Whale watching in New Hampshire – a wonderful experience. Blue Ocean Society answers three of the most asked questions about Whale Watching
Is there a best time to go whale watching?
The whale watching season in New Hampshire begins in May and ends in the middle of October. While the very beginning and very end of the season sightings can be lighter, there is no single time that is best for whale watching. Because we are watching wild animals in their natural habitat it is difficult to predict where the whales will be any given day. From our perspective that makes whale watching more exciting because you never know what you might see. That being said, we tend to see the same animals year after year, and can usually count on seeing some–if not all–of the regulars during a season. In a typical season we see fin whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and occasionally Atlantic white sided dolphins. Toward the end of the season we can also start to see different species like sei whales, pilot whales, and in seasons past there have been some rare visitors like sperm whales. It truly is remarkable how different each season and even how each trip is.
How has been Whale Watching this summer?
Whale watching this season has been very exciting. Earlier in the season we started seeing some of our regular whales (fin whales, humpback whales, and minke whales) and averaging around 2-3 animals per trip. During July there was a large boom in the whales in our area and we had a few trips with over 15 whales. After our 2013 season we weren’t sure what to expect, but have been pleasantly surprised by the number of sightings we have already had this season.
Whale sightings have been closer to shore that we have seen in years past as well. For a period of around 2-3 weeks we had whales so close to shore that you could see people and cars along the beaches. This was very unusual, and gave passengers more time to spend with the whales.
Any specific points I can use to prompt people to take a trip?
Going on a whale watch in New Hampshire is a great way to enjoy time out on the water and spend time with some of the largest animals on the planet. Most people think you have to travel far to see whales, and don’t realize we have whales just in their backyards. Whale watching is a great family activity for those on vacation, and can also provide a mini vacation for those who live here in New Hampshire as well. I’m always surprised when we have passengers from New Hampshire who have never been on a whale watch before. On board the Atlantic Queen there are also Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation staff, interns, and volunteers. For families, taking a trip on the Atlantic Queen provides the kids with an opportunity to see what it takes to be a marine mammal researcher. Blue Ocean Society also provides education throughout the trip and provides activities for the kids on board. For more information about Blue Ocean Society please visit www.blueoceansociety.org.
For Whale Watch Tours visit
www.atlanticwhalewatch.com – Atlantic Whale Watch &
www.granitestatewhalewatch.com Granite State Whale Watch
Both are located at Rye Harbor, Rye, NH.