Whale Watching – Gloucester MA

We had a wonderful Alaska cruise/land tour, but Judith didn’t see ANY whales! (I saw one fluke, but that was all.) So after attending a beautiful family wedding in Gloucester, we scheduled a whale watching excursion.

Sunday morning we enjoyed brunch with the family then drove along the coast enjoying the views and killing time until our 1:00 scheduled departure.  The boat was fairly large, which was good since we were going 12 miles into the Atlantic Ocean for this adventure.

The announcer pointed out a few interesting things as we motored through the harbor, like the sailboat Adventure.

Soon we were past the light houses and in the open Atlantic on our way to the Stellwagen Bank where the abundant fish provide a feeding ground for the whales.

As we moved closer to the whales’ feeding grounds, we passed a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins. Some followed our boat for a while!

The weather had turned gray and the water was rolling. Both Judith and I are prone to motion sickness so I had taken two Bonine and Judith had taken one. She should have taken two! The crew helped her to a seat on the lower level at the stern where she could throw up without getting it on other passengers.

Soon we were seeing whales!

Of course, ours was not the only whale watching excursion in the area. And, because this is a good fishing ground, there were several tuna fishing boats nearby as well. Regulations prohibit whale watching boats from approaching whales closer than 100 yards. BUT, the whales can come as close as they choose!

We had four whales in the area. There was a momma with a baby. The baby wanted to play and breeched the water.

Then mamma said, “Watch dear, this is how you do that!”

Then she did it a second time!

And finally, a third time!

The naturalist said that only about 10% of excursions see a breech, and we saw FOUR! We also saw mamma and baby swimming around near us.

Of course, we saw the tail, or fluke, as whales were diving deeper into the water.

Several times we saw whales slapping the water. There are several theories regarding this behavior, but they really aren’t certain why the whales do this.

But most often we saw the hump of the humpback whale along the surface.

The day had turned rather cold and rainy, and it was finally time to say goodbye.

Judith recovered from her nausea, we saw lots of whales, and we can put a check mark beside that item on our bucket list!


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