2014  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
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   BRIER ISLAND WHALE & SEABIRD CRUISE, p. 2

SUNDAY, AUGUST 24

 

Continued from the previous page.

At the beginning of the cruise we rode fairly close to the eastern shore of Brier Island, where we saw the most birds:

 


Gulls dot the rocks next to the shoreline. High tide is at the top of the dark brown seaweeds/rocks.


These columnar basalt formations are similar to the Balanced Rock area on Long Island.

Jim was first to spot a large bald eagle on a rock with other seabirds on Gull Rock at the SE tip of Brier Island.

Guess what the white marks are (more likely from the gulls than the eagles):

 

During the cruise we saw shearwaters, gulls, and other birdsp. I was hoping to see some puffins but we didn't see any of those. (Saw lots of those cute birds in Alaska.)

After we rounded the southern tip of Brier Island we could see the Western Light in the distance:

It's the only lighthouse on Brier Island we didn't see when we were driving around the island yesterday.

After that we were out in open water of the Atlantic Ocean and Bay of Fundy for over two hours:


Pretty cool wake, eh?

The Mega Nova is 50 feet long, much smaller than the large catamaran we rode in Seward or the boats I rode to Cumberland Island in Georgia.

Part of the seats were covered by the upper deck but there was no enclosed place for the passengers (except the captain's cabin and bathroom!) if it got rainy, too cold, etc.

The boat was very stable, however, and didn't rock in the waves. It looked much safer to us than the company's low, fast, 24-foot Zodiacs that also go out on whale watches:

We got close to one of the Zodiacs when we observed the last two humpbacks, a mom and large calf.

Humpback calves stay with their mothers for only one year, although they don't fully mature until they are ten:

 

 

Humpback whales have a lifespan of 45-100 years. The ones we saw today get plenty of exercise, migrating to warmer Caribbean waters every autumn and back to the North Atlantic in the spring.

We were surprised how close the Zodiac got to this mom-calf pair. It looked like they could have turned the little boat over quite easily:

We got very close to three other humpbacks -- a solo and a pair -- but we were high enough above them that we couldn't literally reach out and touch them like the folks in the Zodiac could have.

We also saw several other whales at a distance.

THAR SHE BLOWS!

It was very cool to watch the whales "blow" (exhale), float in the water partly exposed, and show their tails when they dove back into the water:

Above and below:  it's fun to see whales "blow" but
oh, my, the air they exhale smells just awful!

 

 


Sometimes we'd just see the dorsal fins.


Often we saw half of their backs. These two look like synchronized swimmers.


I think the white part of the whale under water in the foreground is a pectoral fin.


People like us taking pictures had fun trying to catch
the flukes (tails) before they disappeared under the water.


Almost missed this one before it disappeared.


My favorite fluke shots are the ones with water coming off the tail.

We didn't see any whales "breach" (jump part or all of the way out of the water and splash back in). We did see porpoises and dolphins doing that in the distance. 

The tide was coming in this morning so we were interested to see how fast the water moves through both passages -- pretty fast in as well as out. High tide occurred about 11:15 AM while we were out in the bay. It was still fairly high (higher than 8-9 AM) when we got back to the dock.

 

Above and below:  the Northern Light lighthouse (the light is on) and
Coast Guard station on Northern Point at the Fundy Bay entrance to Grand Passage

 


Heading into Grand Passage after passing the lighthouse


Coming back into scenic Westport Harbor

After the cruise we didn't hang around either Brier or Long Island to do any other sight-seeing. We caught the next set of ferries and got back to Whale Cove Campground by mid-afternoon.

We relaxed at the campground and got ourselves and the vehicles ready to leave in the morning for a two-day drive to Prince Edward Island, which is also brand new to us.

Next entrythe drive to PEI and information about Pine Hills RV Park near Charlottetown

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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