Introducing the Blue Ocean Society

Guest blog from our new naturalist and President of the Blue Ocean Society Dianna Schulte


As some of you may have noticed, there is a new logo aboard the Miss Cape
Ann. Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation has partnered with Capt.
Bill’s Whale Watch to provide the educational aspect of each trip all the
while collecting valuable research data to learn more about the incredible
whales seen each day, similar to the mission of the Whale Center of New

Although Blue Ocean Society is new to Capt Bill’s, the co-founders certainly
are not.  In the spring of 1996, Dianna Schulte and Jen Kennedy met while
interning for the Whale Center of New England (known as the Cetacean
Research Unit back in those days).  Some of their first whale watching trips
were aboard the Miss Gloucester, owned by Capt. Bill’s. Since then, Dianna
and Jen kept watching whales in the neighboring area of Jeffreys Ledge, just
north of Cape Ann. They voluntarily continued to collect data based on their
training from the Whale Center, and submitted their data and photos to
established research organizations including the Whale Center.  Soon they
realized that if they wanted to learn about the whales on Jeffreys Ledge
specifically, and not just collect data on them, they would need to form
their own organization.

In 2001, Blue Ocean Society was born. Up until this year, they have worked
with whale watching boats that primarily venture to Jeffreys Ledge, but when
the opportunity to partner with Capt Bill’s arose, they jumped at the chance
to continue the work that the Whale Center began, and begin to study on the
whales of Stellwagen Bank as well.  Although it is unfortunate that the
Whale Center of New England is no longer able to provide the educational and
research services that they used to for Capt Bill’s Whale Watch, Blue Ocean
Society plans to honor their legacy by using what they learned as interns,
and nearly 20 years of experience studying whales, and continuing the
mission of education, research and conservation.

Recently, Blue Ocean Society interns began working on the Miss Cape Ann,
collecting data and assisting with educating her passengers.  We have been
seeing a variety of whales on Stellwagen Bank including feeding humpbacks,
cruising finbacks, and curious minkes.  So far we have a great start to our
whale watching season and can only hope that the sightings keep up! As you
know, whale watching involves unpredictable, wild animals, and that’s what
we love about it! Every day is different and even we, the experts, don’t
know what each day will bring! We hope you will join us soon on an adventure to visit some of the largest animals on Earth!

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