We saw a humpback whale breach in the distance and considered that spectacular display a fine reward for our journey across the Bay of Fundy.
We all applauded with glee and readied ourselves for the journey home, thinking that was the show we’d all come to see.
It turned out to be just the opening act. One by one, more whales appeared and, miraculously to us, they made their way toward our boat. We held our breaths in awe as one swam directly under us.
Then, another arrived and the air felt like magic as we watched them play.
I thought I saw a large bull wink as he floated by and waved a snow white flipper at us.
“Well, hello there friend,” I said as I merrily clicked away.
I am a theatre mom and very familiar with mammals who come to life in the spotlight. These giant, goofy whales seemed exactly like that.
“Look at me!” they seemed to shout as they rolled and dove. “Over here!”
We leaned out as one poked its enormous head out and blew water from its snout with a loud, almost prehistoric bellow. Another surfaced and the two performed a duet so graceful they seemed like sleek dancers rather than 35-ton behemoths.
Our boat and all of its human passengers stilled ourselves as best we could to enjoy the view through a briefly open window into a subaquatic world.
Even our guides thrilled to the site of all those whales frolicking right alongside our boat.
“If you’ve never been whale watching before, you can never go again,” our guide said. “Because you’re probably never going to see anything like this.”
We learned that whales like to migrate to the Bay of Fundy because its unique tide pattern creates a veritable feast of squid, krill, herring, pollock and mackerel. We also enjoyed our migration to the Bay of Fundy for its delicious seafood, especially the scallops.
So, we had a lot in common, those big old whales and us humans, and we bonded on that unseasonably warm afternoon.
I like to think they felt our admiration as they swam away, high-finning themselves for another great show.