Tips for an Enjoyable Whale-Watching /Nature Cruise
Published by Captain Phillip on
Have the right expectations. Wild animals don’t appear on command. Some days, you might not see a whale at all and on others, you’ll see several.
Dress warmly, in layers. Any time of year, it will be colder out on the water than it is on the shore. Plan for a temperature difference of 20-30°F.
In winter, you may want to bring gloves or mittens (an extra pair of socks make a good emergency substitute).
Even if it isn’t raining, some of the smaller boats can kick up quite a spray. Bring a waterproof jacket with a hood.
Wear sunscreen, no matter what the weather. Even if you sit in the shade, 60% of the sunlight bounces back up from the water’s surface, and you can sunburn even under cloudy skies.
The earlier in the day you go, the smoother the ride will be. The wind often picks up and causes choppiness later in the day.
Even though the water’s surface looks calm from shore, ocean swells can make the boat ride seem like a roller coaster. If you’re prone to motion sickness, use your favorite remedies (read the directions! Some medication needs to be taken well before boarding), just in case – otherwise, you could be in for a miserable few hours.
Wear sunglasses. The glare from the water can give you a headache.
Wear a hat or visor to shade your eyes, but be sure it’s secure. If the wind takes it, it’s gone forever.
Young children can get bored on a whale-watching trip. Bring along something to entertain them. And be sure they have enough warm clothing. The chilly wind on deck can dampen even the most excited child’s enthusiasm.
A lot of whale-watching guides suggest bringing binoculars, but we suspect those writers may have never been out on a boat looking for whales. Whales are sighted by scanning around, they appear and disappear quickly and in a moving boat, it’s unlikely you’d get the binoculars on them before they were gone.