Our wonderful whale watching craft
Tenzing is a US Navy whaleboat built in 1982 for ship-to-shore usage. She came into our hands some twenty years ago and was re-purposed as a wildlife viewing vessel. Tenzing gives us a very personal encounter with nature without being disruptive to the marine environment. Her double ended design, common to all whaleboats, keeps us safe on the water in all kinds of weather. Tenzing is fully outfitted with Coast Guard approved safety features and equipment.
Tenzing belongs to a class of safety vessel known as the whaleboat, in use by the US Coast Guard since 1791. Originally developed for whaling, these double ended boats could move forwards and backwards with equal ease and were well suited for work along beaches. Their simple, open design gave easy access for people and supplies, leading to their popularity as a safety vessel.
Whaleboats were first used on the continental US in 17th century warfare, and played an important role in the series of conflicts culminating in the US Revolutionary War.
But the boat’s structure hearkens back many more centuries to ancient Viking, Inuit and Yapik design. As a whaling vessel in these cultures it was renowned for its versatility of handling, and in modern times came into widespread use as a general purpose ship’s boat.
Like its forbears, our Tenzing is a ruddered vessel that can be adapted for sailing or rowing. Our boat has an efficient inboard engine, however, that allows us to get where we need to go and then proceed quietly for an amazing wildlife encounter.