SSC NEWS: Sound Sports Club Whale Watch

Mar 5, 2024 | About Albemarle, Life at Albemarle Plantation

by Cindy Cheamitru 

Have I got “A Whale of a Tale” for you! On Saturday, February 24, over 25 hardy Sound Sports Club(SSC) members set out to brave the elements for a glimpse of a whale off the Virginia coast. It wouldn’t be a “fluke” to spot a fluke or the tail of a whale. The nutrient-rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the Rudee Inlet attract many marine animals, including seals, dolphins, and turtles. They also attract whales! February through March is the best time to see whales when they are on their way back to Canada and colder waters. The tour promised that whale sightings were “guaranteed”! Humpback whales are the most frequent visitors, but fin and minke whales are also known to swim in the waters off the coast of Virginia Beach. 

It was not easy to spot our fellow AP neighbors onboard the vessel. We had all bundled up for temperatures that began in the lower 50s and were expected to drop during the trip. We didn’t have much time to socialize anyway because right out of the inlet we spotted a lonely bottlenose dolphin. As we made our way to deeper waters, we were given a tutorial on whales and other aquatic species. Humpbacks had been seen that morning, and we were encouraged to look for groups of birds. 

Sure enough, among the gannets, loons, and other seabirds, a humpback whale emerged. The whale was quick to dive again; and while we all waited for another glimpse, we were treated to a brown pelican swooping in to steal a good-sized fish from another bird. The whale surfaced several times, and the boat was rotated to give everyone a great view. Eventually, another boat of whale watchers arrived; and we left to let them have their turn to view the spectacular sight. 

We began to sail farther along the coastline, always in search of the elusive “blow” or spout of water; but the whales had moved on. As we cruised, we shared stories and pictures and talked about how much we enjoy AP living and the abundant opportunities for nearby adventures, such as whale watching! By the end of our tour, we had seen whales as promised, dolphins, and a plethora of seabirds and enjoyed a lovely boat ride and fresh sea air on a beautiful day. 

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