April 15, 1975

First Whale Watch Departs

Greater Boston

On this day in 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. Millions of people each 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 multi-million-dollar business in New England.

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