We Had A Whale of a Time

Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
Trip End Aug 12, 2008

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Where I stayed
Indianhead Campground

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Friday, August 1, 2008

We woke this morning to fog and rain.  But that didn't stop the kids excitement for today.  We had plans to go on a whale watching tour and a little rain wasn't going to stop us!  We boarded our boat at the end of the pier and walked down the ramp to get on Captain John's boat.  We left out of Plymouth Harbor and it wasn't too long before the rain and fog lifted as we sailed pass the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock.  As we pulled out of the Bay area, the guide on the boat told us about the area where there were a handful of homes on a small strip of dunes.  There used to be 60 more homes in the area before they ended up in the drink over the years with the changing landscape.  We continued out to sea where there was a light house in the middle of the waters that used to be manned full-time.  Employees would boat out to the house and stay for a couple two three days before they were relieved of their 24 hour a day duty.  Across the way from the lighthouse was an island full of large homes where they provide their own electricity.  They do this via  means of solar power, wind power or diesel generator.

We were now headed for open sea.  Full throttle ahead and it was pretty cold standing on the front bow where the kids were.  It took us over an hour to get to where there had been sightings of whales that day.  Sure enough Ellen spotted the first whale in the distance.  The captain maneuvered over to the humpback where he was sleeping.  Or as close to sleeping that they get.  They have to think of every breath they take, so they don't really sleep like we do.

We pulled along side of the large humpback who was calm and still and then suddenly he disappeared and then right in front of the boat he breached!  That means he jumped out of the water all the while spinning.  How fantastic was that.  Then he did it again!  What a magnificent sight!  And yes, he did it a thrid time!  Wow!  This is a rare activity for whales to do and right in front of us.  The best whale watching ever!  Then if that wasn't enough he started to flap his dorsal fin on top of the water as if to say hello.  He swam the length of the boat all the while raising and lowering the fin.  This too is unusual behavior that is rare to view.  Then to complete the time with this whale he gave us a couple close up views of his tail.  What a beautiful animal!  Clark was pretty certain that some one had trained the whale to do all these things when we got the boat close.  Then he remembered we really weren't at Disney.

 Spouting their breath into the air creating a spray you could see for a couple miles.  These animals; hump backs finbacks, and minkie whales were all there for feeding purposes.  They would create a bubble underneath the water the corrals the fish into a concentrated area and then they raise from underneath with their mouths open to collect all the fish in the bubble.  We witnessed this a couple times from several whales.  Once again a rare viewing.  Then off in the distance two hump backs taking a deeper dive and their tail fins up in the air simultaneously.  WOW!  (Missed the photo op though.)

It was time to leave our large but graceful friends and we were all sad.  We could have spent a month out there watching them.  They seem so peaceful as they glide through the water.  When we returned to port, the tide had gone out and there was just a narrow path for us to follow back into harbor.  This tide thing is really important to the mariners here due to its dramatic changes.  We exited the boat by walking up the ramp this time.  The water level had dropped at least 10'.

Off to the Mayflower.  It was an exact replica of the first ship that was destroyed.  It was given to us by England as a gift and sailed over here to the US on its maiden voyage and made it just like the first one did.  This one didn't hit a big rock though.  We know the tide schedules better now. 

Then off to "The Rock".  They make such a big deal about this rock, yet they used to have a chisel next to it so you could take a piece of it home with you.  It is now a third of its original size.  It also has been from here to yonder.  It has traveled all over the place and as a result of all of this, it is cemented together in several places.  Now it is a good thing we weren't all that intrigued with the rock because they have decided to build a monument to encase it and they are in the midst of construction, so you can't view it right now.  Clark and Rusty were pretty upset they couldn't see it, so because it was low tide walked down to the bottom of where the water comes up to the memorial and tried to view it from there.  No such luck.  They did, however, end up getting about 45 oriental tourist to follow in their footsteps.

A quick walk through the town and a leisurely drive back to the campsite and there was still time enough to get the boy out fishing.  Clark, Rusty and Audrey all rented a small row boat and paddles for a couple hours while Ellen cooked dinner.  Rusty caught 7 fish and then there was the 8th which was a large bass large enough to eat that got away.  They released all the fish they caught and made it back home just in time for dinner.
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