Whale watching in Stellwagen Bank
The coast of Massachusetts is a prime spot for whale watching.
Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 21:51
FAST FRIENDS: Whales that return to this area to feed sometimes meet up in the same pairs or groups every year. (Photo: sneakerdog/Flickr)
As my time with my coworkers comes to a close, I wanted to spend an afternoon outside our office enjoying the ocean. We decided on a trip with Cape Ann Whale Watch — vastly different from our usual Friday afternoons.
All of us had been on a whale watch previously, and collectively knew quite a lot about the whales that visit Stellwagen Bank every year. We knew that many whales are endangered because of ship collisions and getting caught in fishing gear, and we knew that you can identify whales by the patterns on their tails. But before we were even on the boat, we were learning about their habits, how large they grow and their Latin names.
Cape Ann Whale Watch has a partnership with a conservation group called Ocean Alliance, an organization that collects data on whales all over the world. The interns on board taught us about how humpback whales use baleen to eat, why we could find them on Stellwagen Bank, and how they breathe voluntarily, no matter how deep they dive. Though it took two hours to get to the end of Stellwagen Bank, it seemed to fly by, thanks to the smooth ride and the young researchers describing what we'd be seeing.
After the fast trip toward Cape Cod, we saw several boats stopped in the same area. Everyone was holding on to the railing along the boat, staring into the water. I held my camera ready in my hand, trying to catch the action on any side of the boat, when our guide pointed into the distance at a humpback whale waving his pectoral fin at another boat. For the next hour, we were surrounded!
To see some of the pictures and videos from the trip, watch here:
Photo: Jen Clinton
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