The ocean's waves and a seabird's occasional rock ballad are all that interrupt the silence across the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Suddenly, a humpback whale leaps from the water and crashes back down, sending a plume of whitecaps into the air. Aboard their boat, a tour group snaps photos of the breathtaking moment as a crewmember narrates it all.
The US Coast Guard–licensed captains at Capt John Whale Watching and Fishing Tours aim to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences like these everyday. Their boats serve as floating classrooms, aboard which they teach deep-sea fishing some days and pilot groups into the habitats of everything from dolphins to minke whales on other days. The marine educators also lead kids' programs that let the students explore an on-board tidal pool to feel the texture of spider crabs, sea stars, and baby submarines.
Fish don’t say “cheese.” But that doesn’t stop captains Doug and Jeff Amorello from snapping photos of the monstrous striped bass and bluefish that their customers reel in. The two own Sashamy Sportfishing, where they orchestrate half-day fishing trips around Plymouth Harbor aboard their 36-foot charter fishing boat, Sashamy. As full-time fishermen, the duo knows their way around the area, and as family members, the two have a soft spot for promoting wholesome activities. They welcome all ages aboard their boat, fostering the future of fishing stories shared between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and teenagers and their cell phones.
To make every game as exciting, safe, and enjoyable as possible, Randolph Paintball personnel conduct a safety orientation before grouping each game's 15 to 25 players into teams based on age and ability. The center also employs professional referees to oversee every 10- to 15-minute bout, as players target their rivals with semiautomatic, air-powered marking guns during scenarios such as capture the flag and elimination. Rounds unfold across the two outdoor location's eight fields, where participants duck into foxholes or overtake the Lord of the Rings–inspired Helms Deep fortress. Games are played rain or shine, though during the frigid winter months the action relocates to Randolph Paintball's 1,000-square-foot indoor astroturf speedball field.