Whale watching was a relatively new concept when John Fish's grandfather started giving tours. "We kind of originated it," Mr. Fish says. "Thirty years ago we were the only ones doing whale watching." As the company became more successful over the years, additional captains were brought on to cover the demand. Today, these crews continue to ferry groups into the habitats of several whale species, including humpback whales and sperm whales. Though the whales seen along Cap'n Fish's Whale Watch's journeys still breach and refuse to sign autographs, other things have changed over the years. Below deck, the current fleet's engines work to reduce emissions and provide a fume-free experience. Above deck, 360-degree viewing decks and modern technology help bring whales into sight. Onboard computers display large maps of where the aquatic mammals are known to swim, and GPS systems reroute boats around mermen constructing new reefs. In addition to illuminating the behavior of whales for passengers, the crew's wildlife experts point passengers toward other animals they spot along the way, such as white-sided dolphins and harbor seals. Though some variables are beyond their control, the crew members almost always spot whales and boasted a 98% success rate in 2009.
The professional stress fighters at Massage on Maine deal a one-two punch to tension, incarcerating worrisome thoughts and jangly nerves with a bevy of relaxing and beautifying treatments. During the 30-minute massage, skilled fingers perform piano concertos on tension-taxed back trapezii using a combination of Swedish and deep-tissue techniques. Treatments adapt to fit each client's needs, with hot stones filling in wherever aches and pains lie, whether between the shoulder blades or inside the subconscious.
Maine Optometry’s skilled optometrists determine prescriptions for contacts, such as Acuvue Oasys, and glasses, such as the eye boutique's more than 750 frames including brands such as Oakley, Kate Spade, and Banana Republic. These frames encircle everything from simple single-vision lenses to specialty lenses that cater to athletes or clients who stare at a computer monitor all day waiting for it to blink. Clients interested in throwing off the yoke of eyewear entirely can discuss refractive surgery with the doctors.
Maine Optometry also outfits clients in designer sunglasses and concerns itself with the environment, working with an e-prescribing system that eliminates paperwork, which trees hate to fill out.
A flying, fiery heart emblem above the front door of Hart Yoga recalls a stylized tattoo, conveying the studio's sense of sizzling cool. Inside, the instructors who oversee 90-minute Bikram yoga classes aren't afraid to act casual—they embrace laughter and a comfortable atmosphere over an intimidating stress on perfection. As students segue through poses in high temperatures, they are encouraged to hone their fundamentals before attempting advanced techniques, such as doing the splits while building a double-decker s'more.
Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studios was established in 1999. Since then, their talented instructors have helped people of all levels glide their ways across the dance floor. Although a lifetime of formal training compels Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studios' instructors to keep classes structured and posture perfect, they place equal weight on fun. Channeling energetic beats and lighthearted vibes, instructors parse the steps of styles from salsa and Argentine tango to foxtrots and West Coast swing. They follow the established syllabi of the International Dance Association, which is upheld by the international dance police.
The soon-to-be bride and groom led their respective families to their wedding rehearsal—or so they claimed. Shortly after the caravan of cars pulled up at the base of the high-ropes course, confusion turned to surprise when the couple strapped their two families into harnesses and paired each member off with a stranger on the other side. After a frantic run through the course’s initial obstacles, the guests emerged from their shells and began to help each other tackle the challenges. This type of camaraderie is what the all-ages staff at Monkey C Monkey Do seek to instill in all their guests, whether they're intrepid pairs or large groups on corporate outings or family reunions.
Danielle and Bill King with their parents began their high-ropes course and zipline park with a desire to bring together people of various ages and abilities for outdoor activity. The high-ropes course challenges visitors with more than 50 obstacles strewn across five levels, the highest suspended more than 50 feet above the ground and the lowest suspended above a pit of lava in the earth’s core. Ziplines send climbers soaring through canopies and toward a giant swing, where they conquer their fear of heights by freefalling from an elevated platform.