


It was a wild ride, but we found a fin whale. It was a small one, about 45-50 long and we were able to spend an hour and a half with it. We all got good views of the whale, even though it was spending 10 minutes on a dive. A wild ride, but well worth it.

Totals:
1 Fin whale
50 Great shearwaters
10 Cory's shearwaters
50 Wilson's storm petrels


Photos
Interactive Map with photos

Sunday August 16, 2015

Found Whales Again!

It took about an hour longer than usual, but we found a 50-60' fin whale. We stayed with it for over an hour as it moved, dove, surfaced, blew, fed and pooped. We got beautiful views of the whale from both sides before we left.

Totals:

1 Fin Whale
15 Great Shearwaters
5 Cory's Shearwaters
15 Wilson's Storm Petrels
12 Phalaropes (unknown species)

Photos
Interactive map with photos

Sunday, August 23, 2015

HOLY S***, BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS & RIGHT WHALES!

If ever there was a HOLY S*** day on the Viking Fleet/CRESLI whale watch, today was it. Epic, historic and amazing. We began with 100 inshore bottlenose dolphins near the lighthouse, and ended with 2 North Atlantic Right Whales within 5 miles of the point. In nearly 20 years, we've never had right whales on one of our trips. This was special. We had to stay at least 500 yards away at all times, be we got great views and pictures!

The North Atlantic Right Whales have been identified as follows:
The whale with the small linear scar across the head is #2681, male, born in 1996. The other whale (with the small scar at the top of the right lip) is #2340, male, first sighted in 1993



Totals
100 Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins
2 North Atlantic Right Whales (NARWC #2340 and #2681)
50 Wilson's Storms Petrels
25 Cory's Shearwaters
10 Great Shearwaters
1 Northern Gannet

Photos
Interactive map with photos

Sunday Aug 30, 2015

We did it again! This time a young humpback whale. Our first of 2015!

It took longer than usual and a different search pattern, but we found a whale. This was a young humpback that surprised us by breaching right in front of us when we were a 1/2 mile away. It breached a few more times before settling down. It was logging and feeding and would fluke occasionally.

Totals
1 Humpback Whale - young, perhaps a calf
4 Northern Gannets
1 Cory's Shearwater
5 Red Necked Phalaropes

Photos

Interactive Map with Photos

Sunday Sept 6, 2015

Dolphins, Humpback whales and more!

We are proud to say we've had 100% success for our 2015 Whale Watching season!

Our season ended like it began with whales and dolphins! We started out with 100 inshore bottlenose dolphins and we stayed with them for an hour and got some great views. Then off we went to find more- we found a leatherback turtle, then we headed back towards the lighthouse and we found 2 humpback whales! WOW! Thank you to all the great customers and amazing crew from Cresli and the Viking Fleet! We had an AMAZING season!

Totals:
-100 Bottlenose dolphins
-2 Humpback whales
-1 Leatherback turtle
-10 Great shearwaters
-5 Cory's shearwaters
-5 Phalaropes
-1 Northern gannet

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos

Sunday June 29, 2014: The whales are here!

Fin whales, humpback whales and dolphins! What a way to start the season!

We started with a sad sight of a dead leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and hundreds of Wilson's storm petrels (Oceanites oceanicus) feeding on the decaying carcass. It was shortly thereafter that we saw our first group of 20 short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) as we headed towards where we were hearing reports of whales. Soon we saw another group of about 30 common dolphins, then a large group of about 120 of them. WOW!

Later we saw our first whale blows. Two fin whales kept us busy for quite some time. Our third fin whale showed up as we were trying to leave. Eventually we had to leave, but on the way back we passed two more fin whales and one humpback whale. They were two far away to head towards, but were seen none the less.

Here are the totals for our first trip of the 2014 season:
5 Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus)
1 Humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae)
170 Short beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis)
300 Wilson's storm petrels (Oceanites oceanicus)
200 Great shearwaters (Puffinus gravis)
20 Cory's shearwaters (Calonectris diomedia)
1 Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus)

Photos


Sunday July 06, 2014: We found them again!

Fin whales, Minke whales and offshore bottlenose dolphins!

It was another amazing trip and a continuation of our phenomenal 100% sighting success since last year! We found "the mother load" of whales about 18 nautical miles from the point. Our first whale was a beautiful minke whale, followed shortly thereafter by a mother/calf pair of fin whales. While observing these, we saw blows all around us- perhaps a total of 12 fin whales. We spent time with the pair, then headed to another fin whale followed the pair to form a trio. We then spent time with another cow/calf pair for a bit. During our movements to observe the whales, we were surprised by a pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins (20). They rode our bow, took off and returned time and again to the delight of everyone on board.

Totals:
12 Fin Whales
20 offshore Bottlenose dolphins
50 Wilson's Storm Petels
40 Great Shearwaters
5 Corey's Shearwaters
1 Sooty Shearwater
100+ Common terns

Photos

Interactive Map with Photos

Video


Sunday July 13, 2014: We found them yet again!

Fin whales, Minke Whales, Common dolphins, and more

We were only 8 miles off Montauk Point when Captain Carl spotted the first whale, a lone fin whale traveling SW. We followed it for a while and it proved to be a great introduction to a day of whales and dolphins.

Shortly afterward a pod of 20 short-beaked common dolphins streaked over to our vessel and spent some time bow riding and “porpoising ” alongside the Starship, to the delight of the passengers. The children aboard especially liked seeing the mothers and babies as the pod visited us several times over the course of a half hour.  We continued SE, seeing shearwaters and storm petrels, and stopped to watch the antics of a 4 foot long ocean sunfish alongside the boat.

As we made a long turn back to Montauk we found several other whales actively feeding. The three fin whales included a cow/calf pair and we stopped and observed them for some time. A smaller minke whale was also diving to feed on the scattered pockets of small fish below us. Another (or some of the earlier?) pod of common dolphins joined us too and there was a lot of action around the boat. Sadly our time was up and we headed back to Montauk to disembark a happy group of whale watchers.

Totals
4 Fin Whales
1 Minke Whale
1 Ocean Sunfish
30 Common Dolphins
3 Cory Shearwaters
3 Greater Shearwaters
20 Wilson Storm Petrels

Photos

Interactive map with photos


Sunday July 20, 2014:  EPIC TRIP on the Viking Starship!!

Fin whales, minke whales, bottlenose dolphins & ocean sunfish!

The day started with about 150 bottlenose dolphins just outside jetty and over towards Shagwong. We went offshore to find whales where they had been reported. Our first whales were mother/calf pair of fin whales, then a minke, then we started seeing blows everywhere! There were whales in every direction. We eventually were able to get up and photograph 15 fin whales including 4 calf's with their moms. 2 minke whales, and we also saw an ocean sunfish just before the rain got heavy. What an AMAZING trip!

Totals
15 Fin whales (with many others in the area)
2 Minke whales
150 Inshore bottlenose dolphins
1 Ocean sunfish
100 Wilson's storm petrels
15 Cory's Shearwaters
1 Great Shearwater
Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Wednesday July 30, 2014:  Still at 100%

Bottlenose Dolphins, Loggerhead, Leatherbacks, Ocean Sunfish & More!

Our 100% Success at finding cetaceans continues. We found inshore bottlenose dolphins shortly after passing the Lighthouse. A group of 10, tthat joined with joined with 20 others. The group included lots of young dolphins swimming with their moms. We headed out further and found a young loggerhead sea turtle, Later we found flying fish, a hammerhead shark,  a Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish), and a small leatherback passed by us. We found no baleen whales, but had a good trip none the less.  WOW! We found another leatherback near the lighthouse and got great views of it feeding on jellyfish.

Totals
30 Inshore bottlenose dolphins
2 Leatherback turtles
1 Loggerhead sea turtle
1 Hammerhead shark
1 Ocean Sunfish
120 Wilson's storms petrels
50 Greater Shearwaters
10 Corey's Shearwaters!

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Sunday August 3, 2014:  Still at 100%

Humpback whale!

We decide to head west and then south towards some reported sightings. On our way west, we saw a few blows off about 2 miles away. As we turned toward the whale, we saw it do a full body breach - a beautiful sight! We stayed with that whale for some time. It was busy feeding at the bottom, with 5-7 minute down times. It fluked just a few times, but gave us some nice views anyway. After a while we decided to move on search for others. The ride was fun, kids were having a ball on the rolls and dips. All was fine, until the rain, which kept getting stronger as we searched. No more whales, but lots of happy and wet passengers.

Totals:
1 Humpback whale
40 Wilson's storm petrels
12 Cory's shearwaters
2 Great shearwaters
1 shark (unknown species)

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Wednesday August 6, 2014:  We did it again! Whales!!

Minke and fin whales

Our 100% Success at finding cetaceans continues. We started the day finding a very elusive minke whale- a real 'Stinky' minke that dove and disappeared as we approached. We continued to search and were rewarded by finding a large fin whale south & east of Block Island. This whale provided us with great opportunities to see both right & left side, as well as its head.The 70 foot female fin whale was one we saw last year with a calf. This year she is was back again.

Totals
1 Minke Whale
1 Fin Whale
30 Wilson's Storm Petrels
7 Cory's Shearwaters
6 Red-necked Phalaropes

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Sunday August 10, 2014:  Yes!!! fin whales!!!

3 new fin whales

We headed east towards where we had seen whales on Wednesday and where colleagues had seen whales yesterday. As we headed a little over half way there we saw our first blows. A small fin whale was ahead of us- then a larger fin whale blow behind us! This was a mother/ calf pair. They eventually joined each other and surfaced near us when a third fin whale joined the pair. The 3 whales stayed together briefly then seperated. We were able to spend time with each of the 3 whales. As we headed back we encountered a hammerhead shark that gave us great views. It had a hook in its mouth, either it had been caught and released or broke free. In any event, it seemed to be doing okay.

Totals:

3 Fin Whales
1 Hammerhead shark
1 Ocean Sunfish
10 Wilson's Storm Petrels
50 Cory's Shearwaters

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Sunday August 17, 2014:    Another Spectacular Day!

Fin whales, Minke whales, Leatherback sea turtles and Common dolphins.

We started in fog but it cleared as we approached Montauk Lighthouse. We headed east towards where whales had been spotted yesterday. On the way we found 2 groups of common dolphins, one with 10 individuals, the other with 15. We also found three leatherback turtles on the way to the whales. We found two fin whales SE of Block Island. One of the two had propeller scars and had been seen by us 10 days prior, while the other had been seen by us last year just 12 miles SW of Montauk. These whales provided us with great looks & data. We eventually left them to see a massive aggregation of about 120 common dolphins.

Totals
2 Fin Whales
2 Minke Whales
145 Common Dolphins
3 Leatherback Sea Turtles
5 Wilson Storm Petrels
3 Cory's Shearwaters
1 Manx Shearwater


Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Wednesday August 20, 2014:    Whales and dolphins!!!

8 Fin Whales, 2 Minke Whales, 20 Common Dolphins!

Today we had reports of fin whales far to the east and others closer to the west and south. We headed south and found a group of about 10 short-beaked common dolphins just after 11am. We stayed with them for a while and left in search of larger cetaceans. It took a few more hours but we eventually found the fin whales- first one, then a pair, then more and more until we encountered 8 fin whales and 1 minke whale. There was lots of food in the waters, hence the whales were busy feeding, as were a group of about 10-12 common dolphins. A long day, but successful! We are still at 100% success!

Totals:

8 fin whales
2 minke whales
20 short-beaked common dolphins
1 unidentified sea turtle
80 Cory's shearwaters
5 Great shearwaters
1 Parasitic jaeger
2 Wilson's storm petrels.


Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Sunday August 24, 2014:    What an amazing trip!

12 Fin Whales and 3 Minke Whales

It took a while to get to the whale grounds, but it was well worth the wait! Fin whales and minkes were everywhere. We saw individual fin whales, pairs and trios all feeding (along with minkes) on massive quantities of prey. The fin whales were very active, engaged in surface lunges, rolling over and circle feeding. At points, we were surrounded by whales. As we headed home, we encountered one more pair of fin whales. One of the pair dove and lifted its fluke- a behavior rarely seen and we were lucky enough to see and photograph it!

Totals:

12 Fin Whales
3 Minke Whales
20 Cory's shearwaters
3 Great shearwaters
5 Wilson's storm petrels


Photos
Interactive Map with Photos


Wednesday August 27, 2014: A HUGE sucess

3 Fin Whales

We departed Montauk and travelled 20 miles offshore. Immediately about 2000 feet off the lighthouse we spotted juvenile false albacore tuna leaping on bait.

Once we got further offshore, into the remnants of the warm-core eddies of the Gulf Stream, it didn't take long to see our first blow. As we got closer we found two massive adult Finback Whales and one juvenile. We rode along side as they moved east for a good 30 minutes observing what looked like two animals that were as long as the Starship itself!! The whales were lit up in the blue water and the picture opportunity was just outstanding.

On the ride home we briefly saw a Mola mola and some more bird life

Total
3 fin whales
10 Cory's shearwaters
14 Great shearwaters
6 Wilson's Storm Petrels
1 Mola mola,
several flying fish



Monday September 1, 2014

Our 2014 Whale watching season ended today. We were unable to find any whales or dolphins today for the first time in 30 consecutive local trips since July 29, 2012. Ah well. This season, like the last, was spectacular. Our local trips brought us in contact wth fin whales, minke whales, humpback whales, short-beaked common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins (inshore and offshore types), leatherback turtles, loggerhead turtles, and Kemp's ridley turtles.


Totals
1 Great shearwater
6 Wilson's Storm Petrels



 2013 CRESLI-Viking Whale watch reports

Map of 2013 sightings with representative photos and videos

 

Sunday July 7, 2013

It's an ALL-STAR season opener!

A spectacular line-up: whales, dolphins, turtles and pelagic birds. Our day started off with a spectacular view of nearly 1000 common dolphins. The large super- aggregation was spotted at 11am. We stayed with them for quite some time, then headed on. We next encountered loggerhead turtles (2) and eventually turned back from 24 miles out. We found 2 large fin whales feeding fast south of where the dolphins had been. We were able to get great views of the two and saw another about 1/2 mile away. What a great way to start! We will have tons of photos for you on Monday!

Totals:
1000 Common Dolphins
3 Fin Whales
2 Loggerhead Turtles
500 Great Shearwaters
85 Sooty Shearwaters
30 Cory's Shearwaters
2 Pomarine Jaegers
1 Unidentified Jaeger
1 Manx Shearwater
2 Wilson's Storm Petrels


Photos

Interactive Map with Photos

Video

Sunday July 14th 2013,

Amazing Trip Once Again!

Fin whales, dolphins, loggerhead turtles, pelagic birds!

Our second trip was another winner. We cleared through the fog and found what we were looking for just where we thought they would be. 8-10 fin whales, including 3 mother/calf pairs were feeding and resting, feeding again, same surface and right next to us with their mouths full of food and water, and their throats expanded. We also found 60 dolphins and 2 loggerheads with the whales. Birders on board were also happy to see hundreds of Cory's and Greater Shearwaters, about 25 Sooty Shearwaters and 5 Storm Petrels. So come on out with us next week!


Totals:
8-10 Fin Whales
60 Dolphins
2 Loggerhead Turtles
500 Great Shearwaters
200 Cory's Shearwaters
50 Sooty Shearwaters
12 Storm Petrels
5 Portuguese Man-of-War


Photos
Interactive Map with Photos
Video

Sunday July 21, 2013

EPIC TRIP!

It was an utterly amazing trip! The BEST IN 13 YEARS!

Fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales and common dolphins galore. We sae our first dolphins only about 7 miles out and our first whales 9 miles out. It started with common dolphins and then 2 humpbacks, then we hit the motherload. Fin whales, humpbacks, minkes and dolphins EVERYWHERE WE TURNED! Bubble feeding humpbackslunge feeding fin whales, humpbacks doing breeches, tail slaps, flipper slap. Rolling fin whales, jumping dolphins, even saw some flying fish and mahi mahi. The bird life was also spectacular and everyone was happy!

Totals:
25 Fin Whales
12 Humpback Whales
2 Minke Whales
600 Common Dolphins
1700 Wilson's Storm Petrels
90 Cory's Shearwaters
26 Sooty Shearwaters
18 Great Shearwaters
5 Manx Shearwaters
5 Brown Pelicans

Photos

Fin whale Video 1
Fin whale Video 2
Humback, Fin whale and dolphin Video

Interactive map with photos

Sunday July 28, 2013

Whales and Dolphins- AGAIN!

Our amazing year continues! Whales, dolphins and pelagic birds were found again. We left in the fog and when it cleared we had perfect conditions. We found our first fin whale- east of where we had seen them previously. This one was not cooperative and kept staying down for anywhere from 3-12 minutes. Our second fin whale was much larger and also spent long times down. While looking at the second whale we found another super aggregation of common dolphins- easily 300 of them-could be seen chasing after prey and coming over to us also. We spent quite a while with the dolphins and found loads of pelagic birds. There were also 1200 Wilson's storm Petrels.

Totals:
2 Fin Whales
300 Common Dolphins
1200 Wilson's Storm Petrels
30 Cory's Shearwaters
15 Great Shearwaters
3 Sooty Shearwaters
1 Sea Turtle (unidentitied)
1 Ocean Sunfish
1 Swordfish

Photos
Interactive Map with Photos
Videos

Sunday August 4, 2013

Our success continues!

WHALES, DOLPHINS, TURTLES, AND PELAGIC BIRDS

2013 continues to be a stellar year with an amazing 100% success rate. Today we found a leatherback while on our way to whale grounds and then began to see whales. Today was a humpback day- seeing 3 different humpbacks spread out over several miles. They were staying down for long periods but gave us good views when back up. While viewing the whales we encountered a small group of common dolphins (about 20), On our way back we once again found a super aggregation of about 600 dolphins- all around us for 1/2 mile then another hundred and another humpback, as well as one more leatherback.

Totals:
4 Humpbacks
720 Common Dolphins
2 Leatherback Sea Turtles
1 Blue Marlin
150 Cory's Shearwaters
55 Great Shearwaters
1 Sooty Shearwater
200 Wilson's Storm Petrels


Photos
Interactive Map with Photos
Video

Sunday August 11, 2013

INCREDIBLE TRIP AGAIN: Whales, Dolphins, & Turtles

The amazing 2013 season continues. Today we were treated to many groups of dolphins and whales. We started out with several leatherbacks, then fin whales, then multiple dolphin groups. We were often surrounded by the dolphins, they were feeding, as were the fin whales. On our way in we found hundreds more dolphins and two more fin whales all feeding together with hundreds of shearwaters. Another amazing day on the Viking Starship!

Totals:
6 Fin Whales
550 Dolphins
5 Leatherback Turtles
1 Loggerhead Turtle
150 Cory's Shearwaters
150 Great Shearwaters
7 Sooty Shearwaters
Photos
Interactive Map with Photos

Sunday Aug 18, 2013

DOLPHINS and TURTLES

Our success continues, still at 100% cetacean sighting success. Today's trip took us eastward and led us to a leatherback turtle before finding a pod of 20 common dolphins including some very young ones. We found another large group about 30 minutes later. This second group was an aggregation of about 100 individuals. They were very active with even more young ones.

Totals:
120 Common Dolphins
1 Leatherback Turtle
75 Cory's Shearwaters
15 Great Shearwaters
2 Sooty Shearwaters
1 Immature Northern Gannet
PHOTOS
Interactive MAP with photoS

Sunday Aug 25, 2013

DOLPHINS!

We took awhile to find them, but we did, about 100 short-beaked common dolphins. This large aggregation broke up into smaller groups and periodically would return. Amidst the smaller groups we found many dolphins involved in courtship and attempted mating. Single females being chases by 5-7 males at a time. We also saw quite a few young swimming with moms, and loads of juveniles.

Totals:
100 Short Beaked Common Dolphins
25 Great Shearwaters
35 Cory's Shearwaters
2 Red Necked Phalaropes
5 Wilson's Storm Petrels
1 Leatherback Turtle (dead)
Photos
Interactive Map with Photos

Sunday September 1, 2013

Humpback Whale!

It wasn't until we were on our way back that we saw it, a tail throwing young humpback. Over and over again this whale would throw its tail producing massive splashes. We were able to see it well, as it splashed, surfaced, dove and tail breached. An excellent finish to our 2013 season. Our first 100% successful season in the 17 years of CRESLI-Viking Fleet whale watches. Next year let's hope we can do it again!See you next season!

Totals:
1 Humpback Whale
10 Cory's Shearwaters
1 Greater Shearwater
3 Norther Gannets (mature)
Photos
Interactive Map with Photos
Videos soon