View Full Version : Whales etc.

01-03-2004, 11:20 AM
I am so psyched that we have this new forum, --127-3- !!! I would imagine this forum won't be as active as some of the other forums, but I am sure the info shared here will be upbeat. Last year I made 3 or 4 trips for SBFT. I put in at Pamet River and usually fished west of P-Town. On a slow day I decided to follow the whale boats. I had an absolute blast! I wasn't able to keep up with the whale boats, but I got close to where they were headed. I imagine the whale boats were around Humpbacks. I was near a bunch of Minke Whales. Later the same day I found myself cruising next to a 15' Basking Shark and still later in the day I witnessed my first Mola Mola up close and personal. I realize the season for whale watching is a long way off, and maybe these animals are in different spots every year. Can anyone give me an idea of where Humpbacks show up relatively close to shore?

Bob Parsons
01-03-2004, 01:45 PM
I've seen whales in various parts of cape cod bay from off Sandy Neck to Off Race Point.

While cod fishing in the fall you could see them around the sw corner of stellwagon.

Two summers ago I took my wife on a "whale watch" by following the WHALE WATCHER out of Barnstable. Conditions were FAC so keeping up was not a problem. But that summer was very warm and the boat went a lot further out than I expected. More towards the NE part of Stellewagon. You could tell we were hitting coolier water due to the fog bank we passed through.

During the later part of the summer the basking sharks and molo molo can be sometimes be found just a few miles outside Barnstable Harbor.

sage fly guy
01-03-2004, 05:36 PM
I've seen them as close as 5 miles off Chatham. Remember one day with my youngest brother there were probably 20-25 breaching in a 360 degree radius from 1/2 to 5 miles range. His head almost exploded from that awesome sight.

01-03-2004, 06:08 PM
I remember coming across a pod of humpbacks when we were transporting a sailboat for some folks from Mystic, CT to Kennebunkport, ME. Not sure of exactly where we were but it was between the Cape & Maine and I know we never got out of site of land that trip. Awesome. I was at the helm and thought I was imagining things as I was seeing the spouts. I finally said something and was very relieved to find out I wasn't the only one seeing this, one of the other guys saw them but kept quiet too. We altered course and sailed with them for a long time.

01-03-2004, 06:45 PM
Thanks guys! I will probably bring up this subject again in the September of 2004.

01-05-2004, 10:31 AM
Not sure if they were humpbacks, but at least whales. Late fall close off nauset there are usually stories of a few. Saw a couple (nothing consistant) some up close to me in my kayak about 2 miles out from Nauset inlet. That would be easy to get to.

01-08-2004, 07:05 PM
I found some of the distinctions between whales species after doing a Google search. With the Minke whales you hear them blow, but you don't see a plume. The back of the whale comes out of the water. You see a dorsal fin that resembles the fin of a shark or porpoise, but has a slightly different shape, you see more of the whales back and then it is gone. You don't see a tail. I gathered from the Google search that if you see a Humpback you definitely see the tail! I have a question for you. Where do you put in, or more specifically how do you get outside the area of Nauset !!?? I have seen Nauset inlet a few times from shore and it looked pretty nasty. Is it necessary for you to time the tide? Do you need to head out on a slack or outgoing tide and return on a slack or incoming. I only ask because my craft may be even smaller than the one you employ.

01-08-2004, 07:36 PM
I have seen Nauset inlet a few times from shore and it looked pretty nasty. Is it necessary for you to time the tide? Do you need to head out on a slack or outgoing tide and return on a slack or incoming. I only ask because my craft may be even smaller than the one you employ.
You got it right. In a smaller craft I would not recomend trying to get out the inlet. In a kayak, I miss time something or take a swim and I get out and get back in. You aren't doing that in a small boat, you miss time, ground, or catch a following wave on the way back in and its lights out for you! I paddle right out the inlet, ram through the waves, but thats easier to do in a kayak. The beaches are steep here so hiking it over the dunes is not the best way to launch. I've done it, but its tough with the large surf and angle of the beach. Once you start sliding to the water thats it, your committed wave or no wave. But at least there is usually only about 20-30ft of surf zone because of that steepness so once you are past the first wave you are home free. Currents here are a big problem as well.

As far as tides, with a motor in the marsh, timing is not as critical, but the water depth will be limited to small channels at Low tide and may leave you stranded. Higher tides and you can go all over. However timing tides is essential for getting in and out of the inlet. The inlet is almost bare at low tide, just shalllow running water over sand. No boat is getting through there on a low tide. There is a small channel but the surf builds up in front of it and trust me, even with a 30 footer and my knumb skullness it would be a project and a half to get through it.

The sand shifts all year so it could be different by now. Even spring to fall this year and the bars had shifted completely.

On higher tides there are boats that go in and out, engines racing to get through the surf, but it doesn't look like fun. This fall there was also a second bar that formed a couple hundred yards out, ran the length of the inlet and beaches on either side. Kicked up some nice cresting rollers even on a higher tide.

I should also add, I am by no means familiar with Nauset, only been there a couple times really. Just going on what I have seen so far. I like to play in currents and rough water so my opinion may not be valuable to you. There are other guys here who know, and negotiate the inlet with there boats that can help you. There is a dramatic difference in the surf and water flow with the tides so you could be fine one hour, and rough the next in the inlet. If you think you may wat to venture out, I would check it out first on a calm day. Bring someone with you.