Sunday, May 28

May 28th, 2017

From Naturalist Dianna:

What a morning!! I’ve never seen that much feeding activity from whales of multiple species! It was absolutely incredible! Throughout the trip, we could see several whales with their mouths wide open at the same time! Sei and Humpback IMG_6832And not just the typical humpback whales either. We had a couple dozen sei whales!! What a rare treat to not only see these endangered, offshore sei whales but also to witness them feeding at the surface! Sei IMG_6769 Two of our humpback whales were identified as Owl and her newest calf! Owl IMG_7028The calf was really cute, trying to imitate its mom’s feeding behaviors! Owl has been known to have precocious calves. And I almost forgot to mention the largest basking shark I have ever seen was cruising around close to the whales.Cm IMG_6844 Words really can’t describe the trip accurately. This is why we love whale watching! We never know what we will see from day to day and even trip to trip!

So that being said, our afternoon trip was much different! The winds picked up and the whales spread out. We did get a great look at a huge fin whale right alongside the boat! Fin whales are the 2nd largest animal on the planet! So cool!!  Then we saw two humpbacks named Scylla and Quote along with a 3rd unidentified humpback. Quote IMG_7051These two were blowing big clouds of bubbles to trap their prey and came up with their mouths open several times!  Scylla IMG_7075A minke whale was spotted scooting around the area, and as we looked in the distance, even more spouts! It was certainly a different trip from the morning, but again, that is what we expect! Wildlife is wild after all! I love our nature excursions!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May 27th, 2017

From Naturalist Dianna:

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Our trip this afternoon took us to the southern part of Jeffreys Ledge. Seas were much nicer than I had anticipated and the sun was shining! Still, it is a bit cool out there as the water temperature is only 50 degrees.  Lots of whales of several species were spotted near and far. We spent most of our time with four humpback whales including one who is named Shuffleboard, another who we have just identified as Scylla, and then we saw Owl with her newest calf!

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This was especially exciting for me, the co-founder of Blue Ocean Society, as Owl is one of our adoptable humpback whales! We love seeing her return year after year. You can adopt Owl by clicking here.

Also spotted was a sly sei whale, and a minke whale. A harbor seal pup came up to us curiously to check us out, and the northern gannets were circling above, searching for fish to catch.

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I am looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow!

Come see the Tall Ships with Capt. Bills!

May 26th, 2017


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In June 2017, Boston will host the most magnificent Tall Ships of our time.  This spectacular world class fleet will visit Boston, an official port for the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, from June 17th-22nd.  The regatta will start in Royal Greenwich UK, then race to various ports in Portugal, Bermuda, Boston, and Quebec City.  There will even be a few familiar faces in Boston as local participants will include the Thomas E Lannon, The Schooner Adventure, and the Schooner Ardelle!

Capt Bill & Sons, veterans since 1976 of past Tall Ships celebrations in Newport RI, Boston and New York, would like to host you on an amazingly historic trip into Boston to see one of the grandest flotillas in history!

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Join us aboard the Miss Cape Ann for day and evening cruises to see the Tall Ships on their visit to Boston for the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta!

Friday June 16th Evening Anchorage Cruise $55 Per Person

Trip departs 4:00PM…Approximate duration 4 hrs

Cruise the beautiful coastline from Gloucester to Boston for a unique opportunity to voyage among the Tall Ships as they arrive from Bermuda.  View these magnificent vessels as they anchor in Boston’s scenic outer harbor in preparation for the next days Parade of Sail.  Approximate duration 4 hrs.

Saturday June 17th Grande Parade of Sail Cruise $185 per person

Trip departs 5:15am  Trip returns approx. 4pm* (after Parades end, when USCG permits exit)

Enjoy a full day cruise and anchoring in Boston Harbor to view the largest flotilla of Tall Ships to visit Boston since 2000.  The ships will parade full splendor from Broad Sound and into the main channel of Boston Harbor, turning at Charlestown and proceeding to their assigned berthing areas. Sure to be a trip of a lifetime with spectacular photo opportunities. Trip includes continental breakfast & lunch.

Mon. June 19th & Wed. June 21st Tall Ship Viewing Cruises $55 per person

Trips depart 4:30pm Mon & Wed…Approximate duration 4 hrs

Admire the scenic New England coastline as we cruise from Gloucester to Boston and take a breathtaking harbor tour of the Tall Ships at their berths. Enjoy fantastic photo opportunities with the utmost close up views of these amazing ships.  Approximate duration 4 hours.

Thursday June 22nd Afternoon Salute Cruise $135 per person

Trip departs 11am…Approximate duration 7 hrs

Enjoy a full day cruise down toward Boston to see the Tall Ships.  View them as they undock and prepare these great ships for the start of the race.  We will provide an amazing viewing position as the Tall Ships make their way FULL SAIL to the Coast of Cape Ann to start the last leg of the Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.  Historically one of our best trips of the Tall Ships week, join us  as we bid farewell and wish the ships fair wind as they head up to Canada! Includes lunch and light snack fare.

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May 21, 2017

May 21st, 2017

From Naturalist Beth:

Today was a great day out on Jeffreys Ledge! The weather was perfect for whale watching. We started our trip with a pod of around 100-150 Atlantic white-sided dolphins milling in the area with a fin whale. The dolphins surfaced right next to the boat, the water was calm so you could clearly see the characteristic white stripe that gives them their name. The fin whale surfaced next to the boat, we got great looks! We passed by more fin whales in the area on our way to watch three humpback whales, Spoon (Bilbo), Cirrus, and Willow (a new whale for me!). They spent time resting at the surface right next to the boat. Amazing way to end the trip!

May 20, 2017

May 21st, 2017

From Naturalist Beth:

Today was the first trip on the Miss Cape Ann and it was the perfect way to start the season! We traveled to Jefferey’s Ledge and spotted quite a few spouts in the area. We started our trip with a pod of about 25-35 Atlantic White Sided dolphins milling around the same area as a feeding sei whale! Although our chances of spotting a sei whale are slightly greater this time of year, it is still a rare and exciting sighting! The whale was skim feeding at the surface, we even got to see the whale’s baleen! We watched as two minkes whales traveled through the area as well. We ended our trip with great looks at a pair of large female humpback whales, Spar and Sabot. The pair was deep feeding, but we were able to get great close looks. The weather was a little chilly, but it was a perfect four species day out on the water! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Oct 30, 2016

October 30th, 2016

Today was our last trip of the 2016 season. It is always a sad day to say goodbye to our whale friends, but we look forward to seeing them again in the spring!  We ventured to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank today and found 3 humpback whales.  I’m always surprised when our crew tells me that the whales weren’t doing much…..they were just there. Well, in my mind I find that fabulous as some times we don’t find anything at all! Whale behavior is just as complex as is our own. Sometimes we are scoffing down dinner, and sometimes we are lounging in front of the TV.  We sat goodbye to our whale friends and wish them well on their winter expeditions. We look forward to seeing them, and you, next season on some more adventures to the whale feeding grounds.

October 20

October 20th, 2016

Wow!  Today was one of my favorite days of the season.  We had gorgeous weather (70+ degrees in late October?!) and calm seas, and nearly too many whales to count!

We headed out about 14 miles from the harbor to Stellwagen Bank, where we found a plethora of feeding whales! Sometimes we’ll see 1 or 2 whales bubble-feeding and it happens once or twice. Not so today – we had at least 12-15 humpbacks feeding in large groups constantly while we watched them!  There were 4-6 humpbacks feeding together at once, and they were moving around a lot, so it made it difficult to count the number of whales and keep track of who was who.  We had at least two calves also, and they were rolling around a lot at the surface.

Several times, we were surrounded by whales. We’d look off one side of the boat and start to see a ring of bubbles rising to the surface. Humpbacks use the bubbles to trap schools of fish. As we watched the bubbles, the whales would surface inside them, mouths open, sometimes several whales at once!  The same thing would be happening on the other side of the boat.

We haven’t identified all the whales yet, but so far have identified Tornado and calf, Wizard and calf, Hippocampus, Basin, Hancock and Springboard. Springboard was with a group of whales and for some reason, would roll on her side every time the group surfaced.

In addition to the whales, there were a number of seabirds feeding – we even saw a gull ride on a humpback’s head for a short time!

We’re scheduled to go out through the end of this month – come join us! Thanks to everyone who joined us today.

October 18

October 18th, 2016

On this gloomy, foggy Tuesday, we were quite pleased with our whale sightings on the northern part of Stellwagen Bank today! We passed by a small pod of harbor porpoises on our way, and then we came upon 21 humpback whales and at least 3 minke whales. The humpbacks were gathered in 2 large groups of 7-9 each, with a couple of pairs on the outskirts and one single whale breaching in the foggy distance.  Our groups of whales were bubble net feeding while one of the calves was playing around on the periphery of the group.  Sand eels (aka sand lance) were plentiful as were the pelagic bird sightings including great and Corys shearwaters, gannets, kittiwakes and even a couple of loons in the harbor! Such an incredible day of whale watching!

October 15

October 15th, 2016

Today we had to make a long trek down to the southern end of Stellwagen Bank. Although it was a long ride, the whales were definitely worth it! We found a pod of harbor porpoises as we neared the larger whales.  These “toothed whales” were pretty cooperative. Usually, as soon as I point them out, they will go down on us, so I was psyched to watch them stay up for so long!  Then we spotted some blows of larger baleen whales. In addition to the 9 humpback whales we found, we also had 2 minke whales in the same area!  Humpback and minke whales feed on the same types of small fish (sand eels, herring, mackerel, etc.) as do many sea birds such as the dozens of gulls and shearwaters also in the area.Image00007

At first we saw 2 pairs of humpbacks. The closest was Tornado and her newest calf. The other pair was a bit further off.  We continued on to find a trio of humpbacks- another mom (Abrasion) and her calf along with Whirlygig (whose mom is Pinball, one of my favorite whales and who is adoptable through the Blue Ocean Society!). These whales were feeding- blowing rings of bubbles around some fish and then surfacing right in the middle of the bubbles with their mouths wide open. In the meantime, we could see some of the sand eels attempting to escape the gaping jaws of the humpbacks, only to be picked up by the gulls and shearwaters! Not a good day to be a sand eel!

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All of a sudden, Tornado’s active calf came into the area with the trio. Tornado eventually showed up to join the feeding frenzy.Image00143

Another pair of humpbacks was seen nearby and soon joined the group of 5. These 2 newcomers were Fray and Hippocampus!  We really had some amazing views of 5 adult humpback whales charging through a cloud of bubbles while Tornado’s calf seemingly occupied herself by tail lobbing, tail breaching, flipper slapping and even doing a couple of complete breaches while her mom and the other adults fed.Image00269

This afternoon was a day of excitement and also learning as all of the whale activity we were seeing was being documented in an attempt to learn more about the cultural and social lives of whales. We saw some interesting things this afternoon, and hope to investigate further on these this winter.Image00282

In addition to the fantastic whale watch, we also were treated to a beautiful sunset over Boston and Cape Ann, and for those of you who stuck around a bit longer, the full moon rose to the east in an absolutely beautiful, clear sky.  We just never know how each day will turn out and today was impressive on all ends!

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October 12

October 12th, 2016

We had a bit of a cruise today, but it was totally worth it!  We got a quick look at a minke whale, and then saw a dogfish (small shark) right off the bow!  We then moved into an area with many humpback whales, 10 in all.  They were so busy taking shallow dives that we didn’t get a great look at all of their flukes. But at one point 5 of the whales were all together, and even did some bubble-feeding! Identified whales in this group included Salt (the first whale cataloged in the Gulf of Maine, in 1976!) and her 14th calf, Sriracha, along with a male named Tear.  In addition to the bubble-feeding, we got to see several tail breaches!  It was a beautiful calm day and a great example of why we love autumn whale watching!