This artist worked for a number of years as whale watch naturalist on trips out of Cape Cod, MA. Cape Cod is on the World Wildlife Fund's list of the "Top Ten Best Places In The World To See Whales."
The primary activity of humpback whales off Cape Cod is feeding. These humpbacks are open mouth feeding; after making a ring of bubbles beneath the water to trap small fish, they lunge up thru the middle with jaws wide open.
Finback whales are long, sleek, fast whales - reaching lengths of approx. 60 ft. Good, close looks can be a challenge but are not uncommon. On occassion they have even made close approaches to check us out.
Many humpback whales feel very comfortable around whale watching boats and often come by for a close look. Viewing whales only feet from the boat is not uncommon.
The most exciting sighting is of the North Atlantic Right Whale - the most endangered whale in the world. One must go whale watching very early in the season for a chance to see one - around April 18. Right whale cows and calves feed in and around Cape Cod Bay Feb., March, and April.
Being very bouyant, humpback whales must make a severe arch to dive, usually bringing up the flukes. If humpbacks are around, this is almost a sure sight.
Whale species it's possible to see include (keep in mind you are dealing with wild animals - you might see one, all, or none):
North Atlantic Right Whale
Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin
Other cool stuff that can be seen: variety of sea birds, sunfish, basking sharks, seals.
Rare stuff that has passed through over the years: sperm whales, blue whales, sei whales, white beaked dolphin, orcas, bottlenose dolphins.