whale watching in the northeast

Jul 3rd, 1999, 05:13 AM
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whale watching in the northeast

we will be traveling to the northeast in late july and early august. where is the best place to go whale watching? thanks for any advice given.
Jul 3rd, 1999, 05:50 AM
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Well, I'm not sure I can judge the best place, but I've been on whale watches out of Barnstable (Cape Cod), Provincetown, Boston, Gloucester and Bar Harbor. Of these, the best was Bar Harbor because of the shore scenery and we saw the most whales. The worst was Boston because it takes a long time to get out of the harbor to where the whales are, so you don't see many. I think there are other places in Maine where you can go out, probably from Portland or Camden, but I'm not sure. Also possibly you can go from Connecticut (Mystic?) but again, I have no personal experience.
Jul 3rd, 1999, 12:39 PM
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I've taken whale watches out of Gloucester with the Yankee Clipper Whale Watch Fleet several times, and have always seen lots of whales. The boats they have are very nice, and the naturalists who narrate the cruises are very knowledgeable. I don't know how this compares with other whale watch excursions, but we've always had a great time with this one.
Jul 6th, 1999, 01:20 PM
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We went out of Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick, Canada into the Bay of Fundy and saw at least 3 species of whales. I think it was in September. We found a sailing ship with naturalist so we could use the motor to get to where the whales were, then quietly sail with them. It was great.
Jul 7th, 1999, 06:35 AM
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We went whale watching with the Boston Aquarium in 1997, on the last day of the season (October?). We bought tickets for the "captain's lounge", a small room just behind the bridge, with a window looking into the bridge. There was one other couple, plus a wildlife photographer in the lounge, and perhaps 200 people on the boat.
The whale watching was spectacular, even according to the crew, and in fact it was so stupendous that the crew stayed out longer than normal.

Suddenly, a black front appeared. In the midwest, we would have taken our family into the basement with a flashlight and radio. The storm hit suddenly and just nailed the boat. Most of the 200 or so people were in the bottom of the boat and were somewhat impervious to what was going on, but some were huddled on the exposed top just behind us. And we were in the fortunate position of being inside, but unfortunately could see what was happening on the bridge. There was significant alarm, calls back and forth with the Coast Guard, crew running around. I opened the door and it was like a hurricane. We were on the top of this large boat, mind you, and waves were crashing on our windows and in our doors. It got to the point where we looked for the life jackets, found just one in the lounge area.

Two hours late, at around 9:00 p.m., we arrived in Boston. The captain talked to my husband and I, showing us his charts, and explaining that the waves were so fierce that he, fearing capsize, was forced to go back out to sea to ride it out. It was as "dicey" as he had ever seen it.

This is not to scare you away from going whale-watching. It is a great experience. However, I gained a new appreciation for the sea, after seeing how such a civilized, casual event could turn into a near-tragic experience.

Jul 7th, 1999, 10:00 AM
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The best whale watching in New England is out of Gloucester. You reach the whales faster than other places because Gloucester is closest to the whale's feeding grounds, so you get to spend more time viewing the whales. Cape Ann Whale Watch pioneered whale watching on Cape Ann and they are affiliated with the Whale Conservation Institute. I would definitely go with them.
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