Another early start to head into Salem. Luckily there was a public parking garage across from the visitor centre. Watched a great documentary about the 1692 Salem witch trials then walked around the few blocks of town full of psychics, Halloween activities and shops about witchcraft. Try this game about Salem put out by National Geographic. Back onto interstate 95 that bypasses the centre of Boston. Miss W is still driving to the maximum and everyone else is still passing her by yet there are no police catching them.
Onto the first part of Cape Cod to organize a whale watching tour – at the visitor centre in Hyannis , the lady suggested one from Provincetown so headed west to New Bedford for the next three nights and to book in for the Saturday afternoon tour. To get on and off the Cape Cod area you have to go over one of two bridges. These are very narrow with two lanes in both directions. Also the highways here often have 6 and 6A meaning the alternate route. Well, we ended up on 6A going home and this took us through lots of little towns such as Sandwich, Barnstable and Mashpee.
Not knowing how long it would take to get to Provincetown at the furthest end of Cape Cod, we left early to get our 1.30pm whale watch tour. Sticking to highway 6, we stopped off at Fort Hill Road to look out over the marshland area and went for a short walk. Our first chance to see some whale bones outside the Penniman House – see photo in flickrstream.
Onwards to the Salt Pond Visitors centre which told us a bit about the natural beauty of the area and some short drives to take on our way north to Provincetown. Out to Nauset lighthouse and the surfing beach nearby. Fairly small waves but lots of surfers there at the National Seashore.
No time now for any more diversions – onto Provincetown where we checked the map to find a parking area. Pulled into the first one and paid $5 for the day. To get to the wharf, we had to walk along lots of little streets, nearly all one way only. Cars had trouble going down them, because all the foot traffic was in the middle of the road as there were virtually no footpaths to walk on. Lots of little shops but very few selling fish and chips which I thought was unusual.
Miss W did her usual thing and started chatting to some people waiting for the boat – a couple who used to help run a local campground and an associate professor of a nearby university. We all sat together at the stern of the boat on the upper deck. An hour out to find whales – none there – heard from another tourist boat that ‘Salt’ was out another 20 minutes or so. Eventually found Salt which is a female humpback whale that was first noted in 1975 and has returned ever since with her babies. None of the photos Miss W took were any good but on the last dive of our trip, Ann, the professor, took a fantastic shot and is included here. Miss W took some great shots as we were returning to shore – the sun was starting to set behind the clouds and sent down some beautiful rays.
By the time we returned to shore, it was getting dark so Miss W had to drive slowly with headlights on for nearly two hours before we got back to our motel in New Bedford.
Attribution: Ann Pitt, Boston MA October 2011
Have you ever been to a great National Park or been whale watching? What did you see?
How are you preparing for Halloween? Are you going trick or treating?