In September 2004 I travelled all the way to Massachusetts for a whale-packed long weekend. We went out on three whale-watches to Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank and saw over 100 whales and dolphins.
On our first whale-watch the fin whales were much more numerous than the humpbacks. Being less blubbery and buoyant, fin whales don't need to lift their tail flukes when they dive and also 'sit low' in the water, so they're more difficult to photograph than the humpbacks.
The 'star attractions' in late summer and early autumn are the humpback whales which lunge-feed on the shoals of small fish. They often dive, showing their tail flukes, to the delight of the whale-watchers.
Many individual animals are known to the researchers on board the whale-watch boats, who recognise the distinctive markings on the underside of the whales' tail flukes. We saw one animal - 'Buzzard' - on every trip, and also 'Eden', 'Circuit' and 'Polevault' plus some unknown individuals, although I confess I don't know who's who in these photos.