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Blog Page of Captain John Boats | Captain John is the top destination for Whale Watching and Deep-sea Fishing in all of Massachusetts. Whale sightings are guaranteed!

Coastal Birds to Keep an Eye Out for on Your Cape Cod Boat Excursion

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

A whale watching tour is an exciting adventure that individuals of all ages can enjoy. While whales are the focus of these trips, many other animals, including several bird species, can also be seen during these excursions. When you book a whale watching tour out of Plymouth, some of the birds you are likely to encounter include:

Common Loon

One of the Common Loon’s most recognizable features is its loud, whaling call. Another is the birds’ ability to swim hundreds of feet below the water’s surface to capture the fish, shellfish, and aquatic insects that they feed on. With a distinctive black head and grey body, the Common Loon is easy to identify.

Common Tern

The Common Tern is another bird that feeds far below the water’s surface, plunge diving deep into the ocean once it has spotted shrimp or small fish. Contrary to what the bird’s name might imply, the Common Tern is not common in New England. If you spot a Common Tern with its white body and black cap while on your whale watching tour, consider yourself fortunate.

Great Blue Heron

While Great Blue Herons are more commonly seen feeding near ponds and other shallow bodies of water, they occasionally take flight over the Cape. If you wish to spot a Great Blue Heron on your whale watch, keep your eye out for a large, slow-flying bird with a strikingly slender neck.


Sporting a white neck, chest, and belly and brown wings, an Osprey in flight is a sight to behold. If you are lucky enough to see an Osprey emerge from the water while feeding alongside a whale, you will remember the spectacle for a long time to come.

Are you looking for a great way to spend a day outdoors in the beautiful waters off the coast of Cape Cod? When you book a whale watching excursion with Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours, you are sure to see more than just whales. To learn more about our world famous tours, call (508) 746-2646!

Watch Exciting Videos of Whales in the Wild with this App for your iPhone


The adjective “majestic” is often used to describe the appearance, behavior, and movement of many whale species. When watching these large, graceful creatures feeding, breeding, and breathing in the ocean blue, one understands why.

If you are trying to decide whether or not a whale watching excursion should be added to the itinerary for your visit to New England, download iWhale Watching to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. With a collection of more than 700 videos of whales in action, this app will show you why whale watching is must when you’re in Cape Cod.

To book a whale watching tour with a Plymouth-based company that has a long history of customer satisfaction and guarantees whale sightings, call Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours at (508) 746-2646.

Retracing the Evolution of Cetaceans

Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are some of the most majestic creatures in the world. People come from far and wide to watch whales migrate, breed, and feed off the coast of Massachusetts in the summertime. The majority of these whale watchers might be surprised to learn about the connection between today’s cetaceans and land-dwelling animals.

Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, blowing. Newfoundland, Canada.

Connection between the Hippo and the Whale
When learning about the evolution of cetaceans, one must look at their connection to the hippopotamus. The hippopotamus, which is believed to have remained relatively the same for more than 50 million years, most likely descended from an ancestor shared with today’s cetaceans. Scientists have determined this from the similarities in bone structure between hippopotamuses and several cetacean species.

Emergence of Archaeocetes
Several ancestors of modern cetaceans are included in a group called archaeocetes. Many archaeocetes lived in semi-aquatic freshwater and saltwater habitats, but had little else in common with today’s cetaceans. Others were land-dwelling animals that shared several identifying anatomical features with modern whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Transition to the Water
With the transition to a fully aquatic lifestyle, cetaceans developed several new features. These include the shifting of the nasal cavity from the front of the body to the back to create the blowhole, the development of echolocation for hunting, and the introduction of baleen to filter food from the water.

Cetaceans Today
Nearly 90 species of cetaceans are known to live in the world today. All of these species are believed to have descended either from the odontocetes or the mysticetes, both of which evolved from a late archaeocete called the dorudon.

Many species of whale, dolphin, and porpoise that occupy the waters today are physically identical to ancestors from millions of years ago. If you would like to observe some of these fascinating whale species first-hand, schedule a whale watching excursion with Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours. Call our Plymouth-based business today at (508) 746-2646 for more information.

Get the Most Out of Your Next Marine Excursion With the Tips and Information Found in These Great Resources

Humpback Whale Breaching Near Boat

Though most of us are glad to call the land our home, the ocean conceals countless wonders. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might consider hiring a charter boat to take you out onto the open sea. For more information, take a look at these links:

  • Are you planning on going whale watching soon? Check out these excellent tips from the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to get the most out of your trip.
  • Preventing sea sickness is easier than you might think. Learn more at this page from
  • Do you want to learn more about outdoor photography filters? This page from can help you out.
  • Taking a good picture of a whale can be difficult. Luckily, this page form can help make it easier.
  • Why is deep sea fishing so popular? This page from the World Fishing Network has the answer.

Do you have any questions? Call Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours at (508) 746-2646 to find out more about our tours.

Tips for Taking Photos on Your Whale Watching Excursion

Going on a whale watching excursion can be one of the best experiences of your life—and like other important experiences, you’ll probably want to get it on film. However, taking pictures of whales is a lot different than taking pictures of people or landscapes. Here are a few photography tips to remember on your next whale watching excursion:

Tourist Whale Watching

Bring Extra Supplies
All professional photographers bring extra supplies with them wherever they shoot. In order to get all of the shots you want, you should always remember to bring extra batteries and film or storage devices.

Don’t Zoom Too Much
Since most whales breach the water a good distance away from the boat, many eager photographers zoom in to get that perfect shot. Unfortunately, zooming can cause the image to bounce up and down wildly with every roll, pitch, and yaw of the boat, making it difficult to capture an image of the whale.

Use a Polarizing Filter
The glare from the sun and its reflection on the water has ruined many fine whale pictures. In order to reduce the effects of glare, consider investing in a polarizing filter for your camera. The right filter can help you get exactly the shot you’re looking for.

Crank Up the Shutter Speed
The movements of whales and of the boat often seem to conspire to make pictures blurry. In order to keep your pictures clear and crisp, you should turn your camera’s shutter speed way up—perhaps to 1/250 second or faster.

Don’t Stress Out
Though it’s nice to have proof of your whale watching adventure, you shouldn’t let photography take away from the experience itself. You should also remember to enjoy yourself as you behold these noble beasts of the deep with your own eyes.

If you’d like to try out your sea legs this summer, don’t hesitate to contact Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours. When you set sail with us, you’re guaranteed to see a whale or a dolphin. Call us today at (508) 746-2646 if you have any questions.

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