Whale Watching

A friend and I took advantage of a LivingSocial deal to go whale watching up in Gloucester with 7 Seas Whale Watching.  It was most excellent and I would recommend them: they lost our reservation but were super nice and efficient about fixing it; the captain and crew were friendly and informative; and they do work with local researchers to help the whales.  We also took the early morning ride, which meant that we were up at 6:30 am to get there on time, but it was completely worth it – it was not crowded, the lighting was brilliant, and we got off just in time for a delicious seafood lunch.

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This is my friend Anna, who is often a fellow adventurer! She hasn’t shown up on my blog yet because I haven’t liked any of the pics I’ve taken of her (sorry, Anna, it’s me, not you!) but I finally snapped a good one.

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Meet Diablo, who is a baleen whale, if I recall correctly (big if! I was very excited and not listening too well).  She was very close to the boat – and actually swam under it at one point – and was just spectacular to watch.

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Diablo diving for food.  All that plankton and/or small fish – yummy!

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So – Diablo breached the water.  And because my camera can’t focus very well on the water, I had it on manual focus, which I was doing really well with, with except at this one point, at which I was so excited that my finger slipped and knocked the three pictures I got of this incredible, somewhat rare event that out of focus.  Le sigh.  It was nevertheless an amazing sight.

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Diablo splashing back into the water.  Notice how nicely focused this picture is.

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And slapping her flipper on the water.  Most of these behaviors are for the sole purpose of catching fish – the whales around here only feed for half the year before heading towards warmer waters, where they don’t eat.

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A different whale – a humpback whale – showing off their fluke as they dive below for fish.

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We definitely weren’t the only boat out there enjoying the sights! And I swear some of the whales were just showing off for the attention! We saw probably 10 or 15 different whales – only Diablo was super close, but the distance didn’t really lessen the experience!

IMG_3891And finally, the picturesque town of Gloucester as we cruised back into the docks.  If you ever get the chance to go whale watching, I highly, highly, highly recommend it.  There was plenty of seating and a ramp to get on the boat, so people of all mobility levels could go, and I can’t even begin to describe how majestic these whales looked in person, rather in my photos.

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