Whilst central England has an amazing biodiversity, for some species it is best to travel further afield and the opportunity to visit Boston (Massachusetts, not Lincolnshire) provided the opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do - whale watching.
Whilst it is possible to see cetaceans in British waters (bottle nosed dolphins in Cornwall have previously featured in this blog: http://viewsoftheock.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/views-of-atlantic.html) to get better sightings it is necessary to join an organised whale watching trip, such as one to the Stellwagen Bank , 30 miles from Boston.
It is one 14 national marine sanctuaries in the US and several whales make the most of the abundance of food supplied by deep underwater currents being driven up the steep sides of the bank.
These include minke whales, one of the smallest whales (5 tons) they stay in the distance and unlike other whales are submerged most of the time and are spotted due to the distinctive spray from their blowhole.
As exciting as it is to see a minke, the real stars are the humpback whales, at 37 tons they are the third largest whale (after finback and the blue whale) and unlike the minke they are not unafraid of coming close to the boat.
And it is when they fluke (raising their tale out of the water as they go for a deeper dive) it seems like they are showing off and it certainly makes one want to burst into a spontaneous round of applause
Whatever the reason for them doing it, it is certainly an unforgettable experience.
If you happen to find yourself in Boston, then a whale watching trip is highly recommended:
Although whales aren't seen on all trips, at least one came back disappointed, which makes seeing such remarkable animals so close a privilege.