We recently went on a Whale Watch with a new-to-us charter called Captain John Boats out of Plymouth, MA. I hope you find these 7 things to know about whale watching helpful. If you are visiting Plymouth, find more things to do by visiting my review of Delightful Plymouth Massachusetts.
Travel With Sandi is a participant in Amazon and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees at no additional cost to you. Here is what I know about travel. Everyone’s taste is different. The opinions expressed here are mine alone.
1. What To Expect
In order to get out to the deep water that whales love, expect to be out on the boat for three to five hours. It will take at least an hour or more to get out and back, which will leave you one to two hours of hunting and watching.
If you are prone to motion sickness, be prepared. The ocean swells will have even a large boat rocking as you move over them. The rear of the boat will have a smoother ride than the front, so head there if you are a bit queasy.
2. What To Bring
Sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat
Camera or your charged phone
Your patience, and something to entertain the munchkins
Water and snacks, many boats will sell libations, water, and snacks on board.
An extra layer of clothing
3. What To Wear
Wear sturdy shoes – i.e. sneakers. You will see guests in flip flops and if the deck gets wet, you will also see them slipping around.
Wear weather appropriate clothing and then pack one more layer i.e. a jacket. It can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler out in the open water.
4. How To Take Great Photos With your phone
Use video instead of stills, with the free iMovie app, you can isolate a still photo from your video. This gives you a much better chance of capturing that Instagram perfect pic.
Make sure you have a wrist strap or shoulder strap on your phone, you don’t want it going in for a swim. This Joto Waterproof Pouch from Amazon is inexpensive and offers waterproof protection.
5. Sonar And Radar
If a whale watch says they use sonar and radar to track whales, be wary.
Sonar detects what is under the boat – hopefully you will have spotted the whales before they are under your boat!
Radar locates items on the surface and will detect large schools of fish, which can indicate a feeding place for the whales.
However, a good captain will have an idea where the whales are feeding, will be in contact with other captains out on the water, and have great vision for spotting whale splashes.
6. Arrive early
Arrive early, you don’t want to be running for the boat as they are pulling up the gang plank. Entertaining for the passengers on board, but not so much for you.
If you have your heart set on riding the front or the rear of the boat, and it’s a large touring boat, arrive very early, the best seats fill up quickly.
7. Bring cash
Cash (and usually cards) can be used to buy for snacks, drinks, and ship sponsored photos you may wish to purchase.
Cash tips for the crew are always appreciated.
I hope you get to enjoy a Whale Watching trip very soon. It is a wonder way to spend a sunny afternoon. If you use these 7 things to know about whale watching, they will help you have a whale of an adventure.
P.S. If you love to travel and are looking for a good credit card to help you travel for free, the Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card has a great offer that will deposit points in your account for free hotel stays. I have stayed in many luxury hotels for little or no cost, most recently the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa.