If the wind doesn’t take your breath away, the whales will. I learned this while on the catamaran that took our curious group on a half-day trip into Canadian waters, 60 miles into the Gulf of Maine. We’d have a chance to see something extraordinary — whales!

Bar Harbor was in the rearview mirror as I put on a second layer and leaned into the wind. The best views were from the top deck. My camera was set, and monopod screwed snuggly into the lens. I leaned over the rail and tried to keep my glasses from blowing off my face.

Someone’s scarf got away, quickly out of reach as it flew the length of the boat and into the water. It was cold up there. A few found themselves ill-prepared and took shelter on lower decks with indoor seating.

A humpback whale surfaces Saturday in the Gulf of Maine, about 60 miles from Bar Harbor. The whale’s stubby dorsal fin and hump are visible as it surfaces, and a green fecal plume is visible beneath its body. Humpbacks in the Northern Hemisphere reach an average length of 49 to 52 feet, with females generally larger than males, The average weight for a mature adult is 50,000 to 80,000 pounds. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Eventually, the captain throttled the vessel down. We coasted to a stop and had a look around. Spouts of water shot up in the distance. Soon there was movement in the water around us. It got quiet — we waited.

People gasped as a humpback whale made a huge splash off the bow of the boat at 11 a.m. Humpback whales in the Northern Hemisphere reach an average length of 49 to 52 feet. The average weight of a mature adult is 50,000 to 80,000 pounds.

We got a glimpse into their world as they surfaced to breathe, then dove out of sight. As guests in the whales’ world, our visit was magical and brief.

There was no need for us to wear out our welcome with our cameras and clatter.

A humpback whale splashes around after surfacing to blow and breathe on Saturday in the waters of the Gulf of Maine about 60 miles from Bar Harbor. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

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