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Cape Cod Whale Watching    by Linda Behrle

Whales are the largest mammals in the world and amazingly graceful and agile for their size. They are truly a sight to behold, especially when they come along side your boat or "breach" up out of the water. Many people have had the opportunity to see small whales in places like Seaworld, but to observe them in their natural habitat - the ocean - makes them all the more amazing to see.

If you are interested in observing these incredible creatures up close and personal, a whale watch is the only way to do it. The greater Cape Cod area has many tour companies that offer whale watch excursions, mostly out of Provincetown, but also out of Barnstable, Plymouth, Gloucester and Boston. The areas around Cape Cod Bay and Steelwagen Bank above Provincetown, are well known for sightings of many types of whales during late spring, summer and early fall. Most people are familiar with the humpback whale, but you may also see finback, pilot, right or Minke whales in these waters, as well as the occasional sea turtle and dolphins.

When choosing a tour company select one that has a naturalist or tour guide on board, as they really add a lot to the trip. Most of those offering excursions have websites that will answer most of your questions, and some companies offer a guarantee that if there are no whale sightings during the trip, than you may go out again at no additional cost. Companies that have been in business a long time usually are quite reliable and do everything they can to ensure sightings. Summer is the busiest time for whale watch tours, so make your reservations well ahead of time if you plan on going then. Make sure to check out these things and any other questions before you make your reservations.

On a whale watch you can expect it to be fairly calm until you are in open waters. Then it can get very rough, especially when the boat stops for time to observe these huge creatures. If you are prone to motion sickness or not sure, than it is highly recommended that you consider taking something control it about 30-60 minutes before your excursion leaves. Also, a lot of the boats are equipped with food and beverage service, but it is recommended that you go easy on the food consumption on the way out to avoid ruining your trip.

Keep in mind that it will be a lot cooler once you get out in open water, so a light jacket and/or hat might be good to have with you. The excursions can last anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, so you may want to bring along something to fill the gap, especially if you have young children. Other important things to bring on your adventure are sunscreen, cameras, sunglasses, pocket raincoat and binoculars.

Cape Cod has so much to offer, and whale watching is just one of the many unique and interesting things you will find to enjoy here.

About the Author

Linda Behrle has spent a lot of time on Cape Cod beginning in childhood, and it is her favorite place to vacation. You can find out more about Cape Cod, whale watching and other things to do there at her website

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