Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Safari #83: Whale Watching with Boston's Best Cruises

Call me Ishmael (or Cristy, if you please).

It was high time that I got to sea to catch a glimpse that elusive creature - and Boston's Best Cruises was there to help make it happen.

This past Sunday, I took a 3.5 hour cruise to Stellwagen Bank, part of the larger Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, a federally protected marine sanctuary that begins in the mouth of the Massachusetts Bay and sits between Cape Ann and Cape Cod.  Stellwagen Bank is ideally situated on a plateau pulling rich nutrients and phytoplankton from the deep and raising them to the surface.  Due to this key feature, the area is a popular feeding ground for whales.  Our cruise ship was on an adventure to find feeding whales including humpback and Minke. 
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Sadly, while the weather was perfect, we did not see any whales.  Even though I was disappointed, I was happy knowing that I would get to enjoy another whale watch compliments of Boston's Best Cruises policy. If you go on a watch and don't see any whales, you get a voucher to return and try another time.

I'll be sure to share an update once I go on the next watch.

My tips:
  • Bring a Jacket.  Regardless of the temperature, bring a jacket to make yourself comfortable. The water temperature at the time of my trip was 61 degrees, and with the winds, things got fairly chilly.
  • Bring a snack. In an effort to make your trip the most comfortable, Boston's Best allows you to bring your own beverages and snacks if desired. There are concessions available as well serving beer, soft drinks, bottled water, and food.
  • Consider Help. Boston's Best provides complimentary ginger ale and sickness bags should you start to feel ill while on board.  It is also recommended to sit on the first deck of the ship as this tends to experience less swaying and bouncing as opposed to the top deck.  If you are generally sensitive to boat rides, you may also want to consider taking Dramamine just before the cruise gets underway.  
**Image kindly borrowed from Boston's Best Cruises http://bostonsbestcruises.com/best-boston-whale-watching-2013