We booked a couple of hours with the O’Brien Boys Boat Tours at Bay Bulls to see birds and whales to celebrate our Patron, Saint St John the Baptist. Outstanding! By far the warmest day of our trip, and we wore T-shirts. But by the time we cleared the headlands, we were back to our winter coats and woollen tuques! Many, many thousands of puffins and other sea birds on our way out to the open sea. Then the fun started. Saw 20 or 30 whales, including humpbacks and minke, both babies and adults. Tail flipping and breaching all over the place. Hard for Sylvia to take pictures with her long lenses, but got some ok shots. Many oohs and awes from even the crew: good Newfie music and one screeching-in ceremony. Despite less than-good weather, we have now seen the bergs, birds and whales, which was the goal for the trip. Mission accomplished, but not great shots, very difficult to take from a boat swaying back and forth.
Continued on the Irish Loop towards Trepassy. Whole change of topography. Flat, barren and windswept. Beautiful but isolated. Too bad the Irish didn’t have better road-building skills, as the potholes were as bad as Westmount’s! Checked in at The Edge of the Avalon Inn (edge being the keyword here) in Trepassy and then decided to check out St Vincent’s 40 km away, where the caplin hang out in the millions and actually come onto the beach. Water drops off very fast at the beach, so the whales follow the caplin right into shore. This is a major viewing centre, and as described by our hosts at the Inn in Trepassy, the ‘feeding frenzy’ at St Vincent’s beach is ongoing and a must-see – great reports from other Guests yesterday. Hope springs eternal, so we drove off in clear skies, but as we rounded the peninsula, clear skies turned to thick fog. Undeterred, given our recent experiences with wind, rain and fog up the northern peninsula, we pressed on. Found the beach, but WTH? There were only two other vehicles there. Did somebody know something we didn’t know? Never mind, we put our winter gear on and bent into the cold wind off the North Atlantic as we struggled down the beach, always mindful of the myriad of Waring Signs that were posted at the parking lot, e.g., Beware of Ocean, Go at Your Own Risk. Dangerous Rip Tides, you could be swept out to sea and drown! Waves were pretty high, so Glenn kept checking out to the sides and behind to be sure no sneaky rogue wave had crept up behind us to deliver us as bait to the lurky whales who were waiting to start a feeding frenzy (see above). Survived the five minutes on the beach and decided to call it quits as the fog became thicker.
A 30-minute drive back on A-IL, aka the Irish Loop Autoroute, brought us back to Trepassy in time for dinner and much deserved bed. Agreed that should we awaken early, we would head back to a possible feeding frenzy in the morning – which we did; please see June 25 post.
"One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time."
~ Annie Leibovitz