Posted by: tim ellis | August 21, 2005

Reykjavik/Rockport, Ma. – Saturday 7th August, 1999

A 4:30 ride down to Dunkin’ Donuts ready for a five o’clock sailing. The early start is both to let us get out to the whales nice and early before everyone else gets there, and also to allow the boat to get back for a public trip at 1:00 PM. Our naturalist today is Brenda again.

The day starts (well after we have seen sunrise…) as most of them seem to, with some minke sightings, before we encounter a school of Atlantic White Sided Dolphin – they have been missing most o f the summer, these are the first Brenda has seen since April. They swim all around the boat, bow riding for a short while, and generally moving very fast so as to make it extremely difficult to photograph them (the boat, the sea and the dolphins are all moving, and often not in the same direction)!

The humpbacks are more elusive, hiding in the direct glare of the sun, or leaping about energetically in the distance, only to swim off as we get closer. Finally we are rewarded with some close breaching and slapping before it is time to return. In some ways today’s trip has been a bit of an anticlimax after the last couple of really excellent trips, but I think this is because we have been spoilt – if we had seen this on our first day we would have all been thrilled.

We do some souvenir shopping in Captain Bill’s when we return, although it is rather crowded with all the people booking for the afternoon cruises, then drive back “the scenic route” through Annisquam, the northern part of Cape Ann.

The afternoon is given over to exploring Rockport before our ‘last supper’ at six o’clock. Wander around various shops, mostly along Bearskin Neck, a lot of them seem to have the same souvenirs in, but some of them do have unique stuff too. We are eating tonight at “The Greenery”, and I arrive just before six – Morag and Jenny are already there, and everyone else arrives shortly after (except George Clooney, who is supposed to be filming in the area, and the girls are sure he will want to join us…) We have a specially typed menu, and wine is provided, despite the fact that everyone has bought their own. This just means we have to have a party on the patio by the pool. Kevin joins us with his photo’s from Thursdays trip, he has some nice shots. Everything is going well (including the wine!) until an argument on conservation develops, at which point we break up and go to bed.

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