Saturday, August 7, 2010

Whale Watching Experience

Some 15 years ago I went whale watching for the first time. Unfotunately for me I saw no whales during that trip. Yesterday however was slightly different. I could not believe how many whales were dwelling in the Massachusett's waters.

As we moved through the Harbor and on to the open ocean, there were many fishing boats along the way. It was clear there were mainly commercial fishermen with their orange pants and fishing gear in tact.

The weather was sunny but overcast in some parts with clouds above us dabled like a painting in some spots. In addition, the temperature must have been in the upper 70's or around 80 degrees when we first left the harbor. As we moved out to the open ocean the temperature change became more and more abrupt causing some of us to put our hoody's on.

I was speaking with my classmate Ted when a bird flew across quite fast and very near the water. I thought the bird might be chasing a snack but Ted did not think so because of the color of the bird, which I missed. He did not think this type of bird ate fish and believed they were probably trying to find a place to land.

Our host during the trip explained there was an underwater plateau that was about 100 miles down. In addition, she explained one of the whales we saw was from the Baleen family and confirmed it was a Minky whale. I researched further the Minky and found some interesting facts at as follows:
  • "Characteristics: counter-shaded black to dark gray on top, white below and two areas of lighter gray appear on each side

  • Size: length they average between 26 to 27 feet depending on the sex and both weigh about 10 tons

  • Diet: primarily krill or capelin, cod, herring, pollock

  • Sexual maturity is around 7 to 8 yrs and the breeding peaks during the summer months with gestation period about 10 to 11 months. At birth calves are 10 feet and weigh about 1000 lbs and nurse for about 6 months."
Overall the experience was great from the weather, the visuals of the whales, the group interaction and the overall harbor views. I enjoyed the entire trip.

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