February 22, 2016
Whales in Harmony
- as seen by -Kathy Brady http://www.wolfeyesphotography.com
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an 842-square-mile, federally protected marine sanctuary located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. It’s rich with sand eels, which naturally attract various whale species, including the beloved humpback.
To see them in person—their curiosity, their breaches—and to hear the wistful and complicated songs of the males is inspiring. When whale watch boats are out on the water, the whales will often come close and watch us.
On a whale watch, I’ll often first spot some blowhole mist, and then the whale’s head breaking through the water. After a brief trip below, its back and fin rise up again (hence the name “humpback”). This will be followed lastly by a spectacular tail fluke.
On this particular trip, I was fortunate enough to have blue skies above and multiple whales feeding nearby. This pair was swimming together, and I was delighted when they got close enough that I was able to take this photo of them as they surfaced. If you look closely, you can see their baleen – a filter that toothless whales use to screen tiny food sources, such as krill, from the seawater.
I realize there is a whole other world of fascinating life below the surface of the sea.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This photo was selected as a top shot from those submitted for our Love Gone Wild assignment.