Sunday, July 17, 2011
Last night at our shindig the owner of our campground told us about a smaller whale tour operator that runs out of Bauline East on the Southern Shore called Colberts Whales and Puffin tour. He called his buddy to tell him we were coming and to see if the fog was lifted down on the coast. He told us to it more than likely be clear by the afternoon, however his 2:00 run was full to come at 12:30 or 3:30. We opted for the 3:30 tour and we are so glad we did. When we arrived the 2:00 p.m. tour was just loading, so we talked to Captain Keith to make sure they were seeing whales before we reserved a spot.
They have seen them on all the previous trips of the day, so we should still be in luck, but he can’t guarantee. His tour price is half of what all the other operators charge, he has a much smaller boat, can only take about 15 people, which is what we wanted. We didn’t want to be elbow to elbow with 75 of our closest friends. The previous tour arrived back shortly after 3:00 and we were underway b 3:20. There was one other person on our tour with us and she was friends with him and went out regularly to watch the whales. OMG it was so amazing, we could run from side to side, front to back to get a good look of the whales wherever they appeared. This was going to be amazing as long as the whales co-operate.
The ocean had 6 foot swells which Amanda wasn’t real sure about, but we were only out 5 minutes and we saw our first whale, which immediately took her mind off the swells, and she was running from side to side no problem. You want to talk about 3 excited people you should have been on that boat and seen the Dickinson’s. There it is over there, OMG there’s another one, look there’s a third one. Look over there, their coming up again, WOW look there’s the fluke. I thought for sure Amanda was going to jump out of the boat she was so excited. I am pretty sure my heart stopped beating when they would surface right beside the boat, we could have almost touched them they were so close, and then they would spout. OMG what a rush! One thing we didn’t realize is how much they smell when they spout, it was horrid. Several times we were right downwind when they spouted and we got the stinky whale spray right in our faces. YUK!!!! We chased these 3 whales around the bay for 1 ½ it was incredible.
Keith said this was the best showing of the day, they were just playing and rolling around, waving at us with their flippers.
We thought we were excited seeing them from the shore, that was nothing compared to this. I just can’t find the words to describe this experience. Keith then took us over to Bird Island where we could get a close look at all the nesting seagulls and puffins, there was even a pair of bald eagles sitting up on the top of the cliff. The cliff had a skelton face which we went up to see, and it just happened to be a tunnel that went inside the hill. Keith turned the boat around and backed inside the tunnel about 50 feet it was awesome. It was actually raining inside the tunnel. Keith was a lot fun, we were joking with him lots, and spent a lot of time in the back with us, while the boat just cruised along. When we got too far away from the whales he would jump back in the captains chair and get us closer to them again. On the way back into port Doug even became the captain. He was pretty nervous, as we was used to being the captain of a much smaller boat, in waters he knows and certainly not in 6 foot swells. We would certainly not have had this same experience on the larger tours. As well our tour was only supposed to be one hour we were out there for more than 2 hours. He gave us a discount because we knew Bob. We tipped him handsomely and it was still way less than what we would have paid on the larger tours.
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