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Category Archives: Naturalist Notebook

Naturalist’s Notebook: April 23, 2016 to April 29, 2016

It is important to remember that whalewatching is not just about whales.  It always best to think of your trip as a Marine Science Adventure.  The reason for that is very simple.  Sometimes the coolest thing that you experience is not something that the whales were doing.  A whalewatch is a foray into what may […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: April 16 to April 22, 2016

When you whalewatch at this time of year, you should keep two things in mind.  First, this is the best time of year to see a North Atlantic Right Whale.  And, second, due to the presence of Right whales in Cape Cod Bay and the surrounding north Atlantic, there is a mandatory 10 knot speed […]

Naturalists Notebook: April 15, 2016

The first day of whalewatching was bright and crisp, with a “mighty” wind from the north.  Both humpback whales and finback whales were sighted.  The naturalist took note of two of the sightings.  One, the last sighting of the trip, was of several humpback whales that appeared to become curious about the boat.  He reports […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: October 18 to October 25

This week was again largely about feeding humpback whales.  On almost every trip, they were reported doing just that.     The report on October 21 of Hancock without her calf is not a reason for concern.  By this time of the season, it is fairly common for calves to be putting more and more […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: October 11 – October 17

This was another week of humpback whales cutting heavily into the populations of sand eels around.  Virtually every trip reported observing various feeding techniques, including kick-feeding, the creation of bubbles, and surface lunges. A few highlights from the week include the sighting of Rocker on October 11.  He was busy playing with seaweed that was […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: October 04 – October 10

The strong winds and high seas of last week continued into this one, causing the Dolphing Fleet to cancel its trips on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. In the dropping swell of October 07, as many as a dozen or more humpback whales were seen feeding around the Peaked Hill Bars.  Calves were seen throughout the […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 27 – October 03

In reading the reports made by the naturalists this week, I think Mark Gilmore sums up the beginning of the week the best when he writes, “On the way to Provincetown this morning, Pilgrim Lake  was a mirror and an indication of the offshore conditions.  Sure enough, there were finbacks between Wood End and Race […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 20 – September 26

This was very much a week about feeding.  If you have been following along, by now you have at least some idea of the various feeding behaviors of humpback whales.  This week, they were all evident:  the bubble-nets,  the bubble-clouds,  kick-feeding,  chin-kicking,  bubble-columns,  subsurface lunges,  and the lunges through the surface of the water with […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 13 – September 19

The most commonly reported things from this week’s whalewatches are the landmarks.  The naturalist on nearly every trip makes note of one lighthouse or another.  Repeated mentions are made of Race Point Light, Wood End Light, and Long Point Light. Long Point Light is the first a whalewatch boat passes leaving from Provincetown.  It sits […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 06 – September 12

Last week, Carolyn reported a sighting of a blue shark.  Blue sharks are fairly common in the nearby waters.  That they are not spotted as frequently as basking sharks is likely due to the relative amount of time they spend at the surface.  It is highly migratory, found in deep waters throughout the tropics and […]