CHATHAM – This is not the easiest town from which to spot whales. Provincetown is the place to see the frolicking just offshore, although at times huge mammals can be glimpse from the Lighthouse Overlook breaching not far off the beach.
But for the next few months, Chatham will be a great place to spot whales. At least in local shops and businesses.
“Where are the Whales?” is this year's summer scavenger hunt sponsored by the Chatham Merchants Association. There are 39 three-foot painted and decorated whales scattered in shops and businesses all around town; your challenge is to sight all of the whales, correctly identify which business or shop they are in, and hand your completed scavenger hunt booklet in for a chance to win one of five grand prizes.
The hunt runs through Labor Day. Scavenger hunt log books are available at the downtown chamber of commerce information booth, chamber headquarters at the Bassett House in South Chatham, and at most participating merchants. Each book contains photos of all of the whales, identified by number; match those with the businesses to complete the log, then hand it in at the downtown chamber booth. All entries get a prize of a sand pail or beach ball, and five, selected at random after Labor Day, will receive the grand prizes, all donated by Chatham merchants. Log books must be 100 percent accurate to qualify for the grant prizes.
Last year's scavenger hunt, which featured decorated fishing boats, drew 500 completed log books, according to Merchants representative Janice Rogers.
Run concurrent with the popular Sharks in the Park exhibit, the Where are the Whales scavenger hunt is a way to draw people into local shops and businesses. It's also a fun way for families to spend time together and requires some searching and cooperation, since not all whales are located downtown; many are in restaurants, real estate offices, banks and other businesses around town.
Let the hunt begin!