The following was shared by our State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante from “Mass Moments”

On This Day...

      April 15, 1975 charter boat captain Al Avellar left Provincetown Harbor with a boatload of school children. They were going to look, not fish. This was the first whale-watching trip on the eastern seaboard. Al Avellar soon established the first whale-watching company on the Atlantic coast and began to expand his fleet, adding vessels especially designed for viewing whales. The whale-watching business flourished and spread to Boston and Cape Ann. Today over 2,000,000 people a year view the friendly and playful cetaceans that frequent the waters of New England between April and October. Eighty-five years after the region’s whaling industry disappeared, whale watching is a $100,000,000 business in New England.

For centuries, the tip of Cape Cod was familiar territory to whalers. Wampanoag Indians hunted for whales inshore and passed their skills on to the English settlers. Provincetown‘s excellent natural harbor was one of the best in New England, and the town soon became a busy seaport. By the middle of the nineteenth century, there were more than 700 vessels in the Provincetown fleet. Many of these ships undertook long journeys in pursuit of sperm whales and large profits.

The American whaling industry was in decline by the early 1900s, and in 1924, the last Provincetown whaling ship completed its final voyage. More than 50 years would pass before a new kind of whale hunting began; its purpose was to observe, study, and admire, rather than to kill, whales.

Captain Al Avellar ran a charter fishing business from the Provincetown wharf. He noticed that when the occasional whale surfaced near the boat, fishing rods clattered to the deck as his customers raced to see the giant mammal. “I figured if fishermen would look, there must be something to whale watching.” In the spring of 1975, he started offering whale watching trips. The business got off to a slow start, but in time his Dolphin Fleet would carry tens of thousands of passengers.

Avellar found a willing partner in Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, co-founder of the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown. Established to preserve marine mammals and coastal habitats, the Center operates on the principle “that the successful management and preservation of ecosystems depends on strong, detailed knowledge of species and their natural history.” What better way for naturalists to study the behavior and habitat of whales than to partner with a company whose vessels make daily trips to the whales’ summer feeding grounds.

The whale watching business spread to Boston and several other Massachusetts ports. Gloucester has half a dozen whale watching companies; the town is also home to the Whale Center of New England, founded in 1980, whose goal is to “contribute to the understanding and protection of marine mammals and their habitat.”

READ the complete article here


Although the infographic illustrates the Southern Right Whale, I thought it very informative for the North Atlantic Right Whale, too.







On my calendar and very much looking forward to Deborah Cramer’s talk at the Sawyer Free Library on Thursday, May 4th at 7:00pm

LOVE the pink, green and blue banners announcing Gloucester Public Schools district wide Arts Festival May 13

Gloucester Education Foundation brings the arts downtown to Cape Ann Museum, Sawyer Free, City Hall


Happy Easter ~ Buona Pasqua!

Happy Easter to all who are celebrating today!   I have taken on a little “post lent” personal challenge to notice 5 beautiful things in my environment every day just to stay positive and appreciate what surrounds me.  One of this morning’s “observations” is a spot I drive by every day and in the spring these beautiful blue wildflowers are here for just a short visit.   I believe they are called “glory of the snow” because they are the first flower to bloom after the winter.   Anyone recognize the area?   Hope you all enjoy this amazingly gorgeous day and find one or two things to appreciate in your own little world!

Internationally Acclaimed Organist Joonho Park plays Bach on April 22nd

Cape Ann Community

The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is pleased to present young Korean organ virtuoso Joonho Park performing an all-Bach program in a progressive organ recital. He teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and is the winner of many international organ competitions.  Joonho Park has been hailed as an amazing talent with exquisite technique and exciting musicality.  He will be playing some of the most technically demanding and beloved organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

The first half will be performed in the Meetinghouse, home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, on the distinguished 1893 Hutchings pipe-organ, restored by world-renowned Gloucester organ-builder Charles Fisk in 1962.  George Hutchings built the original Boston Symphony Hall organ in 1903 and his instruments are known for their beautiful tone colors and powerful foundation stops.

At the intermission, the audience will stroll next door for the second half of the concert in St. John’s Episcopal…

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