Because our cruise departed from Boston, we had time before and after the cruise to explore the city.. or so we thought.
Before we left our house for the airport we got a call that our first flight (from Kansas City to Detroit) was delayed. We left early so we would have a better chance of making a change and catching our connecting flight (to Boston).
On the drive in, we got another call that it was delayed an additional period of time. It was chaos for a while... we had to cancel things and change things and it was pretty terrible... in the end our flight was delayed 4(!) hours.
We finally got to Detroit at about 11pm E, with a voucher for a free hotel (thank you, Delta). We took the shuttle to the hotel and finally got up to the counter, only to find out that they were full, and our voucher wasn't worth anything to them. The very nicely helped us contact Delta and got a new place for us to go. Their shuttle got us there and we checked in.. (without a new voucher..) and finally got to sleep at about 1 AM E.
Luckily our flight to Boston was swapped for one the next morning and there were no delays on this leg of the trip!
So, we really ended up just having free time at the end of our trip.. but that's ok... because it was AMAZING!
We got off the boat and checked into our hotel, the Harborside Inn, which happened to have a pretty cool mermaid painting behind the reception desk... :) We took a nap and then walked over the the New England Aquarium where we saw that they had WHALE WATCHING(!) tours that were associated with the aquarium!
We decided to go for it and booked a tour for the next day early in the morning, so we could still make our late afternoon flight. The aquarium + whale watching tickets were just $45 each! :) It was such a great deal! (the cruise excursions for whale watching were at least $100 per person!)
We spent the afternoon at the aquarium and saw the right whale skeleton, so huge! and not even a fully grown whale! The size is baffling, the fact that they have a juvenile whale skeleton.. is pretty sad. But, at least it is helping people learn.
We watched the penguins, which was so fun! They couldn't get one to eat, finally we had to walk away because he was kind of sad.
Then we saw the various tanks including one with these two silly yellow fish that kept spitting out dirt toward the people watching. They were very expressive, and it was hilarious. They were probably angry, though no one was tapping on the glass.
The seals were very fun, one in particular was playing with a torpedo pool toy and it was so entertaining to watch! He played for about 5 minutes! There were also other seals in front of the aquarium outside, which swam a lot and were very fun! It was too hard to take a picture because of the glare. I love the seals they are so chubby and have funny little feet. :)
After the aquarium we sat on the steps by the harbor and watched the boats and had some ice cream. It was so nice by the water, breezy and cool. :)
After that we relaxed a bit before a late dinner at a brewery called the Granary Tavern, one block over from our hotel. It was so nice outside, so we sat on the patio and ordered delicious flat breads (mine: Margherita, his: Hawaiian).
We also had dessert, Kyle got chocolate torte and I got apple crisp. My crisp seemed like it had been sitting a while before baking, all of the cinnamon was in the bottom... but it was still good. Kyle's was yummy! Location was the most important part! (we were tired!)
The next day we got up and walked to the Starbucks before getting ready to whale watch. It was SO exciting!
We got on the boat and got a spot on the front, I had a jacket and a hat and lots of sunscreen so I wouldn't burn.
The water was great and the the catamaran was so fast (look at Kyle's hair!)! We sailed for about an hour and a half before we got to Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary, where the whales come to feed in the summer. They spend the winter in the Caribbean with their calves and then come up to Boston in the summer to gorge themselves on lots of fish!
We got to see the three main whales that live in that area!!!
First we saw a Humpback named Nile, she was beautiful! Humpback tails are like human finger prints, and our marine biologist was able to identify her! So cool!
Sadly, the boat favored the right side and I was in the middle so I didn't get a ton of great shots, but seeing them was my goal.. and I did and I was AMAZED!
Then we saw a Finback Whale, which is the second largest animal living on earth!
It was GIGANTIC!
It was longer than our boat, which was so incredible to see. I got much closer looks and better pictures at/of that one.
Then we saw a Minke Whale which is the smallest one in that area, about the size of a dolphin. Kyle laughs when I say "the little whale" because it is still 20 feet long. :)
When we were on the cruise, we saw maybe 20 whales in the distance, it was my first sighting and so breathtaking. I asked the marine biologist on the whale watching ship about them based on what we saw etc. and she said that they were probably Humbacks, which is so cool, because they are my favorites! Seeing them was so out of the blue, one of those perfect moments!
When we were done I realized that I was TOTALLY sunburnt.. :( So the way home was not super fun.. but it was very very worth it! I would definitely recommend this trip and hope to go whale watching many more times in many more locations in the future!
As you've seen from my Saint John, NB post, my Halifax, NS post and this post... this was pretty much a trip of a lifetime for me! And I had no idea in advance, so it was so exciting to happen upon so many whales, mermaids, good food and beautiful sights! Click the links to the other posts to explore the Canadian ports!
Up next: some of the Cruise pictures.. since none of these photos were actually from the ship :)
Have you ever been whale watching? If so, please share the details!
All for now,
All for now,