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Category Archives: Naturalist Notebook

Naturalist’s Notebook: June 21 to June 27

Minke whales are also fairly common here between April and October.  If you are looking, you will likely find some of them all year round.  The smallest of the baleen whales common to our waters, Minke whales are still very large animals.  Here, in the North Atlantic, they might be as long as 25 or […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: June 14 to June 20

As it happens, the largest whale common to the waters around the Cape is the second largest animal ever to have lived on this earth.  Finback whales are incredibly large.  In the North Atlantic, they can reach lengths between 65 and 75 feet and weigh somewhere around a ton per foot.  In the southern hemisphere, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: June 07 to June 13.

One of the five species of whale commonly seen in the waters surrounding Cape Cod at this time of year is the humpback whale.  Humpback whales are moderately sized baleen whales.  Between thirty-five and fifty feet in lenth,  they usually weigh about a ton per foot.  Once you get close enough, you notice that they […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 31 to June 06

The Dolphin Fleet has been whalewatching for nearly 40 years.  In that time many species have been sighted in the waters off of Cape Cod.  The most common sightings include several species of baleen whale; including humpback whales. And finback whales. And minke whales. And Northern Right Whales. And also a species of toothed whale, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 24 to May 30

This week, as in the past several weeks, a number of different species have been observed from the Dolphin Fleet boats.  They include both toothed and baleen whales.  I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little bit about the differences. There are roughly eighty species of whales in the waters of […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 17 to May 23

The continued references of feeding whales this week remind me that the area around Cape Cod and Stellwagen Bank are very much a huge restaurant for whales, as well as numerous other species.  Most of the whales that come to our waters in the springtime are returning here from warmer waters, further to the south, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 10 to May 16

The big talk this week in the reports of whalewatch trips was the feeding of the various species of toothed and baleen whales.  With the Right Whales largely gone, most of this feeding would have been at the expense of small, schooling fish like herring, mackerel, cappelin, and sand launce.    The reality of being a […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: May 03 to 09

What struck me most in reading the accounts of this week’s trips is the aparent disappearance of the right whales.  Yes, they are probably still somewhere else within Cape Cod Bay, but there appear to be none remaining between Provincetown Harbor and Race Point.   Not a single Right Whale has been reported this week.  However, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: April 26 to May 02

Plankton tows this week revealled the presence of large amounts of copepods in the waters around Cape Cod.  These animals are members of the zooplankton.  What it means to be a planktonic animal is that you are capable of moving up and down in the water column but you are unable to swim against the current.  In short, […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: April 19 to April 25

In reading the reports from this week’s trips, I could not miss the continued references to the color of the waters around Cape Cod.  If you have been to the Florida Keys or the Carribean, the water there is crystal clear and allows a vast amount of visibility.  If you have been whalewatching in the […]