Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's a TeamBuyer Life for Me: Part 2

Missed Part 1? Read up here! I was really looking forward to Part 2 of my adventure because it involved something I have always wanted to do: whale watching. Yes, I grew up in Nova Scotia and have never been whale watching. I know, crazy right? What can I say, just never had the opportunity!

Anyway, the boy and I finally did and we headed down to the waterfront on a Sunday morning armed with our TeamBuy coupon! Luckily, the weather was beautiful - bright and sunny - and really, that is half of the enjoyment of the experience. This is one activity you do NOT want to do on a foggy day.  

Me and Theodore Tugboat! Views from the boat as we sailed out, and me and the boy
I was really impressed with the staff on the boat - from the moment we left the wharf they provided friendly commentary about Halifax and its marine heritage. They told us facts I didn't even know about (yes, as I already said I grew up here)! The whole trip really made me look at my city with new eyes - literally, because it is rare to see it from that view in the water, and figuratively through all the little-known information I picked up. 

For example, I had no idea that George's Island was the home to a variety of snake species, including one that cannot be found anywhere in the world! Weird, huh? Especially considering it is an island...I mean, how did the snakes get there? Maybe I'm a dummy, but that was my first thought. (For those of you that have no idea what George's Island is, you can find out here). They also told us that the largest lobster ever caught was found just off our coast in the 1970's - he weighed in at a whopping 44 lbs! Eek. They also brought up a lobster trap at one point and told us interesting facts and stories about lobsters and their history in NS, and fed some seagulls on the way back. 

It was nice that they offered distractions other than the whales because we did not actually see any. Not one. This was disappointing, but honestly I had heard from a couple of friends that they had not seen any whales either so I expected it. However, considering other people told me they did not see whales either, I am guessing actual whale sightings are few and far between on these tours and that is pretty bad considering that's the whole point of the tour.

We did see the backs of a few porpoises, so the watching was not entirely wasted, but the periods where the staff were not providing commentary or activities were sort of boring. If it were not for the beautiful day, which allowed us lovely views of the shore and other boats to enjoy during staff breaks, this boat ride would not have been worth the cost. I realize you can't conjure creatures from the deeps at will, and whether or not whales show themselves is completely up to luck for the most part, but for $40 I would be expecting to see more than I did.

Various views of the land from the boat
It was cool to see the city from the water, and the entire coast outward to the sea. It was a new perspective, which is sometimes nice. The top photo in the collage below is the main part of the Halifax waterfront (and probably the view you see most on postcards for the city - you can see part of the MacDonald Bridge on the right side). The glass-front building in the middle photo is our new Farmer's Market, which is a beautiful building! The whole Seaport area is great for shopping and walking. As you can see in the bottom photo, there was a huge cruise ship in dock the day we went to sea - since Halifax is such a major port, we get a lot of cruise ships visiting here.

The sky looked beautiful with big fluffy white clouds and bright, vivid blue. I took lots of photos of the sky!

Even though we didn't see any whales, it was still an enjoyable boat ride for a summer afternoon.  I would recommend Murphy's for the great staff alone. Just don't take this tour expecting to see whales because you will probably end up disappointed.

*All photos by me


Jwerb1 said...

Nice work!! I miss the water...especially like you say on a bright sunny day.

Kim Humes said...

I LOVE the water! One of my favourite things about living here - I don't think I could ever live too far from the ocean

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