Monday, 28 January 2013

Nova Scotia Part 2

Continuing Nova Scotia from Part 1
Once we had met up with my brother and his wife and picked up our hire car, we were all keen to go Whale watching.  We discovered that the best place to go was Brier Island. Getting there is complicated as it necessitates going on two small car ferries. We found ourselves a quaint  b/b near Digby Neck close to the first small ferry terminal, and set off after an early breakfast. We had not been able to book places so we hoped that if we got there first we would be in with a chance. The ferry went to Long Island where we then had to get another car ferry to Brier Island. It was our lucky day we all obtained tickets for the whale boat trip which would last several hours.
via wikipedia
Whale watching boat on Brier Island
We set off in a dense bank of fog it was really erie and sailed out into the bay for an hour without seeing anything. We could hardly see each other let alone see any whales. Suddenly we became aware of blowing water noises, and the captain of our ship said whales were nearby. We looked excitedly at each other, and just hoped that the thick fog would lift.
The captain told us that the Bay of Fundy is a summer feeding ground for many species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). The bay's strong tides drives nutrients to the surface, which feed the plankton, which then attracts schools of fish on which the cetaceans and birds feed.
Suddenly the fog parted, we sailed through it and out into a beautiful clear day. What we saw, I can only describe as a boiling, bubbling cauldron of sea. Lots of birds were sky diving, fish jumping, whales throwing up water spouts, we just did not know where to look first. As quickly as the activity started it completely died down. Someone asked the captain if there was any chance of seeing a humpback breach, which of course he could not answer. Just as we turned our gaze from him, a whale breached. Those at our end of the boat all gasped and those at the other end of the boat missed it!!! That was our one and only whale jump.
via wikipedia
My sister-in-law managed to catch the tail of the humpback as it disappeared.
and she caught a delightful school of porpoises jumping in unison.
last two photos courtesy my sister-in-law

49 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:
    How exciting! To see all this happening at such close quarters must have been a thrill. The weather looks to have been perfect, what luck indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jane and Lance - it is one of those activities where chance plays a big part, and luck happened to be with us.

      Delete
  2. Hello Rosemary, You are so lucky to have seen these whales and porpoises. With weather patterns changing so rapidly, rare and delicate animals like the whales, with special needs and feeding cycles, will almost certainly be the first casualties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that we were fortunate Jim, however, this back in the 1990s. Somehow actually seeing them in their own environment is so much different from seeing them on the TV.

      Delete
  3. All went well for the viewing of whales. They are so elegant and light moving in and above the water for such large creatures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are thrilling to see, I suspect that you have seen them too.

      Delete
  4. Dear Rosemary, What a thrill it must have been to see the fog vanish just in time to watch the whales. The adventure made more powerful by the sudden change in weather. Wishing you a happy week ahead. ox, Gina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina you are right, we had given up hope with the fog bank, so it was like a little miracle when it parted like a curtain on a stage, and just in time.

      Delete
  5. Sounds like such an exciting trip, almost an expedition! As large as they are, you wouldn't think whales would be so hard to spot but it's exactly as you have described, turn your head the wrong way and you've missed the whole show :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seemed quite complicated when we got the information from the tourist office -having to catch so many ferries and travel from island to island, but as in most of these cases much easier when it came to doing it. Whales are such exciting creatures to see.

      Delete
  6. Amazing photograph of the whale! Must have been such a splash when he came down on the water and unbelievable to see from so close. An experience you never forget I'm sure.
    Bye,
    Marian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think probably one of those once in a lifetime moments Marian.

      Delete
  7. An amazing sight you will never forget and you were able to capture. I'm sure the ferry trips from island to island was also part of a wonderful adventure and the outcome was worth the planning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the most exhilarating moments, apart from the breaching whale, was the activity created by the birds, the fish and the whales, it was so exciting to see.

      Delete
  8. I did read your first post on Nova Scotia the other day. What a trip! One whale jump is more than most of us could dream of!
    My list of places I 'd love to visit is getting bigger every time I read your travel posts Rosemary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Demie - Sadly I have been around for a lot longer than you - you have lots of time on your side.

      Delete
  9. We've meant to do this so many times, and just have not, rather sadly...considering we live in Nova Scotia. Love that you shared this. In your sister in law's photo, you can almost see the whale under the water can't you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that always the case - the things on your doorstep that you never get round to doing - please do it, and do it this year, you will love it enormously. When you have done so you can then show us some decent photos!!!

      Delete
  10. Dear Rosemary - How very exciting! I've never experienced that; it must actually be quite startling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mark- it was just luck that we happened to be there at the right time of year. It was a far more impressive experience than I imagined it would be.

      Delete
  11. WOW| What an incredible experience! Thank you for sharing, Rosemary. I love the photos... the blues are just incredible!

    HAPPY WEEK|

    ANNA
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not expect the opportunity will ever arise again, so I am pleased that we got up early, and went for it.

      Delete
  12. Dear Rosemary,great pictures and fantastic images of the wales and dolphins!!I realy enjoyed waching them!!Thank you for sharing!Wishing you a lovely week!
    Dimi..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dimi - pleased that you enjoyed seeing them. Hope you have a happy week too.

      Delete
  13. Hi, Rosemary - Tom and I will be attending a wedding in Maine this summer. We are thinking of visiting Nova Scotia right after Maine. If we do make it to NS, we'd love to go whale watching. And hopefully, we'll get a lot of action!! Do you think two nights / three days is too long?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Loi - if you only want to go Whale watching I think that three days would be long enough. I imagine that these days you can make arrangements online. Best to check whether it is a good time for whale watching at the time you will be in the area and look at the Nova Scotia Tourist Information site too. I have been trying to remember when we went, and I think it was at the end of June.
      It is a very exciting, and I am sure that you would enjoy it.

      Delete
  14. That must have been an amazing experience coming out of the fog to witness all that wildlife. Seeing some dolphins in Swanage Bay was one of the highlights of 2012, so I can appreciate how exciting it must have been for you.
    Sarah X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being in a fog bank was rather disappointing at first, hearing the noises of the whales and not seeing them, but breaking through the fog into the sunshine was a fantastic contrast and very exciting.

      Delete
  15. Lucky you, I have never seen a whale. I would not want to be in a small boat when this big animal is hopping around.. I have often been lucky to see porpoises though, a lot of them in our fjords. They move with such great elegance.

    Have a nice week, Rosemary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fortunately Lise we were in a boat that was a decent size, I didn't have any fears about it being knocked over!!! Porpoises are so lovely, much neater, as you will know, than dolphins, and lovely to watch them go through the water in unison.

      Delete
  16. Hi Rosemary,

    It must just be fantastic to see these whales.

    Greetings,
    Filip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Filip - it was very exciting - I expect you have come across whales whilst you have been cruising.

      Delete
  17. This this is such a fun and memorable experience for you Rosemary. Seeing the whales and the porpoises was worth the long journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May be you will be able to give it a try Pamela as it is in your corner of the world.

      Delete
  18. Dear Rosemary,
    What a wonderful adventure! I've never seen wales up close like that-- it must have been incredible. I believe I've heard that wales' brains have developed for millions of years more than ours--perhaps they were enjoying seeing you just as much as you enjoyed seeing them!! What beautiful creatures...
    Warm regards,
    Erika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Erika - I agree that they are beautiful creatures.
      When we lived in Northumberland, and my sons were still young, I heard on the radio that sadly a huge whale had been washed up on a remote beach. We went to find it as I thought that we would never have the opportunity to see one at close quarters again. The size of it was overwhelming, and something my sons will never forget.

      Delete
  19. Nova Scotia seems like such a remote place but in actuality is only a hop skip and a jump by plane from my area of the world. But for whatever reason, I've never been so I particularly enjoyed seeing these photos. I know it must be a special place. On 9/11, all planes in the air were grounded by our government for obvious reasons and one of them, chock full of passengers, hastily landed in N.S. Everyone was treated with friendliness and sympathy and made to feel very welcome on that awful day.

    We went whale watching once, years ago when I traveled to Maine and New Hampshire. We were never fortunate enough to see a whale breaching, in fact all we actually saw was the back of one whale as it coursed through the water. No dolphins either.
    You were indeed fortunate to at least see the tale of whale. :)

    I have a vision in my head of a chimpanzee and a hammer running amok in a house. I don't know whether to laugh or be horrified. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Yvette - a lot of bloggers have mentioned how they think Nova scotia is remote, but for us it is the first bit of Canada that you hit when you fly over the Atlantic.
      We actually saw the whole breach, but only caught the tail on camera, so we were indeed fortunate.
      You must make a visit, it is a very relaxed place to go, and lots of history too.
      Fortunately Elizabeth was a very relaxed person regarding her home and the animals, I do not think she lost much sleep over the hammer incident. If it had happened in my home I would have been horrified. It does conjure up a rather manic scenario.

      Delete
  20. Dear Rosemary ,it seems that you had a wonderful day and a unique experience. It's so nice to see these animals in their natural environment!
    Have a nice week !
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were very fortunate Olympia - it is of course possible to spend a day on the sea and see nothing at all. Luck was with us.

      Delete
  21. What a fantastic experience, Rosemary. I'm curious about the local population: are they all settlers, are there any indigenous people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a really interesting question Nilly - The First Nations People of Nova Scotia are known as the Mi'Kmaq. At the time of first contact with European explorers in the 16th and 17the centuries the Mi'Kmaq lived in the region now known as the Maritime provinces. Later they also settled in New England and Newfoundland. According to the Nova Scotia Museum they are Aboriginal - the description Indian and Eskimo have largely fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered perjorative.

      Delete
  22. Uno de los viajes que me hace gran ilusión realizar es subir en coche desde Nueva York hasta Halifax bordeando la costa atlántica y después de visitar Cape Cod, la costa que pintó Edward Hopper en muchos de sus cuadros. Ya te pediré datos cuando lo tenga decidido.

    Muy bello tu blog. Un saludo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gracias por su visita, me gustan mucho los cuadros de Edward Hopper.
      Debe ser una unidad interesante hasta Halifax.

      Delete
  23. What a thrill to see a whale jump like that and capture the experience too. Super photos of an unusual holiday, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good memories Perpetua - we were fortunate that they made an appearance for us.

      Delete
  24. How lucky to see a whale great photos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Julie - we were indeed very fortunate - thank you for your comment and visit.

      Delete

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them too.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh