The drive from Kennebunk to Portland took 45 minutes. It should have been less, but I overrode the sat nav and headed north out of our motel. Mistake. U turn needed. A late Denny’s breakfast which included a pot of hot water and a tea bag. Unwrap and dip it yourself. Does nobody outside Britain know how to make a good brew?
Then down to the harbour. I selected the bargain $10 a day parking next to the $4.50 an hour gig. This trip has become a car parking rip off fest!
A queue at the whale watching booth and $98 later we were on the boat! This was on my Iceland list, but the large mammals rather inconveniently didn’t hang out in March. We tried Gloucester 48 hours earlier but the ocean going locals thought the sea was a bit choppy and cancelled. It was a glorious day!
This time our boat chugged out into the harbour. Or harbor as they spell it this side of the pond. We admire the lighthouses, islands and oil terminal while the captain shared tails of who had owned various islands at various points in time.
As the vessel entered the open sea I began to snooze, aided by the gentle rocking motion. We spotted a porpoise who legged it rapidly. Then another – same outcome.
Nearly two hours in and we were beginning to think the whales were gone. Then sight of a water spout. Got one! A couple more spouts and then this huge beauty surfaced. Majestic. Beautiful. And then gone. An arching dive and lost to us.
It wasn’t a blue whale. As a kid I’d been taught that blue whales were extinct. Fortunately not the case and the largest mammal that even existed still survives today. But the expert in the cabin told us that the Fin Whale we’d just seen was the second biggest creature on the planet. And very much endangered.
A couple of Mink Whale put on an entertaining side show but the Fin Whale was the main draw and surfaced again a few minutes later. Blowing water out of her spout a few more times and then a little wiggle just for us before diving again. Another wait before returning to the surface for an impressive swim to demonstrate just how beautiful this creature is. Then the final dive.
And that was pretty much it. Whale seen. Job done. Memory made. A “better” whale than I ever expected to see. A real result. A long drive to Bar Harbor followed. A great day drew to a close. Happy.