As many of you know, our deluxe ocean-view rooms have a view of the dunes of Sandy Neck Beach and the sea beyond. Rich and I often walk Sandy Neck as it is a beautiful barrier beach that stretches for miles in either direction. Because we have had such mild weather we have had numerous opportunities to walk the beach this winter. It was Casey’s favorite romping spot.
So imagine our surprise when we opened our copy of the Cape Cod Times today to read that a group of approximately 25 right whales were spotted very close to the shoreline off Sandy Neck Beach yesterday. Photographed by an aerial survey team from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS), the whales were clearly visible within several hundred feet of the beach.
According to the Boston Globe, there are only about 475 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, many of which gather off the coast of Cape Cod in springtime due to the rich feeding grounds located in Cape Cod Bay. This incredible phenomena draws crowds of spectators to witness the whales breaching so close to shore.
One of the world’s most endangered species, state and federal regulation prevent boaters from approaching within 500 yards of a right whale. They are called “right whales” because whalers thought the whales were the “right” ones to hunt, as they float when killed and often swim within sight of shore. They are also incredibly friendly, and often swam right up to boats as well. As such, they were hunted nearly to extinction during the active years of the whaling industry.
Other sightings have occurred recently at Herring Cove and Race Point beaches in Provincetown, as well as off the coast of Plymouth and Martha’s Vineyard, some as early as mid-December. So if any of you adventurers want to see whales “up close and personal” we suggest you make a beeline for Cape Cod soon..