Whales are back!



TWELVE MILES OFF PROVINCETOWN — The dark waters began to roil. Silently, two black, 70-ton leviathans emerged from the depths of Cape Cod Bay, skimmed the surface, then quickly slipped back into the sea. Scientists in a nearby boat tracked their “fluke prints” — the large surface swirls created from their underwater tail sweeps — but soon lost the watery trail of two of the world’s rarest whales.

For years, scientists have sounded a dirge for the North Atlantic right whale. Its population stalled around 300 in the 1990s, pushing some researchers to make mournful extinction predictions for the mysterious, 45-foot-long creatures that come to feed and frolic every spring off Cape Cod.

Now, the critically endangered population has hit 500 whales, probably for the first time in centuries — a poignant milestone for a marine mammal whose numbers dwindled to perhaps a few dozen after being hunted relentlessly for their oil and baleen from the 11th to the early 20th centuries. Researchers, while joyful, say that number is still tiny — and they remain deeply concerned about recent environmental changes, including global warming, that spell uncertainty for the creatures’ future.

“Five hundred whales make you want to sing,’’ said Charles “Stormy” Mayo, senior scientist at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, which studies the whales. “But you have to hold your breath when you sing. We have a substantially changing ocean. We don’t know what the future holds.”

Last Monday, he and his staff aboard the research vessel Shearwater scanned the horizon for spouts from the whales’ blowholes. An airplane flew transects above, searching for dark shadows in the relatively small bay and radioing their locations to the boat.

Scientists don’t know what a healthy right whale population even looks like, but they suspect it is in the thousands or even tens of thousands. Today, the population is increasing about 2.5 percent a year — far better than the 1990s — but hardly the 6 or 7 percent researchers would like to see.

The reasons for the increase are likely myriad. Ships have slowed down and moved to avoid the creatures. Fishing lines have been developed that allow some whales to avoid being tangled. A number of good feeding years — the animals can consume tiny shrimplike plankton at a rate of 125 pounds an hour — probably helped with a dramatic increase in calves starting around 2001.


Crowne Pointe Site Now in 50 Languages!

By January 16, 2014 STAY IN PROVINCETOWN


The Crowne Pointe Web Site is now available In 50 Languages thanks to Google Translation Services. Just look for the Google Translate Button in the bottom right corner of the web site. Choose the language you want to view, and it will instantly translate it for you.

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Enjoy a Gourmet Breakfast at Crowne Pointe!

By January 16, 2014 FOOD & WINE


The day starts early for our Chef’s here at Crowne Pointe. Before the first rays of dawn touch down on Provincetown Harbor, we can typically be found setting up fresh-brewed coffee for our early bird’s. Our guests are a diverse lot -there’s no telling what time in the morning they’ll want to saunter down to the dining area-and so ample time is allowed for taking advantage of our delicious complimentary gourmet hot cooked to order breakfast: served daily between 8 am and 11 am (high season) and 8 am to 10 am (shoulder season. In addition to a variety of cereals, yogurt, fresh fruit and juice, we also offer scrumptious fresh-baked muffins and breads, french toast, homemade waffles, pancakes, and various hot egg specialties.

You have several hot breakfast entrée choices daily and our large portions will test the best of appetites. Because we knew how much time we were going to spend cooking for our guests, we specifically designed an open-plan kitchen to allow us to be social with our guests during our work in the early am hours. Our guests may choose to dine indoors in one of our two romantic dining areas, or in our parlor beside the fireplace, or even outside on our spacious wrap-around front porch.

Hello From Ptown

By January 14, 2014 STAY IN PROVINCETOWN


Welcome to Crowne Pointe Inn & Spa. We are the premier hotel in Provincetown with a one block walk to Commercial Street.

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