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.