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 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!