賞鯨 Whale Watching @ Cape Breton, NS (RIP My D90)
位於 Nova Scotia 東邊的 Cape Breton 國家公園一直是著名的賞鯨勝地, 當地的賞鯨團甚至標榜著100% 看到鯨魚的保證, 沒看到鯨魚還全數把錢退還給你. 千里迢迢來到Cape Breton 當然不能錯過賞鯨的機會. 在 Lantern Hill & Hollow 休息充足後，我們往西邊開去看鯨魚嚕。
Cape Breton Island is famous for Whale Watching. The local tour company even advertise 100% guarantee otherwise full refund. After a good night’s rest at Lantern Hill & Hollow, we drove west to Pleasant Bay to see the whales.
賞鯨船基本上有兩種, 一種是雙層漁船(Double Decker), 另一種是高速氣墊船(Zodiac) . 行程前的研究了很久，大部分人都說高速氣墊船可以比較近距離的看鯨魚, 有的人甚至說比漁船更平穩. 於是我們選了位於島的西北角 Pleasant Bay 的 Wesley’s Whale Watching. 打電話預約有30%的折扣. 一個人加幣 $31.40. 跟溫哥華$70-$80又沒有看到鯨魚的保證比起來實在是太便宜。他的高速氣墊船可以坐上12個人, 我們這趟總共剛好是12人. 一個family遠從歐洲來的, 另一個從BC來的, 剩下一對年輕的Couple說不想坐在船頭怕暈, 我們也就不疑有它呆呆坐到最前面去啦! 結果真的是的令人難忘阿 -_-
There are two different kinds of boats for Whale Watching. One is a Double Decker Vessel, which is bigger and sails smoother. The other one is Zodiac; it travels much faster and seasickness is less likely on this type of vessel since the pontoons prevent the rolling motion. We had chosen Wesley’s Whale Watching located at Pleasant Bay because of the 30% off promotion if you call ahead to make a reservation. We paid $31.40 per person, (much cheaper than the whale watching tour which costs about $70-80 per person in Vancouver.) Since they have such a high success rate, the tour company offers guaranteed whale sightings or money back!
The Zodiac fits 12 people. We have exactly 12 in our group. People from all over the world come here to see the whales. There is a family of 4 who come from Europe, a couple from BC, and of course we are from Toronto. We are the last one to board the Zodiac, and unfortunately we ended up sitting at the very front. Oh my, what a wet bumpy ride -_- The rear seats are reserved for older people as they are much less bouncy.
Pleasant Bay 顧名思義應該是個很風平浪靜的港灣, 沒想到坐上了船, 船長Tony 賊賊的說這今天會是一個 Wet Ride, 話說完沒等大家反應過來船就射出去了. 出港灣不到一分鐘, 我真的就了解到船長不是開玩笑的, 而且我跟理查又坐在船頭, 船在破浪的時候, 海水一波一波的湧進來, 不到3分鐘內全船的人已經是從頭濕到腳，尖叫聲不斷， 顛波到我們都死命的抓著扶手怕被甩出去，我生平第一次喝了那麼多海水，又鹹又苦，不是開玩笑的。就像是飛機碰到超級亂流，整個身體彈起來又掉到座位上，只是冰冷的海水波得全身溼透，雖然艷陽高照，可是在高速行使下海風還是吹的我們簌簌發抖。 理查一邊要用身體努力的保護相機, 一邊還要扶住眼鏡-_-, 又一邊安慰我說到外海應該會好一點，結果根本沒差, 事後才知道那天早上碰到了一個暴風雨的鋒面, 雖然暴風圈還沒到, 但是海上的風浪真的是大到很恐怖。
Our Zodiac captain is Tony. The boat shoots out like a spear before he finishes announcing that it’s going to be a WET RIDE. No kidding, within three minutes we were all drenched in cold and salty sea water. Everyone is screaming and trying to hold on to the rails for dear life. It is totally thrilling but we are truly scared at the same time. Richard is trying to protect our D70 Nikon camera but only in vain. The ride was extremely wet and bumpy, and we had no cover for our camera. After a few shots the camera just died completely. Only a month old…. RIP our D90. These are the last pictures the camera took.
Tony船長不斷的跟另一艘漁船溝通尋找鯨魚所在地, 船在海面上衝刺了20-30分鐘 正當我們都覺得骨頭都要散了, 突然間, 終於在遠遠的海面上看到很像是海豚或是鯊魚的影子在海面上跳躍, 於是船長馬上掉頭追了過去, 一直到我們的船在一群鯨魚中滑行, 一隻隻大大小小的鯨魚們再船身不到一公尺以外的地方跟你追逐嬉戲, 這種近距離接觸的感覺真的是令人驚嘆! 我們看到的是屬於體型比較小的Pilot Whales, 基本上跟Killer Whales很像, 黑黑的身體, 尖尖的背鰭, 扁扁的額頭, 真的好可愛. 船長說牠們最愛魷魚，有時候魷魚多的時候可以引來100多隻的鯨魚一起覓食。
While the Zodiac is speeding at a high speed, Captain Tony remains in communication with another boat to locate the whereabouts of the Whales. We are about 20-30 minutes out of the harbour when we spot some whales jumping out the water. Lots of pilot whales! Some are large and some are small, and they were just playing and jumping around us freely. To see these wonderful creatures up close was truly amazing. Pilot Whales are dark grey or black in colour, with a white stripe behind each eye. They are so cute with their pot-shaped head and long fins. They are sometimes called the ‘pothead’ whales, because their head remind people of the large inside of the old-fashioned cooking pots. They like to travel in groups together, as the bonds between family members are very strong. The whales like to jump out of the water when it’s raining because it’s warmer above the sea. And they love squids. When the warm current brings the squids over, there would be hundreds of whales feeding in the area.
下了船以後 我們都有命少了半條的感覺，看看旁邊漂亮的歐洲美眉裝都花了一大半。大家都是一付狼狽的落水狗樣，身上的瘀青應該都不少。我扭到手，而理查是撞到尾椎，大家的全身痠痛 >;;.<;; (說真的我很驚訝船身沒有解體)
不過因為浪頭實在太大, 基本上理查是單手拿著相機隨便的拍攝, 有一種拿著D90 在跟大海博命的感覺, 在奮戰了100多張照片以後, 突然相機的 LCD 螢幕一陣亂碼, 然後跟隨我們不到一個月的 Nikon D90 就光榮陣亡了~ (淚奔) … 上面是 D90 臨死前的最後幾張照片 ! RIP ! Our D90 !
The next day when we were chatting with the B&B owners, they said their cousin owned the other tour company called Captain Mark’s Whale and Seal Cruise. Their boats are better and the rides are smoother. Since customers sit at the back of the boat, you don’t get soaking wet like we did. If we have gone with Captain Mark our camera would probably still be functioning right now. We took a look at the Tripadvisor and found out Captain Mark does have the highest rating among the whale watching companies. We should have talked to the locals before we went for the tours… Anyhow, it was still an amazing experience, and now we will be more prepared next time around.
Whale Watching Season: July – September