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Old 18-05-2018, 18:29   #1
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On finding Whales in Maine

I will be cruising Down East Maine for the next couple of weeks. It would be great to see some whales. I understand now is the season. Where would you go if you wanted to see whales in Maine?

For the last week in May and first week in June we will be in the Booth Bay to Mount Desert Island area. Both Booth Bay and Mount Desert both have well known very successful whale watching cruises. We could sign on with them, but my question is more about where to go on my own boat to have a good chance of sighting whales. Going 20 nm offshore is no problem.

Later in June we will head south and plan to pass through the Stellwagon Bank, which should be great whale sighting. So my question is more focused on finding whales in the Down East area of the Maine coast.
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Old 18-05-2018, 18:53   #2
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Just drag a colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) behind the boat on a stringer, and you will soon see a whale.
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Old 19-05-2018, 03:44   #3
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Follow the whale watch boats.

Thing is, it changes all the time. The folks out there every day have the best shot of knowing where they are today.
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Old 19-05-2018, 04:55   #4
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Warmer waters have driven whales up into Northumberland Straits area between PEI and New Brunswick. Sadly a dozen Right whales were killed there last season, shipping lane collisions and fishing gear entanglements. So to answer your question, keep cruising up the east coast past Nova Scotia and around Cape Breton...
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Old 19-05-2018, 08:15   #5
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Get an AIS app and watch where the whale watch boats go. Then you can take your own boat. We do that off Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, find the whales and avoid the charter boats, perfect!
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Old 19-05-2018, 08:23   #6
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Because of black whales suffering death and injuries from passing boats, mainly cargo ship, creating a survival problem for these gentle animals it is strongly recommanded that whales be left alone, or at least observed from a safe distance. Canada has taken serious dispositions regarding fishing boat activities(net design) and cargo ship transiting whales grounds(limit of speed enforcement), that affect seriously these commercial activities. Many cruise ships on tight scheldule have abandonned many stop over in the St-Lawrence Gulf ports. US has issued equal warning and the USCG seems very serious about it(It means huge fines!) .
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Old 19-05-2018, 09:15   #7
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

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Originally Posted by Elie View Post
Because of black whales suffering death and injuries from passing boats, mainly cargo ship, creating a survival problem for these gentle animals it is strongly recommanded that whales be left alone, or at least observed from a safe distance. Canada has taken serious dispositions regarding fishing boat activities(net design) and cargo ship transiting whales grounds(limit of speed enforcement), that affect seriously these commercial activities. Many cruise ships on tight scheldule have abandonned many stop over in the St-Lawrence Gulf ports. US has issued equal warning and the USCG seems very serious about it(It means huge fines!) .
start with google whale locations- Noaa tracks them as well as many local groups-
whale apps will tell you general area and as well provide you ability to send a siting location. Cape Cod area is very big on this in summer months-

as far as onboard- suggest reading on the NOAA and USCG (notice to mariners as well) whale regulations. they are fairly simple and as mentioned, violators get hefty fines. like dont video your riding alongside one and then post on facebook-
call or visit a whale riding tour boat- ask them the info- most are happy to give you ideas as well as request the call when you site one locally.

By the way- understand the fine print of the boats does not guarantee a whale siting-
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Old 19-05-2018, 11:25   #8
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Along the continental shelf there are whales galore: just keep your eyes open. Between Cape Ann and Cape Cod (especially when bluefin tuna are around) there are orcas in abundance. I expect to seaward of Maines' offshore islands (Matenicus, Monhegan, Isle Haut & etc) there are whales galore: keep a sharp eye peeled.
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Old 19-05-2018, 11:59   #9
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Whales in Maine are not as easy to see as off Provonceton but they are there. Just go well offshore at the mouth of a bay where the continental shelf drops quickly to 200ft+
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Old 19-05-2018, 15:59   #10
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Re: On finding Whales in Maine

Good suggestions above. I would suggest instead finding fresh bugs (lobstas) in Maine then wait to find whales by staying off shore a bit heading south. Lots of Minkes in the early summer when a few miles offshore. Better chance for humpbacks in MA waters (do a search on recent activity in Stellwagon). Block Island sound is a good place for a chance to spot teenaged Great Whites, Ocean Sunfish, or a turtle or two.
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