Thursday, October 27, 2016

Whale Watching - Cape Breton, Nova Scotoa


The Zodiac boat at Captain Mark's.
When your kid has a favourite marine biologist you pretty much have to go whale watching when you are in the Maritimes.   We went with Captain Mark's out of Pleasant Bay in Cape Breton and it was great. I wasn't sure what to expect and I prepared the kids that the weather or conditions might mean that we wouldn't see any whales and would maybe have to settle for a nice boat ride but it turns out I shouldn't have worried because we saw dozens of whales. Some of them almost close enough to touch.   If you are lucky you will see Humpbacks but even on a not great day you will see tons of Pilot whales which will be enough to satisfy most kids. 
I took this picture with a little point and shoot camera. The whale was probably about 20 feet away from our boat.
I highly recommend going for the Zodiac option. It is a small boat that looks like a giant life raft that holds about 12 people or so and it allows you to get very close to the whales and dolphins. Captain Mark will also make it jump the waves for you if you are so inclined (my kids were!)  The whole two hour tour was filled with the sounds of my kids gasping in wonder, shouting "there's one!", and laughing at the antics of whales and seals. We saw big whales, little whales, groups of whales. You name it.  We also saw lots of seals on our whale watching trip which was a big hit with the kids.
Cpt. Mark pulled up a lobster trap for us to check out. My daughter isn't too
sure what to make of this lobster.
The tours aren't cheap - $55 for an adult and $35 for a kid but they were worth every penny for my family.

Things to keep in mind:

  • There is also a Whale Interpretive Centre (i.e. a museum) right by Captain Mark's. It has bathrooms and computers that are free to use.  They also have a great gift shop with all sorts of whale and dolphin stuff.  
  • There are no restaurants or anything near by so bring snacks and a drink. 
  • There is plenty of free parking.


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