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As one might predict, because that’s just how things go, our last day in Bar Harbor was the best weather we had seen since arriving. The heavy rain from the previous day cleared up Saturday afternoon in time to allow us a short low tide walk across a sand bar to another island and to see a glorious sunset at the top of Cadillac Mountain.

The good news was that we hoped the weather forecast would be correct and had reserved a whale watching tour on Sunday. Mercifully, the weather was gorgeous. It was sunny and had warmed to the eighties, very useful and timely as conditions on the top deck of the tour boat are rather windy and cool as the boat races to the whale watching site, sixty minutes and 25 miles from shore.

Early into our hour whale scouting, I feared that the experience might be a disappointment. Though I am tall and seldom have trouble getting a view, this time, there was such a crowd gathered at the front of the boat that my view was nearly completely obscured. There were lots of whales and blows and I listened to the ooohs and ahhs, but I couldn’t get much more than a fleeting view of gray or splashing water as the last visible remnant before the whale took a terminal dive for another five or ten minutes underwater.

Eventually a sighting to the left side of the boat sent passengers running for a view, leaving a perfect opportunistic opening for me to steal a front row position, which I did immediately. From that point on, the experience was breath-taking. Each time a whale was visible, we waited with excited anticipation, watching for the undulations of the tail as it unfolded from skimming the ocean to a long, dramatic vertical arc as the final trace of the whale’s dive. It was utterly magnificent, and by far, the best experience of our entire vacation in Maine.

Whale Tail

Whale Tail

An updated picture link will be provided soon.

August 2008