Vacation - 7 of 8

Today’s schedule revolved around one adventure — a whale watch. We’d only been on one prior to this, but it had been such a great experience that we anticipated more of the same, especially considering the reputation that preceded this trek.

We saw no whales. We saw no dolphins. We saw only a single puffin and a gaggle of frustrated homo sapiens.

To further illustrate the impetus of this frustration, I must briefly explain to you the amount of trouble it took to get to the location of this three hour tour’s launch. When you’re talking about Nova Scotia, you’re talking about one main island but also a series of smaller islands that are connected by bridges and sometimes ferries.

On the extreme western shore of the province there is Digby Neck (where we have been staying). If you travel all the way to the end of Digby Neck you can take a car ferry over to Long Island (not the one in New York) for four Canadian bucks. Once you’ve traversed Long Island (there’s not much to do there) you take another ferry for another four Canadian bucks over to Brier Island and that’s where the whale watch departs from.

Now, when we finally ended up on Brier Island we discovered that we had three hours to kill before the whale watch actually launched. We’ll chalk that one up to poor planning on our part. We resigned ourselves to our fate however, and we decided to do a little adventuring around the island.

The trouble with Brier Island is, there are only two main paved roads that don’t go very far and then two long dirt roads that don’t go much farther. Most of the island is a wilderness preserve.

The cool thing about Brier Island though, is that everyone knows everyone else. We stood out like a sore thumb with the dozen or so other travelers there for the whale watch, but as Stephanie and I sat in D&D’s Grill eating a seafood platter and saw the crew come in from the seafood plant next door… It was just an amazing feeling to be in the middle of such a tight-knit community. It was like a fishing village of old.

Now, the whale watch wasn’t entirely bad when it did happen. There were a couple of small children running about amusing everyone. There were several funny accents that I had fun trying to peg while eavesdropping over the roar of the engine and the crashing of the waves. And of course, there was plenty of ocean. I felt oddly at peace, at least when I wasn’t feeling like a landlubber about to hurl up his lunch.

The seas were rough and the wind was cold and we were glad to be back on land when it was over, despite the gorgeousness of the ocean. We made our way back to Nova Scotia proper, not having to plunk down any change at the ferries on the way back, and then we made our way into Digby, the nearest center of civilization to where we’re staying. We ate a restaurant overlooking the bay and the rather large pier. Stef had lobster and I had steak. More than once I told her my ancestors would be ashamed to be related to my landlubbing ass.