Went on a Whale Watch recently. I have been nagging people to go for soooo long and I cannot understand why no wanted to!! It was cold, windy, a bit of a drive (which means an early departure from home), another bit of a boat ride across the Cape Cod Bay, and FANTASTIC!!!
We saw a Minke whale, 2 Humpback Whales and a Mola, Mola (the most bizarre sea creature you have ever seen - round, flat and has one eye!). I learned quite a few interesting things along the way too....
It is pretty hard to get good photos on a whale watch. While on a rather large boat that holds almost 400 people, we were fortunate to go after Labor Day which cuts traffic way down. The boat had less than 1/2 of that on board. However - unless you are first on board and run to the bow pulpit, you are on one side of the boat or the other...and the whales are going to end up being on whichever side you are not on! I seriously started to have a melt down because I knew I was not getting any decent shots.
The bright green circles mean they are blowing air and coming up - you watch for those signs.
They are huge and slow. Over 60ft and swim around 10-15mph. However, in December, they will ALL (like every single one in the Atlantic/Canada/Norway etc) will head to the Caribbean for the winter (sounds nice!). There, they will breed and/or give birth and hang about. Pregnancies are 11-12 months long (yikes!). Wherever a calf is born is where that calf-turned-mom will travel back to to give birth. If she was born in the Caribbean, she will give birth there. If it's up here, she will give birth here. Cool!
The prize shot - the Fluke - is actually hard to get because they typically come up part way and then slide down. They aren't dolphins. Most time, the tail doesn't come up at all.
Once in a while, they surprise you and you get the mouth shot - which are beyond ginormous. They eat over a ton of fish a day. When they come up with open mouths, they suck in all they can and then exhale the water. Any I got of that are blurry or off to the side or there's a bald head right there in your face. Again, you have the green circles to look for but they come up "near" there...
They are solitary creatures but do 'hang about' with friends once in a while. We lucked out. I did get a few shots of flippers and you would swear they were waving at us doing the 'windshield wiper motion'. Picture that song "Na na na na, hey, hey-ey, Good Bye...!"
Our Biologist on board was great. She was up high and would tell us "whale at 2 o'clock" so we had at least a shot of seeing them. They are also very quiet (unless doing the big leap which we didn't get any of).
I don't know why but even when they were literally right in front of me, I just couldn't get that million dollar shot. No matter what I did, I missed a lot of shots and was bummed.
Having said that - it was spectacular and I seriously recommend it to everyone. I cannot wait to go again.