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Individual Whales

Finback whale Lunch: Lunch has very little dorsal fin left and was given that name because it looks like a shark came along and bit it's fin off for "lunch". In truth, Lunch lost it's fin when it was hit by a twin engine boat propeller. Lunch has been seen throughout the Gulf of Maine since 1982 but was first observed with a calf in 1995. The calf was given the name "T-time" for a T shaped scar on it's side. Lunch is often a very approachable whale, we have seen her on many of our trips over the years, and always look forward to our first meeting of the year.

Finback whale George: George was the first finback cataloged by Allied Whale back in 1977, so was named after the first U.S. president George Washington. If we are lucky enough to see George this summer it will mark the 20th year that this whale has been known. George happens to be a very big finback whale with a fin which is thin and pointed at the end. George's fin has a small slice out of the bottom trailing edge and two nicks on the top about a foot apart. Although George has never been seen with a calf it is not known whether this whale is male or female. This past summer Allied Whale researchers were able to collect a skin sample from George and through DNA testing will soon be able to answer this question.

Finback Whale Shark: Shark is a very popular male whale that is easy to identify. Shark has a large piece missing from the trailing edge of it's tail. It's fin shape looks like a shark's fin or even a shark coming out of the water with it's mouth open. It's not known how it's fin got this way but it is recognizable from a great distance away. Some fin whales seem shy but Shark is not and moves with great energy and a sense of purpose. Shark was first cataloged in 1982 and since then has been seen by thousands of people throughout the Gulf of Maine. We have seen him on many of our trips every year for eight seasons. Once upon returning from a whale watching trip twenty five miles offshore we found Shark near our dock leaping out of the water.

Humpback Whale Blanco: Blanco means white in Spanish and refers to this whale's ivory white tail. This bright white tail which has black trim and a few distinctive circular black spots is extremely pretty. Blanco was first seen just six years ago near Brier Island, Nova Scotia. This teenager decided to spend the summer of 1996 with us and turned out to be a real pleasure to watch. We often saw Blanco rolling around on the surface flipper flapping and tail slapping. Blanco was also a very social whale and was often seen traveling and playing with other humpbacks. This young one was part of a group of seven for two days that were feeding on fish cooperatively by driving them to the surface. On August 20th we found Blanco by himself with no other whales in sight. Blanco was moving quickly to the south while breaching and slapping the water for more than an hour as if to say "where is everyone".

Humpback Whale Cone:
Cone is a large and energetic male whale who is at least eighteen years old having first being cataloged in 1979. We judge that he is forty to fort five feet long and weighs 50,000 - 60,000 lbs. Cone is named after a marking on his mostly white tail. On the right tip there is a piece that sticks up that is shaped like a pine "cone". Cone is easy to spot from a distance because of his large fin that is hooked at the end or shaped like an Eagle's beak. Cone's fin has lots of white scratch marks on it from doing battle with other males. These scars are left by acorn barnacles. Any of the large humpbacks may carry 500 to 1000 pounds of barnacles on their tails and body. Cone visited us for most of the past summer and was known for his spectacular breaching episodes. On many trips we watched him continually chase fish to the surface and charge out of the water with his mouth wide open.

Humpback Whale Gemini:
Gemini is one of the first whales cataloged by Allied Whale back in 1976. Gemini is whale # 16 in a collection of over 5,000 North Atlantic humpback whales. It is always exciting to see this whale as there is so much history behind it. Gemini is recognized by a mostly white tail with a black slash on the bottom right half and a set of killer whale teeth marks on both outer tips. There is one report that Gemini is a male whale and it is also true that this whale has never been seen with a calf. We were thrilled to have Gemini spend much of the summer of 1996 right here off the coast of Bar Harbor.

Right Whale Stumpy:
We saw stumpy on a partly foggy day five years ago when we saw no other larger whales . She made that trip an exciting and educational one. Stumpy is called that because the right end of her tail is missing, leaving a "stumpy" appearance. Her tail also stands because of a large white circular pattern in the middle of the left side. She was one of the first right whales cataloged back in early 1980's by the right whale team from the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. Three years ago she was spotted with a calf on the Right Whale breeding grounds off Georgia and Florida. Sadly, within a few weeks the young one disappeared from her side and presumably died.



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