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Whale Watching in Nova Scotia

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Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy in Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada

In August of this year, I had one of the most amazing wild life experiences of my life. I went whale watching in Nova Scotia, Canada, and was lucky to witness multiple humpback whales playing, flipping their tails, spraying water, making noises, jumping out of the water, right in front of my eyes.  I especially could not believe my luck to witness whales breaching several times on my first whale watching trip ever!

whale jumping, whale breaching, whale tale, travel to Canada, Brier Island, Nova Scotia

I have researched extensively about the best whale watching tours in Nova Scotia, where one would be guaranteed to see the whales, and the one place that consistently came up with great ratings was whale watching tours in Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy in Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Brier Island was quite a way (4-hour drive) from Halifax where we were staying, but you are basically guaranteed to see whales if you go to Brier Island vs. going to other places near Halifax.

whale tale, humpback whale, travel, vacation, Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy in Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada

There are several whale watching tour boats operating in Brier Island, and the one we took was Petit Passage – super professional, fun crew. The office of Petit Passage Whale Watch Tour is housed in the Petit Passage Cafe, where you arrive for your tour and to pick up your reserved tickets and then they direct you where to board the boat (right around the corner). We arrived an hour in advance, and were able to have some great lobster rolls before whale watching. It’s a great lunch spot for before or after the whale watching.  After we boarded the boat, it took about 30 minutes for the boat (with us and other passengers on board) to reach the whale feeding grounds, and then we spent 2 hours circling around several known feeding grounds watching whales playing, flipping tails, jumping out of the water, swimming, spraying water – doing something almost non-stop.  We saw so many tails flipping, I lost count.  I am only posting the best tail flipping photos, but there are many more.

whale tail, whale breaching, humpback whale, Brier Island whale watching, things to do in Canada in the Summer

After watching multiple whales flip their tails continuously, I was stunned when they started breaching water right in front of us. It was happening so fast, I was lucky to have my camera ready at the right moments to capture some good photos in action:

whale breaching, humpback whale, Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy in Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Whale tail, whale breaching into the ocean, Brier Island whales, Canada travel, Canada Summer

Whale Watching in Nova Scotia, things to do in the Summer in Canada

We saw mother whale and calf (more than one pair) swimming and playing together quite a few times, it’s was beautiful and mind-calming to watch:

whales playing, swimming together in the ocean, Brier Island, Nova Scotia

The crew told us that the tails of many whales are black on the inside, but if we happened to take a picture of a patterned tail, then they would be able to tell us the name of the whale.

Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy in Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada

This is the only patterned tail that I was able to capture, and the crew said that this tail belongs to the whale with the name Badge. 🙂  So, please, meet the Badge:

back of the tail, humpback whale Nova Scotia, badge

If I remember correctly, a tail with a pattern like that (the photo below) belongs to a young whale whose tail is not completely formed yet, and this tail will evolve to be either black or have distinct pattern like the one Badge has.

whale tail, whale watching in Canada

I really enjoyed watching beautiful humpback whales in their natural habitat – it’s an experience I definitely want to repeat. Now that I am spoiled by Brier Island, I might just have to come back here again!

travel to Canada, Summer vacation



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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • TonyD September 26, 2016, 7:22 am

    Wow, great pictures !

  • Linda J September 26, 2016, 11:32 am

    Oh Julia, I am mesmerized by these photos. I can only dream about such an experience. I thank you so very much for sharing. I would love, I mean LOVE to see more if you would care to share them. What a life changing event this must have been!

  • alice henry September 26, 2016, 8:44 pm

    thanks for sharing GREAT pics just like your recipes!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress) September 28, 2016, 7:06 pm


    I adore whales, and all things oceanic in general, and it seriously looks magical.

  • Kevin | Keviniscooking October 11, 2016, 6:58 pm

    These are incredible photographs of humpbacks! This was the perfect way to take a break so thank you Julia! 🙂

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