Whale of a Tale, Nova Scotia

photo credit to G.

After a futile attempt to watch whales in the evening, G. & I woke up early the next morning to catch the Freeport morning whale watch. Actually, the tale goes that we made reservations with Freeport but thought that we were making reservations with a company on the mainland (Freeport is on an island that you have to catch a ferry to), so when we showed up to the place that we thought we made reservations at, were told that the watch had been cancelled anyway due to fog, we literally ran out of the door to catch the ferry to the island to make it to Freeport on time (the ferry runs once an hour, so if we’d missed it we would have missed our chance to see some rockin whales). Thankfully we’re both fast runners so we made it to the car and on the ferry right before it left shore. Seriously, folks, keep your notes straight, adrenaline isn’t that fun early in the morning.

Once at the Freeport company, we loaded up our gear (consisting mainly of cameras, binoculars, and coats and hats and gloves), and set out on our sturdy ship, the Georgie Porgie.

We lucked out because a tour bus full of folks didn’t make the ferry, so our boat was only 8 people full or so, leaving everyone with plenty of room to roam, elbow space to take up, and silence when we wanted it.

First creature up was a seal. Dude was cute, only stayed up above the water for a few seconds, but long enough for G. to get a picture of him (or her). Given how many places called seal cove that we tromped to without seeing a seal, I could have used a few more, but I’ll take what nature gave. So cute!

Soon enough, though, we found what we were looking for–a humpback whale! Or two humpback whales! Or a baby whale and a mamma whale! Note: don’t sound stupid and ask which one is which. The woman narrating the morning sounded incredulous when we asked and stated the “oh-so-obvious” that the mother whale has a much broader back. Ok…it’s not like I see a whale, let alone two, every day–they both seemed huge to me! Eventually I got the hang of which was larger, but darn, they were great–and so close to the boat.

One of the whales gave us the peek-a-boo by sticking her/his head out of the water. Behind is another whale watch on a tiny zodiac boat. After bobbing out of the water, it quickly ducked down again. Photo credit to G. on this one!

Although the whales were close, they weren’t too rambunctious. Mostly they bobbed with their backs up in the water and sometimes they’d dip down and give us a tale view. If they weren’t whales, I’d blame the impending fog and utterly ridiculously cold wet chill we had that morning. Even with my smartwool shirt, jacket, and rain jacket, hat and gloves, I was still frigid. Frigid in a good way though, in a isn’t-life-the-bomb kind of way.

When the fog rolled in and visibility shrunk, we chugged back into the harbor, leaving the whales & seals & gulls behind. G. & I hopped off the boat, into our car, and back on to the ferry to get the mainland to start our drive north towards Cape Breton. Before we got too far, though, we split a scallop bun & bowl of chowder (our last of the trip, thank god), and drank several steaming hot mugs of hot cocoa infused coffee. I left my coat and hat on inside while I warmed up, and while, once again, the food was nothing special (especially now that we were scalloped and chowdered out), anything hot and filling fit the bill. And then it was north to warmer places and tons of new adventures!

5 Responses to “Whale of a Tale, Nova Scotia”
  1. feerlessfood says:

    What an amazing adventure- looks like you’ve had so many great experiences. That scallop bun looks amazing too! And look at those big chunks of seafood in your chowder…jealous! Hope you are doing well.

  2. It is so crazy that you are already experiencing such chilly weather! I just came inside from a half hour of sun bathing. It is still 115F here….but there are signs that Fall is on the way…today the breeze actually cooled me off, instead of searing my skin! Hooray!

    Those pictures are REALLY stunning. How lucky you were to see such beautiful creatures. I would have probably cried and laughed at the same time.

    And your meal looks delicious! Glad you had a great day. :-)

  3. Kiersten says:

    Great pictures! Good thing you didn’t miss the ferry and miss all the whales! Don’t worry, I wouldn’t have known which whale was the mom and which was the baby either. For some reason, they just don’t teach you that stuff in school.

    Did you just say hot cocoa infused coffee!? I definitely need to try that ASAP.

  4. I love your photos of the whales and am slightly envious — going whale-watching is definitely on my list of things to do soon. Would you recommend doing it in Nova Scotia (as long as I have multiple layers of clothing, it sounds like!)?

    Also, that scallop bun looks delicious.

    I’ve just started writing a blog about locavore living in San Francisco and am finding your site to be an inspiration; thanks also for introducing me to other like-minded blogs. I’d love for you to check mine out and tell me what you think!

  5. Looks and sounds like a fabulous trip!

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