Whale Watch

Sometimes we go whale watching at Stellwagen Bank, a national marine sanctuary which sits at the mouth of Massachussets Bay. In the summer humpback whales (as well as minke whales and a plethora of other wildlife) come here to feed. It’s incredible. I cannot possibly recommend this enough. If you get a chance: GO!

There is always a moment on board the ship where it’s silent – the silence of anticipation. You could hear a pin drop. Then the naturalist who explains and sights where the whales might appear will say something (usually along the lines of: “I see a bubble cloud at 3 o’clock”) and everyone will run to that side of the boat and stare out at the calm waters. When the first whale surfaces a collective prolonged sigh wafts across the deck. I usually have to squeeze back a few tears. I can’t quite explain the reason I get emotional. There is something incredibly moving and humbling and groundbreaking about seeing these enormous, graceful, silent and eerily delicate whales go about eating the tons of tiny fishes they need to ingest to survive.

And there’s nothing more joyous than watching them play, flinging their enormous bodies out of the water only to smash down in a cloud of ocean spray or swimming on their backs waving their flippers around. Scientists have found no explanation for this type of behavior. But for anyone watching it’s clear: It looks like a lot of fun. And why do we presume to be the only creatures on earth out to have some?

┬ęSarah Girner