Updated: Sep 25
One hot, sunny day in July our friends from Morgantown, West Virginia came to visit us and we decided to go whale watching. We purchased our tickets with the company Capt’n Fish’s Cruises and departed Boothbay Harbor midmorning. Be prepared to pay the $40 parking fee. It was a little expensive but it covered the cost of parking all day and you can’t beat the prime location.
The small, seaside town of Boothbay is the way One imagines coastal Maine. Many Bed & Breakfasts are scattered throughout the town including the Thistle Inn. Boutique shops, art galleries and coffee stands are easy to find in the walkable harbor area. Don't skip town without paying a visit to the Atlantic Edge Lobster Market where you can take home your own fresh lobster to cook yourself.
Our two-story ocean-going vessel was equipped with a snack and alcohol bar along with two lavatories. There is a sign when boarding the boat that says outside beverages aren’t allowed but we saw people carrying on reusable water bottles. Be sure to pack a jacket as it does cool down once the vessel gets up to cruising speed. If you’re the type that suffers from motion sickness, be sure to pop a Dramamine a half hour before departure. Our coffee quaffing from the Red Cup helped alleviate some of the drowsiness effects of the meds.
Departing the harbor you’ll pass islands and lighthouses, sail boats and lobster buoys and perhaps even the occasional mega yacht. Once we cleared the bay’s entrance we began seeing a curious spectacle called the sunfish. These half-bodies manta ray looking fish could be seen sunning themselves just under the ocean’s surface, occasionally jumping into the air and splashing down into the water in attempts to rid themselves of sea lice. These aptly named creatures reminded me of one of my favorite Maine beverages, Sea Dog brewery’s Sunfish Ale. If you’re in Maine, of legal age and not a recovering alcoholic, I’d say give it a shot! Maine has some of the best beer on the east-coast.
Aside from a few harbor and gray seals, we saw a handful of Minke Whales. These relatively small and shy whales were surfacing in a predictable 2 minute time pattern in an enjoyable 10 minute show.
Once back at Boothbay we had sprung for lunch at Kalers (give their friend oysters a try) and some raspberry sorbet from the Downeast Ice Cream Factory to wrap up a nearly perfect day by the sea.