Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feeding Herring

These pictures are of herring we saw all over the surface one night on the edge of dark. In the first picture you can see all the bunches of herring around the boat in the distance. The second picture is a close up of the dark patches you can see in the first picture. The herring are feeding on some sort of small organisms that are up on the surface. This tends to happen right at dusk as well as during the night. In the third picture you can see a basking shark cruising around in the distance. While it looks scary and is 30 ft long, it has no teeth and is eating the same tiny organisms the herring are eating. (Click image to enlarge)

What We're Looking For

The first picture below is of a bunch of Northern bluefin tuna milling around on the surface late in the afternoon, around 6 PM. While the second picture is of a pair of bluefin tuna floating down wind on a calm day (the two dark wakes are the two individual fish). No one is quite sure why they come up to the surface, but as harpooners this is the only place we can catch them. I am not sure how many people will appreciate the sight of tuna as much as me, but if you do you will probably like these pictures. Both of these pictures were taken in the gulf of Maine, about 20 miles off the coast. (click image to enlarge)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Right into a Rainstorm

These pictures are of my father up in the tower as a rainstorm barreled towards our boat. Since there was no lightening,  we stayed in the tower until there was too much rain. As you can see in the first picture, there was a distinct line of wind in the distance. We had to hold on to your hats (literally) once the line of wind reached us. (Click images to enlarge)

Moby Dick

These are a few pictures of a sperm whale that we came across out fishing yesterday. This is only second sperm whale we've ever seen out fishing. They are very rare to see in the waters off of Maine. Unlike most whales that stick their back out of water when they release/take a breath, the sperm whale has its blowhole way up on the tip of his nose so when it lets out a breath of air it looks like it is blowing bubbles. Seeing these weird blows off in the distance is what made us suspicious it was not a normal whale. Sperm whales are notorious for not letting you get very close to them before diving down for hours. As you can see from the second picture we were not able to get very close to this one before it took its dive.  We are guessing it is around due to the fair amount of squid in the area, the sperm whales favorite food. The last picture (not taken by me, clearly) is just to give you an idea of what these strange, dinosaur-looking whales look like under the water. (Click images to enlarge)

Dodging a Storm On The Way In

These pictures were taken yesterday on our way in from tuna fishing (July 13th, 2011). As we started for home we encountered some unexpected thunderstorms. Luckily we were able to outrun/dodge the worst part of the storms. The first picture is of another storm off in the distance, making a path for the one that almost hit us. As you can see in the last four pictures, the heart of the second storm just missed us. (Click the images to enlarge)

Friday, July 8, 2011

These are a few pictures I have taken since tuna season started on June 1st. The first photo is of my father, Steve, going up on a bunch of about 15 Northern Atlantic Bluefin tuna. The second and third photo are of my brother, Chris, going up on two separate pairs of tuna (you can't see the second fish in the third photo, it is off to the left). My father and brother are standing out on a pulpit in these pictures, about 25.5' off the tip of the bow. In all the photos, there are purple blobs beneath the V-like wakes. Those are the individual tunas. In the second pictures, you can see the left fish very clearly. My first photo on the blog was similar to these photos but shows a much more detailed look at the tuna itself. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hungry Sea Hags

These photos were taken a few days ago while I was a cleaning one of the tuna we caught. These sea hags (commonly known as Greater Shearwaters) often follow the boat looking for scraps of guts and meat that get thrown over. These particular ones must have been pretty hungry as they got very close to the boat. (click image to enlarge)


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