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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Whale of a Good Time in St. John

The next stop on our cruise after Bar Harbor was St. John, Canada.  They welcomed us with bagpipes, a rose for each woman and a pin for each man entering their city.   It was in St. John that we would embark on our water/wildlife excursion on the Bay of Fundy, known worldwide for its 50' tides and as the cause of the Reversing Falls.

  I should probably mention that I took this photo hanging over our balcony railing!


The Bay of Fundy at 11:00 AM

The Bay of Fundy an hour and a half later


We saw three fin whales -- the second largest species of whales.  Each citing began with the gulls in a feeding frenzy (much like our first lunch buffet on board (had these people never seen food before???)) and pilot dolphins 'herding' huge schools of herring.

The whale breaches sideways, mouth agape to capture as many herring (and the occasional gull) as it can.  See the baleen plates on its underbelly?

These photos, taken without a zoom lens, do not do justice to what we saw. At one point we were surrounded by three whales, myriad pilot porpoise, and several 400-500 pound blue fin tuna.  The latter were so quick that we couldn't get a photo.

Our excursion boat:
 
And finally, Compobello Island on the Bay of Fundy, vacation home of FDR

16 comments:

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I would love to watch whales. I bet they are fascinating.
I can see why the Bay of Fundy is known for its tides.

Deb said...

OK...I didn't get to take this part of the trip! This sounds amazing, and your pictures are impressive even without the help of a zoom lens. Interesting perspective on the welcoming committee in the first picture!

Linda Reeder said...

What an amazing experience you had!

Jay said...

That looks like so much fun. Going whale watching is on my list of things to do before I die.

Jules said...

I'm so enjoying living vicariously!! And yes, you are my mental stimulation.. Thanks for that.

OH by the way, I've yet to recieve your postcard. Is that crazy? I've been looking forward to it.

Kimberly said...

That's an awfully little boat to be going out to meet the second largest species of whale! Great pictures and posts though. :D

Gilly said...

Those whales are fantastic! Looks like a really exciting excursion. I've always wanted to go to that part of Canada - maybe sometime!

Purple Flowers said...

I agree, whale watching is bigger than life. Absolutely amazing that something that huge will swim alongside the boat. Glad you had a great time!

Happyone :-) said...

Wow, I'd love to see whales like that.
Amazing about the tides!!

Lena said...

Awesome photos. I have never seen whales! It was amazing about the tides.

Maggie said...

What a really wonderful trip that was. Someday I need to go to those spots too.

RYN: 12 units....as in 12 units a semester. An example: I took three units of Biology, another 3 of life drawing, a water color class for another 3, and a mid level history class for another 3 units. Hope that answers your question. :)

Cheryl said...

Love your pictures. Would have loved to see all that in person. I saw so many whales in Cape Cod last year. Surreal, isn't it?

jane said...

your trip looks wonderful! hey! and stay away from the railings... ok? ;)

Don said...

What a fun trip!

Amy said...

These photos are beautiful! What an amzing whale watching trip you had! The detail in the photo of the one' whale exposing is belly is fantastic. You received quite a welcome at St. John!
It looks like a really great stop on your cruise, Kathy!

~ Amy

Cobalt Violet said...

Oh Kathy how wonderful!
I have seen whales at a huge distance where someone said ... did you see that tiny dark spot way out there? but never so close! So exciting! Hopefully I will have better luck if I ever go whale watching again!