|A humpback whale sounds near the boat.|
|Before the whale watch we ate lunch at the Cape Ann Brewing Pub.|
|As you can see, we didn't like it very much.|
When they fluke, they come up to the surface of the water and whip their tails up in the air.
When they breach, they jump up out of the water and their full body comes out of the water and slaps back down on (and into) the water.
When they make bubble traps, one to seven whales blow bubbles out of their blow holes and make bubbles in a circle around prey which are mostly sandlance, which are a type of fish. The bubbles confuse and trap the sandlance. Then the whales swim up from below with an open mouth and eat the fish.
Hannah: The whale jumped. In what seemed slow motion, the head, speckled with barnacles, rose out of the water. Following close behind, its great big front flippers whipped wildly next to it, causing ocean water to spray behind. The heavy tail lifted and the whale leaned back in a big arc. It plunged into the depths of the deep blue waves, splashing everything in about a seven foot radius. The very last tip of the tail disappeared. Ripples filled the water, the last mark of a whale I'd never see again.
|We got a great view of all the action. The whales were EVERYWHERE!|
|This whale is showing us his fluke pattern. Every whale has a different pattern, so it's like a fingerprint.|
|A bubble net, with whales about to surface in the middle.|
|Whales feeding in the middle of a bubble net. The birds are all hoping to get some too!|
|This whale has a full mouth!|
Not all whale watches are created equal. If you're interested in whale watching, I recommend going with a company that either partners with a conservation or research organization (Seven Seas partners with Ocean Alliance), or one that is a member of Whale Sense (a program that promotes responsible whale watching). Whale watching can be disruptive to whales if not done carefully,and a recent study by the International Whaling Commission showed whale watch boats represent the greatest threat to whales in terms of ship strikes. Supporting companies that treat whales respectfully is one way you can do your part for the oceans.