There's a wonderful article in the New York Times magazine about California whales, and how they are interacting with the humans who watch them. Might they be showing that they forgive us for centuries of killing them? If you think I'm exaggerating, check out the article, which brought tears to my eyes more than once.
You can catch a whale watch out of Boston, but my favorite tour is the Dolphin Fleet in Provincetown. The photo is from their site. Also check out the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, the only east coast organization authorized to free whales who become entangled in fishing nets.