Tag Archives: Cape Ann Whale Watch
For the last few summers I have come out of summer retirement to run a two-week summer session at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School. The camp is focused on both Marine Science and Maritime History and the goal is to get the kids out on the water/waterfront as much as possible. I am fortunate that my boys have that opportunity often and that they are naturally drawn to the ocean and all it has to offer. That having been said, I know that isn’t true for all children who are growing up in this area. Most importantly, I wanted to help educate these children on the history of the fishing industry and how important the ocean is to the community’s livelihood and to the creatures that call it home!
This year’s camp was a large success thanks to many local businesses. I’m happy to be able to fire off a quick post to thank some of those places/individuals.
While one day took us into Boston to explore the New England Aquarium and watch a Journey to the South Pacific IMAX movie, all other days were spent outside experiencing the waterfront hands-on.
Our students spent a couple of days aboard the Sea Station vessel, Endeavour, in Salem Harbor. This unreal floating classroom afforded us the opportunity to haul lobster traps, observe ocean life in its giant glass holding tank, sink the underwater camera to observe the ocean floor and eel grass beds + observe our discoveries on the giant flatscreen TV, and preform beach landings on Misery Island to go hiking, swimming, and tidal pooling. If you haven’t explored Misery Island, you’re missing out!
We had a fantastic day at the Nahant Marine Science Center where the children were given the opportunity to become scientists while recording their tide pool findings and the properties of the water in small groups. They also had a wonderful tour of the facilities and the gorgeous property that the science center calls home. The Northeastern graduates/students that took care of our group were fabulous!
One day was spent onboard Cape Ann Whale Watch’s vessel, the Hurricane. We saw several humpback whales and enjoyed a fantastic trip. The naturalists, as always, added a wonderful educational component with small group lessons throughout the trip in addition to the narration while observing the whales.
We greatly enjoyed a morning at Maritime Gloucester and were incredibly pleased with the workshops that Mary Kay had planned for our students…who ranged in age from 1st grade to 8th! Maritime Gloucester was, as always, a must-do on our excursion list!
We enjoyed a visit from a wonderful artist named Kathy Abbott, who helped the children learn about caring for our beaches, waterfronts, and oceans while adding the element of art. Learning about the Angry Ocean Project inspired many of our students to go home and create masterpieces of their own with debris the discovered on local beaches.
We headed North to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH where we did a self-guided tour of the exhibits, participated in a 60 minute Whale presentation (the highlight of which was definitely seeing the entire skeleton system of the Fin Whale that washed ashore on Cape Hedge Beach several years ago) and then explored the rocky shore of Ordione State Park with a naturalist who helped the children learn about all of the amazing things they found in the tide pools. Stunning scenery!
Captain Steve Douglas, from Cape Ann Harbor Tours, agreed to a custom designed trip on his King Eider. I really wanted the students to see the waterfront from the water. I asked Steve to point out the many different types of vessels that call Gloucester Harbor home and to explain the different type of fishing gear that we saw along the way. I wanted the children to get a feel for the history and the diversity of the fleet. They also learned about the Cut Bridge and Annisquam River, Cape Pond Ice, the schooners, the state fish pier, the auction house, Capt. Joe and Sons (of course), Ten Pound Island, and so, so much more.
And a day that exceeded all expectations was the day that we visited the NOAA offices up at Blackburn Circle. I was floored with the presentation and hands-on activities that had been prepared for our visit and the number of staff that was able to make themselves available to work with our students. With several different learning stations, knowledgable staff, a large inflatable whale, an amazing interactive game that helped the children learn about sustainability, and much more, hey truly went above and beyond to help educate our students. Their efforts were a perfect match for what I was hoping to achieve throughout the summer session. I can’t thank them enough!
This summer session served as yet another reminder of the wealth of resources that we have in our area. How lucky we are to be able to take advantage of such a wide array of fun and educational resources. I am well aware, that a longer camp session could have visited so many other amazing destinations and that the places I have included are certainly not the only amazing choices that we have. There’s always next year :)
GloucesterCast With Guests Peter and Vickie Van Ness and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 8/12/14
Topics Include: Peter and Vickie Van Ness, www.gimmesound.com ,Seafood Throwdown at The Farmer’s Market, Mercedes Flavin vs Rosalie From Rosalie’s, Niaz Dorry, NAMA, Fisherman’s Wives, Robin Williams, Everybody’s Life Is Hard For Them, Celebrate Gloucester Series, Cape Ann Marina Waterfront Pavillion, Kudos To Tobin Dominick and Joe Liacono, Gloucester UU, Top 4-10 Must Do Things In Gloucester, John Sebastian, Block Party This Weekend, Kudos To The Current Block Party Committee, Henry Smith, Schooner Festival, Maritime Gloucester, Tracy Arabian, Props To Tom Ellis and Harold Blackburn, Sea Shanty Crazies, Cape Ann Museum, Cape Ann Whale Watch, Seven Seas Whale Watch, Gloucester Restaurants, The Atlantis for Breakfast, Duckworth Bistro, Passports, The Studio, GMG Mug Up Saturday This Week, EJ LeFavour, Lady Jillian Harbor Shuttle, The Other Cape, Peter Paul and Mary, Shout Out To Aurelia Nelson from 104.9, Curtain Up with Aurelia Nelson, Cape Ann TV, Being a Perfectionist With Online Media vs Creating Content Naturally, Realism vs Perfectionism, Putting The Content Before Advertising, GMG On Facebook, The Need To Respond To People’s Requests, An Idea For The Holistic People, Cape Ann SUP, Cape Ann Harbor Tours, All the Ways To Get Out On Gloucester Harbor.
I will swim with a humpback whale some day.
It’s at the top of my bucket list for sure.
I actually planned a vacation to Costa Rica several years ago for the opportunity to swim with the whales in Drake Bay, but sadly, no whales were in the area during my stay.
I have, however, had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, rays, black tip reef sharks, and manatees. Each of those experiences are kind of sacred to me. All are moments that I will never forget.
While swimming with wild marine life may not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you haven’t been on at least one amazing whale watch, you are missing out. We are incredibly fortunate to have whales not far off our coast for a good part of the year. I, all kidding aside, sometimes find myself laying awake at night thinking, “I wonder what the whales are doing right now?” Freak meter rating high, I realize, but true nonetheless.
So, today, knowing that the whales have been plentiful for the past several days, we went for a trip with Cape Ann Whale Watch. How do I know they’ve been plentiful you may ask? I follow their blog.
I had the opportunity to speak with both long time owners, Nick Danikas and Jim Douglass, in the parking lot prior to the trip. Both are great guys who are pretty passionate about offering trips that leave guests with memories to last a lifetime.
Likewise, the crew and the naturalists are phenomenal and beyond highly educated on the matter of whales and sea life indigenous to our waters. Their enthusiasm was contagious. Even the captain, John Karvelas, was excitedly pointing out bubble clouds as they formed on the surface of the water. Bubble clouds are a method that whales use to trap krill and sand eels in a tight school so that they can emerge, mouths open, and swallow up a giant meal.
Today’s trip was nothing short of amazing. To begin, we only had to head 11 miles off the Dog Bar Breakwater, which was a treat in itself. After a short steam, we were literally surrounded by humpback whales. I’ve been on many whale watches. Both on local whale watching boats and on smaller private boats. Today’s trip was one for the record books.
Hear are some of my favorite photos from today’s trip.
Can you please let your readers know about the fabulous deal we have on Groupon this week starting today!
Thank you So Much!
Cape Ann Whale Watch
I’ll be honest I’ve never been on a whale watch. It sounds crazy all these years in G Town and never going on a whale watch but the reason isn’t because I don’t want to, it’s just that whale watch season happens to coincide with the most insano crazy time of year at work for me, a time where we just don’t have any days off to partake in a whale watch.
I will say this however-
EVERY SINGLE PERSON I’VE EVER SPOKEN TO THAT HAS GONE ON A WHALE WATCH COMES OFF BLOWN AWAY!
It’s like you are seeing something like real life dinosaur monsters right up in your grill.
So take your pick. Go on one spur of the moment and pay what the noobs pay, full price, or buy this groupon and save a buttload of money and see the ginormous monsters of the sea. Easy choice if you ask me.
If you’ve never been on a whale watch I have to tell you some of the comments that I hear from people when they get off the boat-
“OMG- It’s like seeing real life dinosaurs 10 feet away from you”
“That was about the coolest thing I’ve ever done”
“I can’t believe how beautiful they are!”
Hey if you’re gonna go on a whale watch you may as well go for close to half off.