I think the most exciting thing we did on vacation was a whale watch. It was AMAZING! I understand why people instantly fall in love with these amazing beasts. I have always been drawn to the water, but this just had my heart all a flutter.
We bought our tickets through Whale Watch Dolphin Fleet. They were awesome. It was also great that both of the kids were free. They offer many rides throughout a given day and there is a naturalist on board that records data of all the whales that are spotted, gave us plenty of information about that area we would travel to and answered any question you had. The woman on our trip was very friendly and very passionate about her job.
Grandma snuggling a sleeping Colton on our way out to see some whales.
The first whale we saw was a fin whale. I think spotting it as quickly as we did shocked the captain as we were going pretty fast to get to the prime whale area and did a sudden slow down to see this one. We were still fairly close to shore and not even north of the cape yet.
The next whale that we spotted was a lone humpback whale. This is Dyad.
Dyad wasn't too exciting, she did provide us with the signature tail show of a humpback whale.
She kept diving, so we didn't stick around too long. Each time they dive down, they stay down for about 6-7 minutes. The captain decided to move and and I am sure every one was elated that he did after we saw what happened next.
What we stumbled upon next was truly amazing. We could see it off in the distance, large splashes. Once we got closer, we could see what it was, a mother humpback whale and her calf.
While it looks like they are waving to the tourists, in fact they were fin slapping. They would raise a pectoral fin high into the air and slam it down on the water with great force. Researchers aren't sure why they do this, but it was a lot of fun to watch. The calf was taking notes and doing it too.
The mother, Dusky, is much larger than her calf, whom is still unnamed. The calves aren't typically named until they are at least a year old, sometimes even older. The first two years are critical in their lives and this calf was only about 6 months old!!!
The calf provided much of the entertainment. He displayed (it's a boy!) a wide variety of behavior. He did the fin slapping (flippering) that his mother did, but he also did quite a bit of breaching. Breaching is where they jump up out of the water.
He did a spinning head breach, where he jumped up and spun, then land on his back and he performed a chin breach where he jumped head first and slapped his chin on the surface of the water.
From my limited research on this subject, the calf didn't perform these acts with as much height as a mature adult could, but the show was still amazing and I am not going to complain that it could have been better.
We watched Dusky and her calf for about an hour, just as they were winding down, our three hour tour was over and it was time to head back in. The boys had a wonderful time watching the whales, the people on the boat were more than willing to let the kids slide in and get a great look as they could see over the top of them.
Once back on dry land, the kids were still very excited about the morning.
They were eager to pose for the camera, which is quite the rarity these days.
The Dolphin Fleet boat we were on is seen in the background on the left.
Maben even snapped a photo of my husband and I. I'm so glad he is an eager photographer, now I don't have to ask strangers to take a photo of us.
If we ever find ourselves back out on the Cape, we will be doing this again. It was a magical experience that I can't let myself pass up if given the opportunity.
I was not paid or compensated to mention the Dolphin Fleet, I was just eager to give a great review of an amazing trip. I would be eager to go on another whale watch if they did want to pay or compensate me!