Meet Niles

It was a nice day for a boat ride but everyone wanted to see whales so there was a lot of clock watching going on. Mumbles about how we’d been sailing for an hour and seen nothing and were we going to slow down to look etc.

I was just enjoying the sun and ride. It didn’t seem that long to me. One lady was here from Louisiana and she was bundled up to her eye brows. She thought it was really cold. She was following the temperatures in Louisiana on her phone. She showed me it was 93 there to our 80. She also talked about how crowded Boston was and expensive…$60 for 3 people to have dinner and the MBTA was twice what they pay for the subway. (I didn’t know they had a subway in Louisiana) I’m not sure what town she was from but she did say it was the northern part of the state and her husband and oldest son were both “in oil”. Oh yes she thought gas process here were insane. I have to agree with her on that point.

By now we were nearing the tip of Cape Cod. We could see the Pilgrim Tower in Provincetown off in the distance. This was just about where we were with Capt’n John.

And just as with Capt’n John we spotted some Minke  whales first. Then the naturalist said she could see another whale near one of the other boats. She thought it was a finback. Just then right in front of us (12 o’clock as they say) we had a whale surface and blow!

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The captain swung the boat left as she broke the surface again and this time I got a quick look. Humpback! Now it was time to wiggle my way to the rail trying not to throw any little ones overboard.

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Humpbacks are identified by markings on their tail flukes and this whale was “fluking” regularly. I couldn’t see the side with the markings but the Naturalist on the bridge could and said it was a female named Niles.  She has a squiggly white line on her flukes that someone thought looked like the Nile River so she was named Niles.

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We hung out with Niles for the rest of the tour watching her dive and feed. At one point she went under the stern and popped up again right next to us pushing her big head out so we got a glimpse of her nose. The Naturalist said she was filter feeding and that action helps drain the water out of her mouth leaving the food behind.

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More and more boats began to arrive so reluctantly we had to leave Niles behind. She was the only Humpback we saw and because we had to go so far to find her we didn’t look for any others. It was time to turn around and head back to Boston.

Going back we were heading into the wind so I was glad I brought a hoodie with me. Most of the folks who had been sitting and standing here in the bow with me retired to the enclosed seats now that they’d seen their whale.

As we entered the inner harbor a plane flew low over the boat and came in for a landing at Logan Airport. The runway they came in on ran parallel to us so for a few minutes we paced the huge plane until it turned away to it’s gate.

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It’s hard to believe  it’s 5:30. The time went really fast. With the Aquarium closed I’m going to head over the Faneuil Hall to kill some time and let the subway clear out a bit before I head home.

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