A Way With Whales

woman teaching

Cynde showing passengers a model of the bottom of the bay.

If all our research trips for Cruisers’ Guide to the Sea are as good as the one we took to Gloucester, this dream I’m wading

into is even better than I thought.  Thanks to Cynde McInnis and Captain Jim of the Cape Ann Whale Watch, Steve and I cruised the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary for a week.

As a volunteer on whale watch tours, I used our commute to the feeding grounds to talk to passengers about kinds of whales and their eating habits.  When the first spout lofted, we educators ran to the wheelhouse to help spot and record sightings, making ticks on charts to count the times we saw specific shale behaviors or body parts.

Much as I enjoyed the whales, I am even more impressed by Captain Jim’s generosity in hosting whale research hitchhikers on his daily cruises.  Cynde, his naturalist, fosters this c45e51d6a54b5cb843452f1cf935c4d1[1]effort while working every angle to protect whales by inspiring admiration for the species.  In addition to overseeing Cape Ann’s volunteer education program, she visits schools with her 43-foot inflatable whale and teaches college classes.  How did she, a mother of three, find time and energy to arrange for our visit, recommend other excursions in the area, and give suggestions on my whale chapter?  All I can think is that her passion for the mission gives her super powers.

Thank you, thank you Cynde and Captain Jim!

Whale tail

Humpback whales are identified by the markings on their tails.

About breathtakebyways

Ann Williams’ travel articles have appeared in publications all over the country including The Washington Post, Roads to Adventure, and Jack and Jill. Between researching and writing books, she specializes in creative lectures.