Whales are home on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

This time of the year is known as our quiet time when we enjoy quiet walks on the beach and relaxed times reading in front of our many fireplaces at the Captain Freeman Inn. The beaches may be quiet but the center of Cape Cod bay is bustling- with North Atlantic right whales.

Whale Watching on Cape Cod
Whale Watching on Cape Cod

The Cape Codder newspaper recently quoted “Airplane and boat-based research teams from Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies have consistently observed groups of the endangered whales feeding in the bay in recent weeks. So far they have identified about 60 individuals, a number that is spot on for this time of the year. Two whales have eluded detection, however. They are the right whale mother and calf pair last spied off Plymouth in mid January. Her given name is “Wart” and is believed to have given birth to her calf somewhere in the vicinity of Cape Cod, an event that could be unprecedented and has given rise to concern for the calf’s well being, since the freezing winter water temperatures were not ideal for the newborn. Other concerns are plaguing PCCS’s (Provincetown’s Center for Coastal Studies) whale researchers. The center is currently facing budget cuts that could drastically affect its right whale work as well as its disentanglement team. Founded almost three decades ago, the center’s right whale research program is multi-pronged, swinging into full gear during the winter and early spring months.The habitat studies team routinely samples the waters in Cape Cod Bay to measure the supply of zooplankton, a vital food source for the whales, and access the various factors affecting it, such as water temperature, salinity and light. The bay is a primary feeding ground for the right whale.The aerial team divides the bay into east-west transects and systematically flies over them, scouring the surface for whales, documenting and photographing the ones that they see, and reporting entanglements. Wen an entangled whale, sea turtle or other marine animal is located, PCCS’s disentanglement team speeds to the scene and attempts to free the victim using proven techniques. Entanglements in fishing gear is one of the greatest threats facing the North Atlantic right whale, a critical endangered species whose population hovers somewhere around 470.”
Guests staying at our two Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts, the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea, love to go whale watching during the spring and summer months. We love to recommend the Dolphin Fleet out of Provincetown. Its also amazing how whales can be seen with the naked eye from many of our bay beaches and off of the tip of Provincetown. We had guests stay with us last year that grabbed some of the inn’s beach chairs, a couple of lobster rolls from Sir Crickets in Orleans and headed of to P’Town with their binoculars. They had a wonderful afternoon in the sun and saw several whales playing in the bay.

Looking forward to warmer days when we can play in the same waters that are home to the whales.

Whale watching on Cape Cod
Whale watching on Cape Cod

This picture was taken last summer by a guest staying with us. Amazing that the seagulls actually land on the whale.

Information was quoted from the Cape Codder Newspaper by Kaimi Rose Lum, March 22- 28, 2013

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