Back in the U.S. of A! (or A Fish Tale)

Trip Start Aug 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 07, 2010

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Where I stayed
The International Motel

Flag of United States  , Maine
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Epic Road Trip Day 12 – 8/31/2010

Miles Driven : 220                           
Miles on a Ferry: 45

Last night was a long one. We went to bed hoping to get up at 5am and try to make it to Digby for the 8am ferry.  That would have allowed us to get to Acadia National Park in Maine and put us a day ahead in our schedule.  Dreams of Boston Crème Pie in Boston danced in our heads.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. We learned the hard way that it was completely necessary to put a second round of air into the new, big mattress before bed. As the air temperature gets cooler, more air is needed. Without it, we spent most of the night folded up like burritos. Being a burrito is uncomfortable.

What didn’t help was all of the strange night noises. At one point, a Chihuahua and a raccoon went ten rounds outside our tent before something clubbed the raccoon and then took the Chihuaua home. At least that’s what we told ourselves happened. It was probably that ambushing moose, a bear and a pack of coyotes arguing about the best way to break into our tent. Seriously, since that moose ambushed us, we’ve been jumping at everything that goes bump in the night.

When 5am rolled around, I realized my mistake. In the Atlantic Time Zone, the sun doesn’t rise until 6:20. It was very dark out still. We decided that making the ferry wasn’t important enough to break camp in the middle of the night after restless sleep. The coyotes howling over the next hour convinced us that we made the right decision.

We were on the road to Digby by 8am and checked in for the 4pm ferry around 10. We were placed on a waiting list and told to be back by 3 to see if they could fit us on. Ugh! I was not interested in driving the 600 km that the ferry was going to save us.  We spent the afternoon driving along the coast, thinking that we may have missed some good stuff by driving the southern coast of Nova Scotia to get there. Turns out, we didn’t miss much. All the cool stuff is in the far east along the Cape Breton coastline.

We made it back to the ferry terminal at 3pm and our luck changed! We were able to get on the ferry for our 3 hour tour across the Bay of Fundy to St. Johns, New Brunswick. After we parked our little car onto the boat along with dozens of other cars and about 10 big rigs (impressive!), we headed upstairs to find a seat for our trip.  Once we passed out of Digby Harbor, there wasn’t much to look at.

That is, until I saw the whale! Remembering my promise to my coworker, Bryce, to catch a whale, I frantically looked around for a harpoon. My search took me deep into the bowels of the ship where I found a weapons locker. Lucky for me, they had a harpoon! I grabbed it and some fishing line and headed back to where Denise sat. I tied the fishing line to the harpoon and waited for the great beast to show himself again.

Spotting his spout, I yelled "Thar she blows!" to no one in particular, just to set the mood.  I then reared back and launched the harpoon into the sky. The shot was a hundred yards if it was an inch, but the harpoon raced unerringly through the sky. I had judged the wind, the speed of the boat, and the roll of the waves expertly.  The harpoon buried itself in the whale’s blubber and caused it to roll to its right and dive for the ocean floor immediately. My fishing line started to play out. I had caught a whale! It was then that I realized my error. The fishing line I had grabbed was just ten pound line. This whale was a site more than ten pounds. The line snapped a second later and the hunt was over. I had failed. Sorry Bryce!

The rest of the trip across was uneventful. We collected our car and made a beeline for the border. We were heading back to the States! They let us in (their mistake, I’m sure) and we stopped in a little town called Calais, Maine.  Now it is time to catch up on some sleep and start the second part of our trip here in the U.S. of A.

p.s. Part of this story was just an old fish tale. No whales were harmed in the writing of this entry.
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Bryce Darling on

Catch and release whaling is what it's all about.

Sue Brander on

For just a moment there I thought you were serious..... I wondered why would you want to harpoon a whale and why would they let you? hahahaha Got me.

Sally on

I have been enjoying your travels & writing! I was a bit worried over the fish tale too. Anyways, you've got my wheels turning a bunch. Even looking forward to retirement more than ever!

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