Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day Two - Friday - A Day With the Whales

 We're back in New Hampshire again! This is the second day of my trip and my daughter and I have taken off bright and early for a whale watch leaving from Rye, New Hampshire. The day could not have been more perfect, the weather was sunny and cool with gentle waves on the ocean in the Bay of Maine. Cameras in tow we eagerly boarded the 'Granite State' whale watching boat. They take you out about 1 1/2 hour to what is known as Jeffrey's Ledges. Apparently there is a great deal of food in that area which of course draws in the whales. Here we are, on our way out to sea leaving a gorgeous turquoise wake.

 Why is the theme song from Gilligan's Island in my head? That's right.. that was only a 3 hour tour, this one was 5 1/2. :o)

We passed a couple of islands on our way out, one with a lighthouse.

There is a narrator on the boat continually keeping you up to snuff on what there is to see, the fact that we should expect to see Humpback Whales and the statistics about the different types of whales. There were members of the Whale Conservancy on board ready to observe and note recognizable whales as well as troll for a sample of the food that the whales are eating in a big cone shaped net. While on this trip they actually found a tiny sea creature that they'd never seen before. We're watching closely all the way out to get a glimpse of a dolphin or whale.. such a broad expanse to watch.. no land in sight and nothing so far.

It was a lovely ride out to the ledges and before long we saw spouting in the distance. The narrator lets you know right away....  "Spouting at 2 o'clock!" so everyone dashes to look at 2.. then she shouted "Dive at 10 o'clock!" and so on. I highly recommend if you consider going to go on the early morning excursion. There were very few people on board so it was very comfortable and easy to move from one side to the other to view the whales.

As it turns out even the narrator was astounded because this immense FinWhale was suddenly right in front of the boat. They backed off the engines immediately as they would have hit it otherwise. I can't even begin to describe the feeling of seeing such a huge creature...I was in complete awe. These animals are rare in the area. They are the largest whale off the East Coast measuring 70 to 88 feet long.. imagine! And one of them just rose up in front of us like Jules Verne's Nautilus!

The Fin Whales are so huge they rise gently and then submerge like a submarine. You won't see the whole splashing tail in the air display like the Humpbacks. If you watch closely you will see a large band of water turn a vivid turquoise just before the Fin Whale surfaces. The most amazing thing was there was not only one Fin Whale, there were four! They said it was a rare privilege to have seen them as we did as they are the second largest whale in our waters.

We watched the Fin Whales travel together, coming up for air regularly, then we left them alone to go looking for the Humpbacks. Sure enough, within minutes we caught sight of them.  This one was one that they could identify and had named 'Chickadee' and she was full of showmanship this morning. She repeatedly did what they call a tail breech out of the water, with a loud splash back down. She was traveling with another whale that just quietly blew from his blow hole along side of her.

 Keep in mind that even though the Humpbacks are smaller than the Fins, these whales grow to 52 feet and weigh in at 30 to 50 TONS!

 You can just see Chickadee's mate blowing a spout of water to the right of her tail.

 We watched Chickadee and her mate for some time, then headed back to shore. We'd been there for a couple of hours and it was time to head in.
 No land in sight for about an hour, then we get a glimpse of the islands, one with a wind machine.
Then before you know it we're nearly to shore where all the sea birds congregate to gossip.

 Back on land, here is a picture of our boat. It was a thrilling experience and I highly recommend these people for the trip. They're very friendly, know exactly where to find the whales and are very knowledgeable.

Now off to Ray's for some lobster!

We sat out on the porch overlooking the ocean eating the  most delicious Lobster Pie! After lunch we had a pleasant walk in the surf, then off to Concord N.H. where Bri was getting a henna tattoo and I was having a 1 1/2 hour massage courtesy of my daughter. Does it get any better?  I don't think so!

I hope you've enjoyed Friday's whale watching trip... two more days to go!

Have a great weekend.. keep cool.
Best... Canace


Cherie said...

Oh WOW, WOW, WOW total fabulousness in every way Darling. Oooo I'm as green as where the ocean meets the sky :) Looks like total bliss for sure, wish I'd been there with You. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Soooooooo much fun!

pamelahuntington said...

Wow what a lovely time you had in N.H...the pictures are glad you had a good time and were on the nice cool water in this heat! And oh... dreams of Lobster!

Lovey said...

What a fabulous adventure...simply wonderful....

Cait said...

Look at those beauties!!! So glad you had such a great time visiting Bri and doing a little adventuring!! Especially when you stopped in for a surprise visit to us on your way home (best part of the whole trip if I do say so myself!!!)