Below is a summary of the whale sightings for the week of 08-14 July 1996 by researchers from the Center for Oceanic Research and Education aboard commercial whale watching vessels out of the Yankee Fleet in Gloucester Massachusetts. Our study area includes areas of Southern to mid-Jeffrey's Ledge and Northern to mid-Stellwagen Bank. 08-14 July 1996: With fog and haze, sightings were sketchy on July 8, with few whales (four fin whales and a cow/calf humpback pair) sighted in the morning. More whales were sighted in the afternoon including three humpbacks, 12 fin whales and one minke whale. Sightings of all species increased drastically through the period of July 9-11 with averages of 20 humpback whales, 13 fin whales and several minke whales on Northern Stellwagen Bank. Significantly higher numbers of minke whales were sighted in the afternoon trips. Sightings decreased on the 12th with the impending tropical storm, most of the whale activity had moved south or offshore. No trips departed on the 13th, with storm conditions prevailing thoroughout New England. On the 14th, several fin whales and humpbacks were sighted near shore on Southern Jeffrey's Ledge. The humpback whales were commonly observed bubble cloud feeding for extended periods. More surface activity was also observed during this week, with several breaches, tail-lobs and curiosity behavior toward boats. Most noticeably, during the morning of July 10th, there were six cow/calf pairs on Northern Stellwagen Bank! The mothers were actively feeding, while the calves spent most of their time frolicking on the surface. Most of the splashing and play behavior observed was exhibited by the calves. Fin whales were observed lunge feeding at the surface, but more often than not, we surmised they were deep feeding. Fish could be observed at the surface, all of the feeding appeared to be on small (3-6") American Sand Lance. Bird activity has also been fabulous with herring gulls, greater black-backed gulls, ring-billed gulls, laughing gulls, common terns, greater shearwaters, sooty shearwaters, two manx shearwaters, Wilson's storm petrels, and seven Northern gannets (including one adult). Only two basking sharks were observed during this period and one ocean sunfish.