News

Boston Whale Watching

HBS Partners’ Club journeys to the Bay of Maine for some good old fashioned whale watching.

If you have not had the chance to board a catamaran and journey out to the Bay of Maine to observe one of the world’s largest mammals, there is still time. Recently a group of HBS Partners’ Club members did just that. With temperatures nearing 80 degrees, the sunny skies and blue waters provided the perfect backdrop for observing the humpbacks’ unusual feeding patterns.

Humpbacks are famous for their bubble cloud feeding behavior and were aptly named for the way they arch their backs when they start their vertical dive downward to get below their prey. And while they only feed six to nine months of the year, fasting and living off their fat layer during the winter months, they can consume up to 3,000 pounds of fish a day. Winter is also the breeding period for these spectacular creatures, with females typically having one calf every two to three years.

Although humpbacks are not the largest whale species, an adult can reach up to 50 feet in length and weigh between 30 and 40 tons. They are well known for their distinctive flippers, which are usually one-third the length of their body.

Life expectancy for humpbacks may be up to 80 years; however, their near-extinction in the early 20th Century prevents experts from truly knowing how long they can live. Now protected and recovering, the humpback population is only at 10 to 20 percent of experts’ original population estimates. There are approximately 8,000 humpbacks in the North Atlantic with nearly the same number in the North Pacific and southern oceans combined. To find out more about humpbacks and other endangered whale species visit: www.whalecenter.org.

The three-hour Whale Watch tour through Boston Harbor Cruises is offered through the end of October for $35.00 per adult and $29.00 per child (ages 4-12). In addition to humpbacks, other whale species can be seen on the tour including finback whales.

To find out more and book your tour, visit www.bostonharborcruises.com/whale_main.html

September 25, 2006
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