I have tried to load pictures for you all the drool over but for some reason they will not load, so you will have to just picture this day in your mind. It started out with a beautiful sunrise, warm temps and slightly humid. (which we like). We spent a leisure morning over coffee and light breakfast at the motel, then packed up a few snacks and went down to the harbor to catch the Atlantic Queen, for a day of whale watching.
Our Captain took us out about 21 miles into the sparkling sea to a place marked with an X only visible to the ships Captain, called Jeffrey's Ledge. On board with were three very informative marine biologists from Blue Ocean Society who provided expert commentary on what we were seeing.
I have seen these fantastic animals on TV as most of us have but to see them in person up close and personal was absolutely breath taking!!! They are HUGE!!!
Our biologist have studied these lovely creature and have given them names, they are not allowed to give them people names so some of them are a bit strange. Today we met "Filament" they are identified by their tails, she is a humpback whale that has visited this area for several years to feed and gain weight. This whale seemed to enjoy entertaining us she came so close to the boat that the Captain had to turn off the engines so as not to harm her in any way, in the USA whales are protected. She flipped her tail slapping the water and blowing bubble clouds to stir up the small fish that she was feeding on. She dove and came back up blowing water into the air, breaching and rolling in front of us as if she was showing off her tricks just for the pleasure of it. At one time she lifted herself out of the water showing us her massive mouth. This is how they feed, opening their mouths and filtering out the water and keeping in the fish. We soon learned to watch where the birds were because they gave us the clue to where the whale would soon emerge, that and the blow clouds the whale would send up to gather the fish into one spot.
I can see why Jonah could have been swallowed, it was amazing!!
Filament entertained us most of the time we were out, but further from the boat we could see several other humpbacks doing the same thing, just not as close. And we were blessed to see two fin back whales that can be 60-80 feet long, but they were not so friendly, they would show themselves and dive staying under for long periods, further away from the boat. We learned that each time a whale surfaces it will leave what is called a footprint on the top of the water, this will give a clue as to how big the whale is, one of the footprints of the fin back was 80ft. according to the biologist on board.
All that sea air and sun made us hungry so as soon as we got back to the dock we headed to one of our favorite restaurants "Olive Garden" for soup and salad which made a perfect ending to a perfect day.