Thursday, August 25, 2011

Arrr... Thar Be Whales!

Holy frickin' crap!

A few years ago, we took the kids to St. Andrews, New Brunswick, to watch Minke whales frolicking in the Bay of Fundy. It was a great experience to see these majestic creatures crest the surface of the water, giving us brief glances of their backs. If we were lucky, we caught a glimpse of a tail

So when we had an opportunity to go whale watching off Provincetown—at the tip of Cape Cod—I wasn't against it, but I thought: been there, done that. And the kids said an outright "no."

We saw pictures in the ads for the whale-watching companies, glossy photos of humpback whales jumping out of the water—breaching, it's called. I thought, yeah, that probably happens once in a blue moon: you have to go out several times, watch for hours. I thought that we would go because Lori really wanted to see humpbacks. This was one of her bucket-list items.

As I said at the beginning, holy frickin' crap!

These guys didn't just show their backs; they put on a fabulous show. We had at least a half-dozen whales breach over and over again. They weren't shy: they swam right up to the boat, and at one point we had to shut our engines off because of one whale who came right alongside us. We didn't start up again until we knew the whale was clear of us.

My photos have not been cropped to make the whales appear closer. At times, I felt I might need to switch to a wide-angle lens. Shooting with both eyes open, the lens pretty much captured what my other eye was seeing. These photos were shot at 70mm, which is only slightly closer than the human eye. At one point, when the whale breached and then hit the water, I was hit by the wave.

But one of the most satisfying parts about yesterday's whale watching was hearing the squeals of delight from the kids. Hearing them shout "this is the best vacation ever!"

And hearing the screams of delight from Lori. Check one off the bucket list.

More photos will be available on my Picasa Web album shortly. Stay tuned.

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