It’s a Whale of a Watch, a tale of our Ocean Voyage:

As many of you may already know, Friday I celebrated my 21st birthday. Ok, maybe not my 21st … the rest of you who know my true age are on gag order, haha! Or else I will find you and… you know the rest. LOL.

Me at 21, or whatever 😉

So for my birthday for the PAST TWO years I have pleaded with my husband to take me on the Dolphin Sighting Cruise down in Texas. We had been once before, but never with my daughter. For one reason or another things never quite worked out for us to go. For instance, once we went down to go on the cruise and they had JUST closed! So we basically had a series of mishaps like that. Everyone who knows me, knows that going to the beach is one of my favorite things.

So, when we were up in Massachusetts back in November I picked up a bunch of travel brochures and many of them included different Whale Watching excursions. I told my hubby then, “please, since we never got to go on the Dolphin Cruises back in Texas, you can take us to see WHALES instead!”
So fast forward to my bday, which was Friday. My husband planned our excursion. He said “the trip is scheduled for Saturday at 3PM.” So Shabbat morning, we hopped in the truck and drove on over to the Boston Harbor. It was a little bit of a haul. I think it took us about 1.5 hours to get there from our home in Southbridge. When we were nearly to Boston I got struck with the URGENT feeling that I needed a potty break! We were on the Toll Road and there wasn’t really anywhere to stop so my husband just continued on to the harbor. By the time we got to the Harbor, my eyeballs were floating and I could now see gold fish!! I was in big trouble. We could not find parking!! We drove around, and around, and around again! No parking spaces were available!

We drove by a ball field, and figured there would be bathrooms available here. So we saw a “public toilet” and my husband insisted I hop out and run over and use the facilities while he waited for me, before I had an accident! So I hopped out and rushed over to the bathroom to find that a vagrant had disgustingly smeared feces all over the toilet lid. Temporarily I felt my need to go to the bathroom lift as I turned and made a hasty retreat back to my husband in the waiting vehicle! I proceeded to tell them of my folly as we drove off to continue to find a bathroom and parking. Finally my husband found a parking garage. We barely made head clearance in our big truck (felt like we were in England again with our Audi A100, trying to fit in tiny places). We parked and began to trek back to the Harbor AND to find a BATHROOM post haste!!! There were none. I was getting desperate, and the scarce patches of grass around the place were looking enticing. I didn’t want a ticket though for urinating in public, haha, so I continued to look for a bathroom, through the windshield wipers on my eyeballs!Meanwhile, my husband was using his GPS to try and figure out how far the harbor was. He gasped when he realized it was going to take us 49 minutes to WALK to the harbor. The ship was going to depart in 30 minutes! Then I saw a sign that said “beach access.” I gallivanted across the street, I nearly got hit by a car I was so desperate and elated to see a Bathroom sign in a CLEAN building, I bolted across the somewhat quiet street just as a car was zooming up towards us. They stopped and we scurried across the street. I ran up the three steps grabbed the handles to the door and it was locked, my husband next to me tried the other door… it was LOCKED! My floating eyeballs were very misty at this point, when just then a man walks up, clearly headed to these doors and I turned and desperately asked, “do you know where I can find a public restroom?” Sensing my condition he took pity on us and let us in the locked doors to allow us to use the restrooms! Phew! Such relief. It was like that scene on Austin Powers when he goes to the bathroom for a very, very, very long time. LOL

 So with that out of the way, we returned to the issue of the FACT that we were facing the very real situation that if we tried to walk that distance, we would miss the boat. We had RESERVED tickets so we might just not get to go at all. Our seats would float out in the ocean without us 😥 . So we hopped back in the truck and zoomed out of that parking garage, paid $4 for 5 minutes, grrr, and then made haste back to the harbor.When we arrived at the intersection with only minutes to spare… we saw that there was, in fact, a parking garage… right there. If we had not been so busy looking for a bathroom, or a shop for us to run in for my urgent need we would have already been parked and on the ship. With no time to lose, we zoomed in the garage. Of course, no one else was in a hurry. We are like “PUSH THE BUTTON” to the person in front of us. We are like “GOOOO ALREADY!” lol… we are breathing down the person in front of us’s back pleading with them to “JUST MOVE” haha! The stress of the moment has us all in an uproar. We go up all the way to the top of the parking garage and FINALLY we get a spot! We rush to the elevator. The doors take an extra long time to close, and then it proceeds to stop and take a long time to close at every subsequent floor! It is painful, we should have just taken the stairs. I didn’t have time to think that through though because I was on the phone with the ticket desk asking if we would have enough time to get there. It was now 5 after 3PM. The lady at the ticket desk informs me that the boats leave on time and we are now too late and must take the next Cruise which leaves at 5:30PM. UGH!!

We get down to the kiosk and stand in yet another line of about 8 families, when we get to the window, we simply change our time slot to 5:30 and shamefully turn and wonder “what do we do now?” We have 2.5 hours to burn, minus 10 minutes due to our wait in line. We turn and walk down to the harbor. Some people were feeding giant Striped Sea Bass off the Pier. They are immense in size, probably about 4-5 feet long.  They were eating wads of bread a man was throwing to them. We were like “whoa!” I had never seen anything like that before! There were some Mallard ducks attempting to get some bread, and a little sparrow was standing to the side saying, “what am I, chopped liver?” (compared to the Bass).

We continued on down to the end of the Pier. Looked at the mucky sea water, it reminded me of Great Yarmouth back in England. Not the prettiest sight, but hey, it’s an Ocean, remember Maritza: you like Oceans, haha! We head back to the kiosk, and consider taking a tour around Boston on a bus, then my hubby says, “well lets just go to the New England Aquarium.” He says, “we might as well!” So we did, we bought memberships to save money and in we went. We didn’t even have to wait in line! Other people were being given “time slots” to go in, but we were able to go straight in. If anyone ever visits us we can get you in for free (only one person, but hey)! So in we go, there were a lot of visitors there this day. We walked through and my daughter pet the sting rays, and the star fish. Normally I would be right in there, petting and such, but not today. I had rings on and I had previously watched my husband’s silver ring tarnish before our eyes in the salt water back at Matagorda Bay, TX so I worried about my own rings. It was going to be too much trouble to take them off and put them in my purse, etc. Besides, I’d touched them all before, so I could forgo this once. Next time, I would plan better and touch them. For now I would rely on my memory to remember how they felt. I’m certain it was the same now as it was then. Sort of a slimy feel. I recalled them to be little sand papery (my daughter said no, that must have been a shark), but mostly, slimy.
We walked around and saw the seals, the most exciting exhibit was the cylindrical tank in the center of the building that had sea turtles and giant fish, with lots of little surprises along the way. It was sort of modeled on the Tower of Babel. We went to the very top and walked down the ramp. Our timing was impeccable because the divers were in the tank, and it was feed time. We saw Porcupine Puffers, Dog-faced Puffers, I’m not strong on my turtle identification, but I’m sure we saw at least one Logger-head turtle. We saw Flounders, and a HUGE Azure Damsel, we saw lots of Trigger fish. Big ones and little ones like you would see in home aquariums. It was great! We felt like, for some fish, we were an exhibit to them. They would swim by and stop and look at us. I had my cute Ocean handbag with me that has Seashells on it.

 A couple of the Puffers took an extra long look at that. We finally reached the bottom level, and my husband’s “don’t be late” alarm went off. So we wrapped up and headed over to Dunkin Donuts. Why? Not for Donuts, we got some coffee and some sandwiches, THEN we went back to the ship yard. We got in line for the Whale Watch tour. It was time!

Sea Dragon
Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle
Sting Ray
Sea Turtle
Puffer Fish
Miscellaneous Fish, some Damsels and Angel Fish in there.
This is either a Ribbon Fish or a Knife Fish, I often get the two confused.
View of the ships in the Harbor
The Ocean ❤
We sat on the cement wall and ate our sandwiches and just then the camera people came by to take our pictures. We had our sandwiches in hand, haha. We would not get to see the pics until we returned. We all giggled at the thought of how our picture would turn out with our sandwiches and drinks from Dunkin Donuts. We finally made our way down and boarded the ship. We didn’t know what to expect really, but considered that if the trip was a minimum of 3 hours, then we could probably find a comfy seat and chill until we got to our destination. So we did. Not long after sitting (about 2 minutes) my daughter is all antsy and says “we didn’t come on a Whale Watch tour to sit inside on comfy chairs, I want to go up top and feel the ocean breeze.” So my hubby and I look at each other, remember we had had a stressful trip up to this point and the thought of chilling, and sitting was very appealing. We gave in to better judgement and decided that my husband would take our daughter up to the top deck and I would save our seats, which I did. The boat was filling fast and people were quick to grab booths and comfy chairs. I was beginning to suspect that some of these guys had done this before. So off we went, the boat made it’s way out of the harbor and to the open ocean. A screen in the room where I sat showed our GPS coordinates. A voice came over the PA and welcomed us and told us what to expect, giving safety tips, etc.
My loveys! ❤
Did I mention it was windy? LOL
The 3 of us!
My family came back and joined me for 5 minutes, then off they went again. When they returned yet again, I petitioned them to stay while I went and explored. I noticed that when we boarded the ship everyone seemed to naturally gravitate UP, so I went back to the lower level. Besides some suspicious but now “dry” schmutz on the seats there were some good seating down here. There was a nice view of the Ocean off the bow of the ship. So I went back up to retrieve my family and bring them down here so we could have the best of both worlds. I could have a good view of the Ocean and sit inside AND see my family, they could stand on the bow of the ship. The seats we chose were good and I struck up conversation with a small family visiting from Pennsylvania. They were preparing themselves mentally for a big Carnival Cruise in a couple of weeks. We discussed Cruises and I assured them that they were going to have a blast! They proceeded to tell us that we are crazy to move from Texas to New England, and I agreed on both accounts, haha! I may not be laughing come winter. We’ll see! 🙂 Speaking on the “seat schmutz” my husband and I know all too well… once when we were on one of our Cruises, we stopped in Cozumel. When we got off the Cruise ship to go on an excursion we got on a Ferry to go to land. The water was rather choppy that day. We had not even finished boarding and the choppiness was already causing people to get sea sick. My husband and I were fine but we bolted to the top level. No one was up there, and so there was no vomit to smell and get sick from. Just beauty and salty sea air. We stayed up there and gradually some people that had seen us sneak up here figured it was a good idea and joined us. Downstairs people were puking everywhere. Lesson learned! I knew what this “seat schmutz” was. Yuck! For now, the water was smooth and everyone’s tummies seemed to be A-ok.
It didn’t seem like too long after, we got our first call on a Whale Sighting. There was a scramble to the decks and windows as everyone was trying to catch a glimpse of the whales cresting and diving. We did catch many sightings, and saw our fair share of Whale Tales. We saw all Humpback Whales. They are so huge, and it was amazing!! We got in next to a seasoned “Whale Watcher.” He said that we got a “treat” he said on all the Whale Watching excursions he had been on (he had been on a lot) he had not seen as many as this! He did say that on previous ones the Whales would actually come to the boats and look at the people. That was one thing that did not happen this time though, unfortunately for us. I would have loved to see them up close! 🙂 So I figured it was a good idea to sort-of shadow this guy and “do what he did” to be sure we got a good sighting. My plan was genius. Even to the end when he lined up to get off the boat first, we did the same. I wasn’t an annoying shadow, I promise. haha… I was a distant observer. We saw one Whale they identified named “Sachula” which Jason cleverly renamed “Spatula.” haha
An example of what we saw, my camera could not do justice so I borrowed these images from the internet, Thanks Internet.
An example of what Sachula’s Tail looked like.
We were told that Momma’s and Babies could be around, we did not see any to note.
It would have been cool to see them underwater!
What Sachula probably looked like when we saw his tail above water.
More Humpbacks…
So after all the Whale Watching, it was time to return. When we had arrived to the Whale Watching area the water began getting choppier, now on our return it got more and more choppy. This was not good! Remember the “seat schmutz?”  I sensed they were wrapping up the whale watch and I knew that for the return trip everyone was going to scramble for seats. It was going to be cold and dark and what reason would there be to stand outside? So I told my hubby that I would save seats and that he and my daughter could find me upstairs waiting, but they just came with me. We grabbed seats, but then had two more Whale Sightings. My daughter could not resist and convinced my husband to take her back to the Top Deck, where we started to begin with. They went up and I saved the seats. People were trickling in and asking if the seats were taken, to which I responded, Yes… these three are taken. I turned away many a person. Losing our seats would be bad, we smartly remembered to bring our jackets/sweaters, but we so unsmartly left them in our TRUCK, doh! So inside seats would be essential! My husband and daughter came in, then left AGAIN, this time it was because the choppy water was beginning to churn people’s stomachs, not good! My husband was one of these and opted to go out for fresh, sea air, to convince his stomach to stop doing flips. I was feeling a little funny, but I calmed myself with deep breaths and relaxation techniques. I also lost the 2 seats I was saving to some Chinese people that could not understand my denials to their taking the seats. I took pity on them, a Mom and Son who was feeling ill. I shrugged it off, I had no idea where my family was anyhow, in fact, they had been gone a while now and I was started to get worried. The boat was really pitching and rocking now. I could imagine someone getting pitched overboard. I imagined the worst and then finally decided I’d best go make sure they were ok. But first I would text them. When I received no response, it was time to abandon my seat to search for them. It was dark out now and I first checked the top deck. They weren’t there, all the pitching and rocking made my way difficult. I went down to the restroom area, they weren’t there, but there were lots of “green people” in all different shades of green. Not good, I popped in the bathroom, then made a hasty retreat out of that area unless I myself became a victim to the sea sickness! I checked out the window to the back deck, checked the bow, went back upstairs, came back downstairs, I really had my sea legs now and I could NOT locate my family! I considered asking them to page them on the P.A., haha, but then I figured my family would probably not even hear because from the outer decks you can not hear the P.A. very well at all. So on my 5th round on the ship I came down by the bathrooms once again and my daughter opened the door. I said “where have you guys been!?!?!? I’ve been looking all over for you guys.” During my search I noticed a lot of people were sitting on the floor under the edge of the ship to avoid the excess cold air, but still have fresh air to breathe. I searched high and low, and was relieved to finally have found them. We found a wall to hug, sipped some Ginger Ale and waited impatiently for the ship to arrive back to dry land. This ship full of land lubbers was spent! There was hardly a person onboard that was NOT some shade of green!
The ads on FB said this…
What we saw more-or-less. My camera took less than satisfactory pics.
Amidst all the turmoil, I recalled a post on Facebook about the Super Moon that should be visible this night. As I passed the various windows in search of my family, I captured glimpses of it. To be honest, it looked to me like any other Full Moon I had seen in the past, but it had a reddish-orange hue to it. Very beautiful, certainly.
We finally arrived, and we were right by the exit, so we got off straight away. We got in the truck to find ourselves in another desperate state… our truck was so low on gas it was not on “E” for Empty, it was on “W” for Walk! On fumes we mapped with our GPS to a gas company and arrived promptly at an “oil shop” that sells oil for your furnace! Doh! We got on the highway and watched painfully as we went over the top of a Mobil station! haha… we were frustrated and worried! We finally coasted into a gas station. Filled up and then we realized our tummies needed filling up. We were hungry! There was a McDonald’s nearby, it would have to do. My daughter and I walked over there, cars were zipping around, the lobby and drive through were FULL to bursting. So we decided on “Plan B” drive towards home and find another place. Well it was a McDonald’s off the Pike. That was the MOST EXPENSIVE set of Big Mac’s I have EVER had. Our meal cost us $25 bucks, but hey they tossed in a “free” medium fry. Wow! We hardly EVER eat at McDonald’s mind you… we were, as I said, desperate. It was after 10 PM and we had an hour drive left, we were fairly certain there would not be many more choices to be had.
So that was that, we got home at near midnight, fed and pottied the dogs, fed the horses and hit the hay! 🙂 What an adventure! I woke up this morning and had to peel myself out of bed. Feeling refreshed!
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About Maritza

We are a small family of 3 and a bunch of critters.We love God, our Country and it's foundations. We made a BIG move from Texas to Massachusetts in May 2013.This blog captures our 'new' life, there is never a dull moment. There is a lot of charm and character in this place and I plan to unveil it all and bring it to you in the painting presentation of word pictures and more.
This entry was posted in Adventure, drama, Family, God, MA, Prayer, Protection, Whale Watching and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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