Whales puffins and other untrained animals

Trip Start Jul 16, 2011
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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What I did
Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, July 23, 2011

The whale watching tour that had been cancelled on Friday was on for Saturday. We had packed the night before so leaving the hotel was not any drama.  We were at the dock before the 8am boarding time and the boat was already boarding.  The boat in this case is a 140' long catamaran named AtlantiCat. 

We chose the lower decking thinking with its full size windows we would be ensured a good view.  This also ensured a more bouncy ride than Sarah’s stomach could take.  So off we went to the stern for less bounce and fresh air.  Sarah still got seasick but recovered before the first whale sighting.  

We ended up seeing 1 humpback whale which is the one I have all the pictures of.  They said there was a finback whale out there but I never saw him.  We saw some porpoises and Pat and Sarah saw a seal.  That covers the below the waterline mammals in words.  Attached are some pictures of what we saw.  I won’t post all 255 that I took.

Given the chance, I would have liked to have a few of the mammals on the boat join the mammals in the Atlantic Ocean but even in international waters that is probably not legal.  For instance, if Mr. Floppy Hat in Green Jacket had leaned in front of Pat or me one more time to take a picture with his Kodak instamatic with flash, I would have helped him lean "just a little farther" for a more up close and personal shot of the whale.  I am not sure what part of the Captain’s order, “secure the doors when entering and exiting the cabin”, people did not understand but it seemed clear to me and not very difficult.  And while I am railing about two legged mammals, who in all that is holy said it was ok to wear short white socks with sandals?  I mean really.  Give me a man card and get some pride.  You are not a 10 year old girl leaving the soccer field, you are in public.

Enough of my human watching and back to the reason we are on the boat, because we are on our way over to Petit Manan Island and Light for some puffin watching.  To be honest I did not know much about puffins.  I just thought they were miniature penguins.  Not so.  Apparently puffins are built to fly….underwater.  They can only marginally fly above the surface of the water.  They have to work really hard to get off the surface of the water to the point they look like they are injured.  Once they get started they don’t go very high, but can cover some territory. Penguins don’t fly at all.  The just flop their short wings and waddle away.  At any rate, it was fun watching them and there are some pictures for you to enjoy. 

The Petit Manan Lighthouse was really cool.  You cannot go on the island to visit the lighthouse.  There are some people living there who study the seabirds living on the island.  The people came out when we got there to wave at us or possibly wave us away.  I’m not sure which.  I know what it would be if it was me and a 140’ boat showed up at my front door with 200 hundred strangers interrupting my Saturday  morning coffee.  But I can be a little anti-social at times.  

Whales found and puffins watched it was back to Bar Harbor.  We had a nice final lunch downtown with a view of the water and more sandal wearing mammals.  Then a little more shopping, before the 5 hour drive to Boston which was fairly uneventful.    I know I-95 and uneventful is typically an oxymoron but not in Maine.  It is a highway the way highways were meant to be. 

More from Boston soon.  
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