Whale Watching in Provincetown, Massachusetts

One of the most amazing and memorable experiences during my last trip to America was Whale Watching. This is a must-do when on vacation on the Cape Cod, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity myself.

I had planned to take an early trip, so I would be back on the cape at noon and be able to enjoy the rest of the day exploring the town. Fortunately for me, circumstances made me take a later trip, and I ended up having a great afternoon on the boat. The weather couldn’t have been better and the whale watching was a total success.

After boarding the boat and waiting to leave the harbour, I started a casual conversation with few people around me. Everybody seemed very excited for the upcoming trip and of course the questions like “Is this your first time?” started flowing through the group.

What shocked me at that moment, was some of the answers: “Oh… I came here every year…” or “I must have been on at least 15 Whale Watching trips”. I was just overwhelmed by the amount of people who were willing to pay and do the same thing over and over again without gaining any new experience.

Especially since my view on the topic was completely different. Once I visit a place, there is very little chances for me going back there again. So, I just couldn’t understand why they were wasting their time and money, instead of seeing something new for the first time. Anyways, who am I to judge. After all, this was my 6th time in New England. Later that day, I knew exactly why they did it. It is an experience that is breathtaking and so majestic in its beauty, and is different by itself every time.

“It is not down on any map; true places never are.” Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

After an hour of sailing we were already in open waters, everybody was out on the decks, trying to spot the first whale. So was I. And shortly after, we did spot something. There was lots of commotion right above the water surface, created by seagulls, and this is where our boat was heading. The tour guide announced on the speakers that if we wanted to see whales, we had to look for seagulls.

So far, so gut, we had the seagull part done, now was the waiting. The captain stopped the engine of the boat at a short distance to them and we waited. Luckily, not too long. From the depth of the water came the first whale. It was right under the seagull flock and instead of scaring them away, it was attracting them even more.

We watched with our eyes wide open and our cameras pointing at them. It was so silent on the boat, people didn’t dare to breath, even the children stopped screaming and were just staring. Was this really happening. The whale having his head out of the water and the seagulls circling above him were moving within a unison towards us.

They were coming closer and closer, and when they were just couple of meter away from the nose of the boat, the whale dived in, exposing his whole body to the cameras. And then he was gone… and the crowd was getting noisier: “Oh my God, did you see this?”, “WOW that was amazing!”, “Did you get that on camera?” And most surely the people did get it on their cameras. At that moment I was thinking to myself, if the trip ends now and I don’t get to see any other whale, it still would be worth it.

A whale diving in front of our boat

A whales' back above the water

A whales head

A whale's tail

But we did see much more. We had a two hours of sailing small bits and watching the whales. And it was unbelievable. Just at the point at which I knew it can’t get any better, it did. The whales were joined by dolphins swimming around the boat.

Dolphins around the boat

So, there it was for me, seeing two amazing species for the first time ever. I so often was putting the camera down, thinking “OK I got enough pictures, let’s just enjoy the view now.”, only to pick it up again in 30 seconds, just because there was always something different to capture.

Whales playing

2 thoughts on “Whale Watching in Provincetown, Massachusetts

  1. What an amazing thing to do! I’m not great in a boat as I can’t really swim more than about 50m but I would love to do this. To see a creature in its natural habitat is beautiful (I refuse to go to a zoo, where animals are robbed of their freedom) so this would be incredible! I need to find out more anou this now.

    1. It was really incredible. As for the boat ride, you don’t need to worry. The boats are pretty big and very safe, the staff is also very helpful in all requests you might have. I do share your view that seeing animals in their natural habitat is way better, but I still pay the occasional visit to the zoo. It puts my mind to rest knowing that paying for my ticket brings better conditions for the animals.

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