Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whale watching off the coast of Boothbay Harbor , Maine

We took a leisurely drive north on U.S. Highway 1 to Boothbay Harbor yesterday morning and noted a few places along the way that we will want to go back and see.  Included were a great place for breakfast six miles away from the campground, the headquarters of L L Bean and the main store for DeLorme Maps. I’ll report on those in the upcoming weeks.
Maine is a really beautiful state.  The license plates carry the slogan:  A National Treasure.  Agreed.  Our drive certainly lived up to the slogan.
We got to Boothbay Harbor with about 90 minutes to spare and decided to poke around a little bit before having lunch.   Before I knew it, I spotted a whale.
Just east of this whale is a local eatery called McSeagulls.   Expensive, but I had the absolute best fish and chips of my life.  The fish of choice up here for fish ‘n chips is haddock.   Very light tasting with a nice texture.
This was our table and our view.
Boothbay Harbor has lots of neat Victorian-era homes and B and Bs and plenty of places to drop a few bucks if you are so inclined.  The greater municipal area is made up of five communities with a combined population of 30,000.  In the winter the head count drops to around 3,000.
We boarded our ship (no photo, just a typical sight-seeing boat) at 1:30 and got some good views of the harbor and surrounding islands.  When we win Mega or Power Ball, it would be tempting to buy one of these homes on the water.
This is an area where a lot of lobster fishing takes place as evidenced by the many floating platforms containing lobster traps.
This is Burnt Harbor Light.
The tour boat cruised at about 20 knots for close to 75 minutes and we heard a lot about whales from the on-board tour guide, but we were beginning to think we might have to invoke the “rain check” guarantee if no whales where sighted.
The ocean had a slight chop to it which made spotting the water spout of a whale that much more difficult.  But finally, someone spotted a whale.  In the picture below I have identified a water spout from a finback whale. Look just to the left of the wording.
The next two photos will show more of the giant finback whale as he or she performed for us.
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the finback whale,razorback, or common rorqual, is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. It is the second longest whale and the sixth largest living animal after the blue whale, bowhead whale, and right whales,[3]growing to nearly 27 meters (88 ft) long.[3] The American naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews called the fin whale "the greyhound of the sea" because of its great speed when chased and slender build.[4]
On the way home we stopped in Wicasset at Red’s Eats, a famous little shack of a place known for its lobster rolls.  Sandy had a “lobsta” roll for lunch so we opted to split a shrimp basket.  It was not worth the bother.
But all in all we had a great day and saw four whales.
Stay tuned.


  1. I have yet to try a lobster roll, but I do love lobster. :)

  2. Very nice indeed!! Love the whale watching! :-)

  3. Looks like a very nice place, thanks for the tour. We will definitely check it out soon.

  4. I just love Maine. Great pictures to show off how gorgeous it is. Can't wait to get there.


  5. Boothbay Harbor is just beautiful, great pictures. We'll have to put that area on our list.