Day 9 |
Aug 23, 2008

Bay of Lundy, Nova Scotia, Canada

By Susan Langley, Historian

Weather: Chilly in the morning with some wind, but sunny and clear all day; warm in the afternoon

Co-ordinates: 44° 45.2' N, 66° 55.9'W

Despite the early morning chill, many of us were on deck to enjoy the colorful sunrise. As we passed the South Ledge at the entrance to the Bay of Fundy, we stood, binoculars at the ready, to watch for whales. Although their spouts were spotted almost immediately, they were fairly distant, so Captain Roche and his staff maneuvered the ship slowly along some submerged ridges and soon humpbacks were all around the vessel. As we moved through the area, we also saw a fin whale and some minke whales, a grey seal and dolphins but humpbacks dominated. We had several close encounters including breaching and fin slapping, but the best was when a large humpback remained off the port side and spouted, breached and rolled slapping a fin repeatedly and then slapping both fins before diving dramatically showing the flashes of white on the underside of its tail flukes.

While it may be argued that the whales were the stars of the day, the birders among us were delighted to view thousands of red phalaropes, great shearwaters and Wilson’s storm-petrels, and even migrating ruby-throated hummingbirds! In addition, a northern harrier dropped his lunch, a Wilson’s storm-petrel, on the aft deck.

After lunch we relaxed in the various lounges and library aboard the Prince Albert II until teatime when we gathered in the Panorama Lounge to listen to Daryl’s fine musical renditions of everyone’s favorite songs. Shortly after, Camille provided a show of her photographs from other expeditions in The Theatre before we retired to dress for the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party and Dinner. The cocktail hour was enlivened by the Captain’s humor and warm introduction of the crew and staff; then we all drifted down to The Restaurant for one of our final opportunities to enjoy its superlative cuisine.

While some of use retired to start thinking about our arrival tomorrow at Gloucester, Massachusetts, our first U.S. port, others headed to the Panorama Lounge for more music and perhaps a nightcap. We were all happy to hear that we gain an extra hour of sleep tonight, but everyone would prefer to reflect on the fine whale watching today than to think about packing or flights home.