A Whale of a Day


We saw a whale today.

It was a first for us.  We’ve never seen one around Cape Ann in 35 years of chartering for scubas here.

Lucky for us, we had Hawkeye LD aboard, along with Joe Stark and Bill Low.  Pete and Pat were crew with The Captain at attention.  I drove.

We were a little put off by the weather – cloudy, dreary, overcast, gloomy, with periods of wetness.  No wind to speak of, but we went north because the predictions were that it would come up by the afternoon from the south and then the east.  There was also the Run Gloucester road race and Nelson’s Ride along the harbor today.  We figured the Blynman Bridge would be busy with land traffic.  We’ll just miss all that by going up the river.

As we slowed on approach to Lanesville Shores, Hawkeye saw a spout and rounded black back of a whale just off Folly Point.  He took a lot of guff from those of us who said it was probably a seal, whales wouldn’t come so close to shore.  Then I saw another blow and a black back further along towards Folly Cove’s mouth.  Yup.  It was a whale.  A humpback.

We followed it slowly as it surfaced several more times on its way northeast.  As it cleared Halibut Point, my anorak was flapping in the breeze and it was getting mistier.  Everyone had cameras and were on the bow to catch one last glimpse of the wonderful thing as it left the area.  What a treat!

The diving commenced after we powered back to our original first site pick.  Pete reported it was 59 degrees on the surface and near that on the bottom.  Visibility wasn’t great on the surface, but the bottom clarity was fine.  Pete and Joe found flounders that wouldn’t flinch at a touch from a lobster poker, but jumped from the gentle pressure of a gloved finger.  Wonder why.

Our second site was S&M outside Plum Cove.  It was about 25 feet to the bottom and a bit murky compared to other places we’ve been.

We watched a large boat come close from the open ocean, deposit passengers in a small outboard it had been towing, and head out to sea again.  The outboard proceeded into the mouth of the Annisquam.  We guessed they were guests being returned to land.

The rain became steadier as we pulled anchor for  home.  I drove from the flying bridge and got soaked.

Today wasn’t in the least measured by the weather.

Rather by the length (Peter said it was 40 feet long) of our whale visitor.

We’ll all have quite a story to tell at work tomorrow.

One Response to “A Whale of a Day”

  1. veronica Says:

    When I woke up in the morning I said to myself,”it’s a nice cool drizzily over cast day. I bet they are going to see something great today on the boat!”
    I had a bunch of customers in the morning plus I had a late night event so I had to decline a day of adventure.
    I get a call later in the day from Bill L with excitement in his voice saying something about ‘being on the boat…you missed it” but I couldn’t hear what he said he saw due to crackling on the phone. But I talked to him later on and told me about the whale.
    Yes, I am jealous! WOW!

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