On Monday, we went down to Ingonish along the coast and had a trip on a small trawler for a whale watching adventure. We were out for two and a half hours and saw minke whales and harbour seals. It was a perfect afternoon, with bright sunshine and a nice calm ocean! It was quite a sight to see the whales and hear them breathing through their blow holes as they surfaced.
Tuesday was more leisurely with another visit to the beach. I still could not believe that such a spectacular beach was deserted ~ there was no-one else there.
On Wednesday, we drove south to Sydney for essential car maintenance (oil change) before our long drive back to Ontario. On our way to Sydney, we came around a bend in the road and found a male moose standing in the middle of the carriageway. He was about 7 feet tall to his shoulders and wighed about 1,000 pounds (Paul's estimate). I'm told that he was a 'baby' as fully grown; he would be a lot bigger!
We went on to Baddeck, which is on the Bras d'Or Lake; a majestic inland sea on Cape Breton. Baddeck has a beautiful harbour with pretty cottages along the shore. The drive back to our cottage took about an hour and a half and involved a crossing via a cable-ferry, which took about three minutes (the crossing was very short), but saved a long drive around the Bay. The journey was around tree-covered mountains of mixed/boreal forest: in places, the road clings to the side of the mountains, with sheer drops down to the Ocean.
We drove through fog as we made the long climb up Cape Smokey and discovered that this part of the Island had been wet for most of the afternoon while we had been in the sunshine.
Thursday saw us back at Cheticamp for fresh bread and supplies. The drive along the Cabot Trail is very scenic with breathtaking views out across the various bays and the Ocean. We managed to find the sun, as the eastern side of the Island was in the mist again that morning; while the west was enjoying bright sunshine and warm sea breezes.
When we got back to our cottage the sun came out and we spent the afternoon visiting Neil's Harbour, a small fishing village just south of where we stayed. We spotted two bald eagles fishing from the rocks of the Bay: they drew quite a crowd as more tourists stopped to see what everyone was looking at.
It was such a beautiful place that we knew that it would be hard to leave. We knew that Cape Breton and the Ocean had a strong magnetism. As I ended this post, it was almost 6pm and we were waiting for our eagle to appear...