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Whale Watching

Derby, United...
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Whale Watching

I have just been reading the forum about the above.

As a bit of a 'scared y cat' around water, I was nervous to read that the whales are quite close, and move under the boat. What are the dangers of the whales actually overturning a boat - accidentally of course - does this happen ?

Thanks

Jean

conn
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1. Re: Whale Watching

I've been on many whale watches at the cape and never seen whales so close to the boats where they might hit the boat. I've never heard of any boat being overturned or hit by a whale out of cape cod. Don't worry, enjoy.

Hartford...
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2. Re: Whale Watching

Our whale watches have delivered a different experience than ddavep's. The whales have swum right up to the boat and once a pod of 4 whales breached in unison and then swam right under the boat. This was extraordinary and we thought we were lucky!

The boats are big and the whales are familiar with their presence. The whales have never touched any of the whale watch boats I've been on. The movement you will feel is the rocking of the boat and not caused by whales bumping it.

Like ddavep, I have never heard of any whale watch boat being touched, bumped or overturned by a whale out of Cape Cod either.

Derby, United...
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3. Re: Whale Watching

Thanks to everyone who responded. I now feel more comfortable and look forward to this trememdous opportunity and privilege

Boston, MA
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4. Re: Whale Watching

Whales don't commonly hit boats. They have a keen sense of direction. When the boats see the whales, they slow to a stop so you can watch them .... the whales may come up close to the boat or swim under it ... you are likely to be in 100 feet of water, there's plenty of room between the boat and the ocean bottom for that. Some of the whales are "known" to the whale boat staff as liking to 'perform'.

I have NEVER heard of a whale watch boat capsizing for any reason. Trust me, if it happened, it would be all over the news. Relax and have fun.

And if you are prone to motion sickness, take precautions.

Buffalo
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5. Re: Whale Watching

Also, it's a violation of federal law to get within 500 yards of some species of whales, including the endangered right whale.

pittsburgh
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6. Re: Whale Watching

Whale watching from Barnstable Harbor was the highpoint of our first trip to Cape Cod in early Sept. The boat was massive, but I still took dramamine just in case. We saw so many whales, some very close, but none went under the boat that I am aware of. I don't think that there was any way a whale (or even a gang of whales with a plan - LOL) could tip over that boat.

It seemed as though all of the professional whale watching boats that were in the general area were very good at slowing down and maintaining a safe distance.

However, there were a lot of small private boats in the area that I would be really nervous on. Some also were moving way too fast and I was actually worried that a whale would be hit by a boat, not vice versa.

Port Hope, Canada
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7. Re: Whale Watching

We went whale watching out of Barnstable as well. The boat gets out to the whales quickly, the captain will then steer the boat at a slower pace in the direction of where the sightings are. The boat will then stop and on our trip the whales actually glided up to the boat and then dived under and around it. To say it was spectacular is an understatement.

At no point did the boat deliberately approach the whales and breach marine guidelines. I think maybe the whales can be just naturally inquisitive and like to see what is going on. We also saw Porpoises on this trip and they were following the wake of the boat, the captain deliberately sped up then hit the brakes to create large wake waves and this encouraged the Porpoises to "surf" the waves, very entertaining stuff.

Pete

NJ
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8. Re: Whale Watching

If you go out of Provincetown, you'll be much closer to the majority of the whales. Stellwagen Bank is a Marine Sanctuary. You may see whales on the way there, but mostly they are there. Look at the map: www.bu.edu/bostonia/fall08/go-fish/map.jpg

You'll see Provincetown is far closer than Barnstable Harbor, which is above the "o" in "Cape Cod" written on the map. You'll save around an hour of being on a boat. Even out of Provincetown, it's a 3 hour boat ride, which is plenty long as it is. You won't be missing out on anything - just saving time on the water. Also, the Dolphin Fleet out of Provincetown often has naturalists from Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies - the major researchers and rescuers of whales. Those folks are *amazing*.

pittsburgh
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9. Re: Whale Watching

The trip out of Barnstable Haror also goes to Stellwagen Banks. If you are staying near this area (mid-cape) you decide if you would rather spend an hour driving to Provincetown, or a 45 minute boat ride. The ride itself through the harbor was beautiful, with great views of a small community and light house on/near Sandy neck beach. The naturalist on the boat was very infromative about the whales and also about the history of the area.

When we got to where the whales were, we were not even to the Banks yet. As the naturalist said, the whales do not know that they should stay within the confines of the sancturary, they go where they want. We were very close to Racetown beach and the boats that go out of Provincetown were there also.

Atlantic Highlands...
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10. Re: Whale Watching

Hey folks if you want to know when to go just look up the dates of the most sightings from this NOAA site!!

http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/