Guidesreviews

Whale watching Plymouth MA, worth the money?

We started our whale watching experience in Plymouth, MA.  She has been a few times on the west coast and loves it. One of several choices on the pier was named Capt. John whale watching and you can find it HERE. We walked up to the little booth and asked to purchase 2 adult tickets which ran us $49.00 a piece. Children ages 4-12 were $29.00 and seniors came in at $39.00. While it was on the expensive side we figured we would have to splurge a little to see some of the more exciting things the ocean has to offer. So we ponied up the cash to get on board and into the line we went. We were about 20 minutes early and when the time arrived they opened the gates to board promptly which was nice. We headed to the top of the boat since it was a double decker. We figured there would be a better view up top, however the bottom tier had padded seats. We chose the view over more comfortable seats so you will have to pick your poison. Just be aware it was about a 80 minute boat ride out to the action so the steal seats up top get a little uncomfortable after that long. Getting out of the bay there were at least lighthouses and other boats to see along with houses out in the middle of the sandbar.

But….once you hit the open water you better like to people watch because there is nothing but water surrounding you. The boat was a decent size, we had 150 people on board, they let us know the total capacity was 300 so being half full you never felt cramped. As the ride went along we got a little parched and we went looking for the selling area which is on the first deck. They sell the normal money making things, we got a bottle of water for 2 dollars. They also sold little things you might have forgotten like sun screen, for us albinos who never get any sun and burn if we aren’t coated it in. The prices were not movie gouging prices but not dirt cheap either.

The tour guide did give us some nice information about the whales as we traveled out to our destination. We were lucky enough to have some whale conservationist on board that are doing a study. After introductions they invited anyone that wanted to talk more or learn about their mission to come up and they were happy to answer any questions. They also had some whale bones for everyone to view up close and personal. This lasted about 30 minutes and then it was just us and the water. It was nice day, not to hot but being on the water the heat can be very deceiving. This was evident by the sunburn she received while saying she was a little cold.

The moment of truth arrived about 80 – 90 minutes in we heard the motors slow and the tour guide told us this is a favorite area of the whales and for everyone to start looking for whale blows and birds. These are the two main signs that whales were near so everyone went to side hoping to find what we were out here for. Then it happened about 5 minutes you heard a person say “look over there” and sure enough you seen 2 tails out of the water. The boat came to life to shuttle us in closer but not to fast to not disturb them. We were able to get to about 40 or 50 feet away and really get a good view of two humpback whales feeding. It was a pretty epic sight to see these two behemoths in their natural habitat. They would come to the surface you would see them spout the water out of their backs, dive 2 or 3 times then almost as if there is some pattern they would go straight down tails slipping into the water ever so majestically. We followed them for about 30 minutes and when several more vessels came over to view them as well we left the area so the whales would not feel trapped or overwhelmed.

As we left the area one of the other boats radioed to us and let us know a new location of two other humpbacks. When we arrived they were doing the same hunting and eating as the other two it was really interesting to watch. All of these whales have names and stories, they identify them by the markings on their tales.

Some of these whales have been visiting the area for over 30 years.  It was a very fun trip and I definitely would recommend doing this. We had her nieces with us and the kids really seemed to enjoy watching these mammals in their natural habitat.