Posted by: orcaweb | July 22, 2013

Humpback Whale.

It has been another amazing week onboard the King Seaways.
Some of you may have already heard about the incredible sighting I had on my first evening leaving Newcastle this week, a Humpback whale….. The 16m long leviathan showed off in pure documentary style when it fully breached spun in the air and crashed back down throwing water metres up from the sea surface.
I was glued to the spot all I could do was point and shout (something which I have started calling the whale effect), I could not raise my camera up in time to capture this magnificent moment. However Theo Merkus (one of the passengers) was quick to raise their lens and captured the Humpback’s breaching sequence.
HumpbackWhaleBreachingSequence©TheoMerkus
You can clearly see the long pectoral fins, from which this whale gets its Latin name, Megaptera novaeangliae. Which means long finned New Englander. It was also renowned for being very common off the coast of New England during the times of whaling.
The Humpback whale is one of/ if not the most charismatic whale in the world. To have this species only 30 minutes off the coast of the UK is astonishing.
Wednesday leaving Newcastle the whales put on another show for me. I spotted 3 Minke whales and had reports from passengers saying they have seen at least 5 from various places around the ship. The first two I spotted (one of which was only metres from the ship) I did not manage to photograph (the whale effect), but I was determined to capture the net one to show up.
And I did. You can make out that the Minke is rolling straight towards the ship.
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Porpoises were showing up at both ends of the crossing throughout the week.
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I managed to get off the ship and visit the Great North museum where they are setting up the marine wildlife festival with some life size inflatable whales.
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And a giant squid!
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The festival is currently underway so make your way down there if you are in the area, its great to learn about the marine wildlife we have in UK seas.
This was going to be first week in the last 3 months when we haven’t seen the White-beaked dolphins, until last night. I was describing to one of the passengers what signs to look out for and just as I finished he spotted them.
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We ran from the bow to the starboard side of the ship and watched them disappear into the horizon.
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This was the perfect end to a week which is going to be hard to beat.
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Thanks for reading guys.
Ben.

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