The cruise was a “sell out”. Many of the people I spoke with had been on the cruise in previous years. They only run it one day a year and they go out rain or shine or snow. There were National Park Rangers, Aquarium naturalists, DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) employees and volunteers to answer questions. The boat was well stocked with food and beverages in the snack bar. two decks were heated if the outdoor space got too cold. They really went all out to make it a special day.
At 10:35 the loading began and by 11 am we were all ready to head out to the harbor.
Our first destination was Logan Airport. Logan Airport is home to some migratory snowy owls. Because of the damage they can do to a jet, the Audubon Society has a trap and release program. Snowys are trapped at Logan and released elsewhere, often at Duxbury beach.
I was on the 2nd deck when the cry went up that a snowy owl had been spotted. Unfortunately it was too far away. I couldn’t see it with my 300 mm lens. A photographer standing next to me with a gigantic lens on his camera said he couldn’t see it either. It looked like a snow pile or a white plastic jug, just a spot against the dark gravel.
That pretty much set the tone for the trip. It would have been more accurate to call it a bird watching cruise. We saw lots of birds but they were mostly fast and small. I soon got tired of trying to photograph them and settled for just watching them.
The only “wildlife” we saw were some seals hauled out on the rocks. Since it was low tide they were a good distance away from us and the sun was at the wrong angle to see much. It was more the silhouette of their “banana pose” that gave them away.
It had warmed up a great deal and the sun going in and out behind the clouds. The harbor was amazingly calm for a winter day. We cruised past Boston Light into the outer harbor.
One of the volunteers explained that they almost never get to go into the outer harbor in winter. It’s just too rough but we made it all the way out to Graves Light and even there the waves were only gentle, rolling swells.
Graves was the end of the trip. We did our turn around right in front of the light house. The return trip was leisurely as we passed the various harbor Islands, Georges Island with it’s fort, Peddocks Island with it’s 4 headlands to name only 2.
It turned out to be a beautiful day for a boat ride. I may not have seen much Wildlife but I had fun all the same. I’ll watch for this next year. I wouldn’t mind a repeat.