• Getting the Best Shot on Your Whale Watching Tour

    When you go on a whale watching tour, getting photos of your adventure is likely to be high on your list of things to do. Photography on a whale watching boat can be challenging, as there are many factors influencing the shot. Everything from the sun’s angle to the speed with which a whale appears—and disappears—can impact the quality of your pictures. As you set on your tour, keep these tips in mind so you come home with the best possible pictures of your day on the water.

    Get Prepared

    Keep in mind that you’ll be photographing while out on the open water, so prepare to protect your gear from water damage. For a camera, you’ll need to bring your bag and strap. If you don’t have a camera bag, bring a plastic bag for storage. If you’re using a smartphone, consider a waterproof case. You should also have a backup battery for your camera or be sure to have your phone fully charged.

    Set Your Camera for Speed

    Whales move quickly, so capturing them requires fast actions. Point-and-shoot cameras should be set on action mode, if possible. If you have an SLR camera, you may want to use shutter-priority mode and set the speed to at least 1/1000. Make sure your camera is set up for continuous shooting. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to use a tripod or monopod on the boat. Skip multiple lenses and focus on using one zoom lens.

    Know When Not to Shoot

    Whales aren’t going to resurface in the exact same spot, so try to gauge their motion and anticipate their rhythm to capture your shots. It’s equally important to recognize when it’s time to put the camera down and take in the moment. You’ll miss out if you watch the entire trip through a camera lens.

    At Captain John Boats, we take groups out on whale watching tours near Plymouth along Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank, where you’re likely to encounter Finback whales, pilot whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and many other varieties. To book your whale watching trip or for more information about our fishing charters or Provincetown ferry, call (508) 927-5575.

  • FAQs About Sailing on the Pilgrim Belle

    The Pilgrim Belle is one of the most popular attractions for people looking for an adventure on the water and a new way of exploring Plymouth Harbor. In addition to our whale watching trips and fishing charters, we offer a variety of excursions on the Pilgrim Belle for a number of different occasions. Here are the answers to some questions passengers frequently have before setting sail.

    What exactly is the Pilgrim Belle?

    The Pilgrim Belle is a Mississippi style paddle wheeler that travels around Plymouth Harbor. The boat has no conventional propeller and relies purely on the paddle to move through the water. The Pilgrim Belle departs from the Mayflower II State Pier, which is right in the heart of Plymouth. Each sail takes about an hour, and there is a full bar as well as a variety of snacks and drinks available for cash-only purchase. Passengers can sit on the sun deck for the journey or ride inside a climate-controlled cabin. There are also restrooms on board.

    When does the Pilgrim Belle sail?

    The Pilgrim Belle departs from the pier every two hours, starting at 11 a.m., with the last departure at 5 p.m. There is also a sunset cruise that leaves nightly at 7 p.m. for a 90-minute cruise. The boat is available for private charters and is a popular choice for weddings, rehearsal dinners, family reunions, retirement parties, and other special events. The boating staff works with each private charter to personalize catering, decorating, and entertainment needs.

    Is the journey smooth?

    The Pilgrim Belle is the perfect sailing adventure for everyone, since the ride is virtually guaranteed to be smooth. Plymouth Harbor is protected from the elements, so the water remains calm. This trip is ideal for people of all ages and enjoyable for everyone.

    Explore Plymouth with a ride on the Pilgrim Belle with Captain John Boats. Learn more about the Pilgrim Belle as well as our deep sea fishing charters and whale watching in Plymouth by calling (508) 927-5575.