2013 Road Trip Photos #17: Open Sea, Infinite Horizon

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Several different Cape Cod companies offer whale-watching cruises. Your family boards a large boat with dozens of other passengers, spends an hour circumnavigating the Cape, spends another hour or two in the nearest part of the Atlantic Ocean searching for signs of whales, seeks every possible opportunity to gaze upon a real whale in the wild, and spends another hour returning to port. Their cruises are short, fast, and noncommittal compared to your average week-long Alaskan cruise. If you have no real reason to remain out to sea for days, it’s a much more affordable open-water sampling method.

Even if the Hyannis Whale Watching Cruise had turned out whaleless, the voyage itself off the Cape into the nearest reaches of the Atlantic Ocean was a fascinating experience for our family of landlubbers. Our landlocked homeland is hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, and we certainly don’t have any whale pods conveniently hanging out in Lake Michigan.

whale watching, Cape Cod

Venture forth into the tumultuous waters of the Atlantic!

2013 Road Trip Photos #16: Parts of a Whale

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Several different Cape Cod companies offer whale-watching cruises. Your family boards a large boat with dozens of other passengers, spends an hour circumnavigating the Cape, spends another hour or two in the nearest part of the Atlantic Ocean searching for signs of whales, seeks every possible opportunity to gaze upon a real whale in the wild, and spends another hour returning to port. Their cruises are short, fast, and noncommittal compared to your average week-long Alaskan cruise. If you have no real reason to remain out to sea for days, it’s a much more affordable open-water sampling method.

Such a vacation plan begs the question: did we actually see any whales?

The answer: yes, but not an entire whale. We had no moment of cinematic majesty in which a humpback whale vaulted high above the sails in slow motion for the perfect photo op. Not once did a sperm whale jut its head out of the water and spray water through its blowhole in our faces. Nor did we witness a single second of an entire whale pod racing across the surface or dancing together in an intricately choreographed Busby Berkeley extravaganza. That would’ve been worth twice the ticket price, but you have to understand: those scenes in movies and TV shows are performed by Hollywood stunt whales. In our world, not every whale is that gifted, or that starved for human attention.

With that in mind, my family and I bring you the following display of cinema verité, in which we present what whale photography really looks like without a special effects budget. Behold the wonder of nature at its finest!

whale, Cape Cod

Wait! Don’t leave! It gets slightly better!

2013 Road Trip Photos #15: Cape Cod, Gateway to Whales

Day Five of our road trip was our last full day in Massachusetts. Our odds of returning to their important old state anytime soon were remote. We knew we had to make the day count. That meant leaving Boston. For a while it also meant leaving dry land.

From Boston we headed south, then east to Massachusetts famous, upper-class attachment called Cape Cod. It’s a convenient launchpad into the Atlantic Ocean and a popular getaway for boat owners. For some boat owners, it offers lucrative business opportunities, one of which we’d decided months ago might be an interesting half-day adventure.

Venturing into the ocean is a feat in itself, but our objective wasn’t so simple: we sought the great ocean whale.

whale boarding sign, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Fudgie the Whale’s distant wooden cousin bids you welcome!

Preparing for the hunt…

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