Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...

It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
Save the whale. Save the world.

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins, and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Nat Geo for Disney+ Luis Lamar

Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...
Alexi Archer cropped

Meet the 2022 Interns: Alexi Archer

I am thrilled to welcome Alexi to WDC as the newest member of our Marine...
Saya

Meet the 2022 Interns: Saya Butani

I'm happy to welcome the newest member of the WDC team, Saya Butani, who is...
Block Island wind credit: Regina Asutis-Silvia

Offshore Wind: Don’t Blow It

Recently, new areas were added to the growing list of potential sites for offshore wind...
Sierra

Meet the 2022 Interns: Sierra Osborne

I'm delighted to introduce WDC's Conservation Education intern for Summer 2022, Sierra Osborne! Without hesitation,...

First few weeks as an intern

Written By: Stephanie Wrobel

It’s been a bit over two weeks now that I’ve been interning with WDC and so much has happened that it feels like it should be a lot longer. Before I came here I’d never seen humpback whales before, but due to studying in Australia I guess I always had a picture of the Pacific humpback whales in my head. I quickly learned how many differences there are between the populations in the Atlantic and Pacific such as the different flipper coloration or the fact that only the population here shows the kick-feeding behavior.

After just a couple of days learning all the basics in the office I was lucky enough to go out on the Hyannis Whale Watcher, a Whale SENSE participating company, and see humpback whales for the first time. It definitely exceeded the expectation I had for the first trip. Not only did I get to see several different individuals on that first day but on one sighting we saw a humpback whale named Glostick and her calf. While that alone would have already been amazing, the calf was very playful and started breaching and coming close to the boat. Needless to say, that I was as excited as all the visitors on the boat. Later that day I also got to see Dyad open-mouth feeding and kick-feeding. While we “only” saw about six different humpbacks, some finbacks and a couple minke whales that day, it was enough to sometimes let me forget that I was there to collect data not to simply admire those beautiful animals. 

humpback whale calf breaching

Since that first day I’ve been out on the boat a few more times and I can’t believe how different every day can be. Last Friday was a very exciting day as we saw Mudskipper with her new calf for the first time. For a while we weren’t sure who it was as Mudskipper apparently does not like to show the underside of her fluke (where the unique pigment pattern is), and it seems she’s teaching her calf the same habit. So while we mainly saw the same 3-4 humpback whales over the last weekend (Freckles, Mogul, Mudskipper and her calf) it was unbelievable how active the finback whales have been. There were a lot of bait patches around and on several occasions we found ourselves surrounded by lunge-feeding finback whales. It is such an amazing sight to see those whales feeding and really makes you appreciate them even more.

There have been plenty of days that I didn’t spend on the boat though and I learned several different things about what else is done, besides the data collection. In my second week I had the pleasure of meeting Delilah, the life size inflatable North Atlantic right whale, when Monica gave a talk for younger kids at the library here in Plymouth. It was great to see how many kids are still so excited and interested about whales. Interacting with the people there and at the boat is always really interesting and a lot of fun, as it’s not only great to share what I know with them but also often prompts me to look up questions that I wasn’t able to answer as fully as I would have liked to, making me learn something new every few days.