I walked the dogs at Chapin Beach today, having traded my high heels for a pair of flip flops in the parking lot after showing a super sweet condo at nearby Bay Green in Dennis.
In true fashion, a portion of the road leading to this remote beach on Cape Cod Bay had been washed away by the winter storms, but rebuilt again. The beach is too much of a treasure to let annual storms stand in the way of enjoying it for the rest of the year.
Between this beach and neighboring Sesuit Harbor to the west, scientists and observers sighted more than 100 rare right whales over the past several months. With only 500 known to exist in all the world, it's astonishing that more than 100 rights were regularly seen swimming in the Bay where zooplankton near the surface provided a whale's version of McDonalds.
According to the blog Cape Cod Bay Watch, the endangered right whale has suffered decades of decline due to environmental factors, but the biggest threat to these gentle giants now is propeller strikes and net entanglements. It's illegal to come within 500 feet of a whale, but somebody needs to tell the whales. They continue to float up under vessels and get hit. An injured whale was spotted in Cape Cod Bay last month.
Cape Cod was ground zero for rare whales this spring. An even rarer bowhead whale was sighted frollicking with the herd of right whales in April. Bowheads are usually spotted in Alaska so this one was way off course.
Anyone who sees a right whale is asked to report it to authorities. A screen grab of a government map shows 2014 was rush hour for right whales. For the full interactive version, click here.
And keep your eyes out for the whales offshore all around Cape Cod. Peak season has passed but a few stragglers may wish to enjoy the summer season with the rest of us.