Our second day in Cheticamp began with a drive through dense fog up the Cabot Trail to the tip of Cape Breton just past Ingonish to a small inlet, Meat Cove, where we boarded a real Nova Scotian fishing boat to whale watch. We drove for an hour and a half and the closer we came to our destination, the more the fog lifted and the sun shone.
Our captain, Cyril was a real comic, showing us how to use a life vest like he was a steward on an airplane, then dropping a single vest in the middle of the boat saying, “you’ll all have to fight over it if we go down.” The rest appeared shortly after and he actually brought sunscreen to share with everyone. We should have taken the hint, because we all got a bit of a sunburn from two hours on the water during the sunniest day of our trip.
We pulled out of port and into the open water of the Atlantic ocean, but close enough to shore to avoid large swells. Along the rocky coast, our co-pilot spotted a bald eagle and binoculars were passed around so we could all get a close-up view of the majestic bird on it’s nest.
Out in the Atlantic the boat would speed up, then Cyril and his copilot would spot something on the horizon, change course, then stop the motor and wait. In several minutes the whales surfaced and we heard them push water and air from their blowholes with a tremendous whoosh.
They came close to the boat, swam under us, and stopped to look.
The co-pilot was a marine biology student who had been tracking the pilot whales and they had even named the members of each pod. The particular pod had two baby pilot whales who rode closely along side their mother trying desperately to keep up.
After several turns of following the whales and finding another pod, Cyril drove us to a sheltered cove along shore. The views were like a journey through time to the jurassic age.
Jellyfish filled the water, white, and orange, and yellow water flowers that floated and swam in a greenish hued water. Cormorants danced on rocks and squawked at our approach.
We sped once more back to shore and spotted several seals along the way, but they were too shy and swam away as soon as we approached. It was truly one of the most remarkable experiences we have ever had.