Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Sound of Dolphins

Tuesday, July 26 (continued)
We drove out of Quoddy Head State Park unsure of our afternoon plans.  We were pretty sure that the fog would make whale watching impossible.  But as we drove into the town of Lubec, ME the skies turned bright blue.

We stopped in at the first* whale-watching place and were disappointed to learn that they weren't going out that day.  But they told us to definitely try at the place just a few "blocks" away.  At the second place they also told us that they weren't going out that day.  

We paused to take a few pictures of the bay and then they asked if we had our passports to cross the border because maybe there would be a group going out there.  We did and there was a tour in just a few hours so we drove across the bridge to Campobello Island, Canada.  

We stopped for a snack so that we wouldn't be hungry out on the boat then we made our way to the wharf.

The skies were still mostly sunny and bright.  But there was a bit of a dark cloud edging closer to us.  Literally, just as we were about to step onto the boat, drops of rain started to fall.  The captain said that it looked like a small shower was passing through and that he had room under the roof for all of us (there were 10 passengers) and that if we were game, he was willing to give it a try--the weather is always changing.
(We were on the blue boat.)

As we pulled away from the dock a huge curtain of fog rolled in behind the boat.

We made our way out past Head Harbour Lighthouse and into the Bay of Fundy as the skies opened.  

The captain explained that the way to find whales is to find the dolphins and the way to find the dolphins is to find the sea gulls.  The dolphins herd the herring into a dark mass below the surface of the water.  The huge group of fish attracts the gulls and the whales.  

As he was talking he pointed out the dark cloud in the water and the swarms of sea gulls and then the dolphins started leaping out of the water all around it.

The rain suddenly stopped and we were surrounded by puffting dolphins on all sides.  It was SO cool.

It wasn't long before someone spied the first minke whale.
(J did a great job of capturing all of the whale pictures.)

We kept our eyes on the water and the ever-changing sky.

 And then we watched a minke whale burst out of the water.




Between the sky and the whales we didn't know where to look.

The captain mentioned that you can smell the whales because they have bad breath.  We totally thought he was joking...until we smelled it!  He said that some have terrible breath and some don't and that the smell can help you know which way to look to find one.  Crazy.

The view of the lighthouse was never the same.

 (They liked to pretend to drive the boat.)

The water was so peaceful.  (We also saw a jellyfish and some krill floating in the water.)

At one point, we were nearly overtaken by pirates. ;)

Fog rolled in and out.

On the way back to the dock the captain pointed out a (juvenile) bald eagle.

After an amazing evening on the water we stopped in Lubec for dinner before making the almost two-hour drive to our hotel for the night.

Our afternoon felt like such a gift.  What an amazing experience to be close enough to hear the dolphins and to smell the whales in such an astoundingly beautiful place. 


Acadia/Quebec Trip Posts


*All of the people we met that afternoon were so helpful and kind.

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