Captain John and the Whales

Captain John’s Whale WatchingWhale Tail

Captain John Boats lives in Plymouth, MA and sails the seas of Massachusetts Bay and Stellwagen Banks. Why, Matey? What does the Captain John do on the bay? We be lookin’ for whales. Mostly humpback whales but also finbacks and minkes. So come on board and let me tell you a “tail” of the sea.

Whale Watching in Massachusetts

Summertime on the Massachusetts coast means whales. The evening news happily reports when the first whales of the season begin to arrive along Cape Cod. The first are usually the rare right whales. We watch them from the shore. We recognize them by their distinctive wide V-shaped blow. All the while we watch we also freeze in the early spring blustery cold.

Whale TailWith Warmer Weather come the Tours

As the weather warms the Right whales move out and the Humpbacks, Finbacks and Minkes take their place. I’ve followed the whales for 43 years through good years and bad. South of Boston there are 3 main tour companies, Boston’s New England Aquarium, Captain John Boats in Plymouth and the Dolphin Fleet out of Provincetown. It doesn’t seem to matter which one you take, they all seem to end up at Stellwagen Bank within sight of each other and the Pilgrim Tower in Provincetown.

A Whale of a Trip

Last Saturday I finally had a free afternoon. I usually prefer the morning trip out of Plymouth with Captain John. I seem to have better luck on those tours but this time I couldn’t get away until the 2 pm tour. We no sooner reached the feeding grounds of Stellwagen Banks than 3 humpbacks sounded right next to the boat. They stayed close for 3-4 dives before moving out. ¬†We had several other humpbacks cruise along with the boat and then one tried to ride our bow! It was a very active trip and the passengers were really excited.

Riding a bow wave

Rate the Trip

If this was your first trip it was a definite 10. There were lots of whales and lots of activity. For a more experienced whale watcher it might have been a bit of a let down. There were no flipper slaps, bubble net or surface feeding, or breaches but some lovely flukes…a 5. I am so spoiled!

Gurnet Light

Gurnet Light

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