Thursday, July 10, 2008

Boston, part 3 - Whale Watching

This is one of the few pictures I took. The whale watching trip really went well. I was so hesitant about the whole thing because I was afraid that we would not see whales and that we would all get seasick. This was taken with no zoom lens. The whales were really that close.

We booked a tour with Boston Harbor Cruise. I booked over the phone. It was a little annoying that I never got an email confirm of my booking. I had to call back and get a confirm number. I also like this tour operator because unlike the New England Aquarium tour that was going to charge for every person onboard (so for us. that's 2 adults, 1 senior and 2 kids). Whereas this operator will only charge for adults and seniors. Kids under 4 are free.

Though the tour turned out to be 3 1/2 hours (it was advertised at 3 hours), the time went by really quickly. We had the first whale sighting within an hour or so. It was pretty awesome to see.

Now some words of caution:
Whales don't breach very often. A breach is when the whale basically jumps out of the water. We found out that whales only breach about 10% of the time and usually as a result of trying to get to some "itch" or some irritation that has latched to its skin. It can also be a form of communication. However since it takes a lot of energy to do this move, it doesn't happen often. So adjust your expectations. Because if you came to see jumping whales, you'll be disappointed.

It's colder in the open ocean, especially when the boat is traveling at top speed. When the experts say this online, believe them. I forgot my jacket at home and thought that since it was a warm summer day, I would be fine. I don't get cold much but it was chilly on the upper deck. I should have listened. So if you are planning to be on the upper deck, plan on bringing a sweater or thick windbreaker with a hood.

If you're feeling lucky.... I chose to go with the advice of staking a spot on the upper deck for the best view. However I think everyone got that advice, so it got pretty crowded. Whereas Gmom, G and the kids remained downstairs inside the cabin so that they can stay warm. When the whale sightings began, everyone made a dash for the upper level, leaving the windows of cabin open for viewing. G got some really great video of the whales without leaving the comfort of the climate-controlled cabin. He was lucky. Later on, a bunch of kids came back from upper deck and his clear view got obstructed.

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