Well, it is my last day of exploring the east coast today - I've both sad that the adventure is coming to an end but happy to be spending time in my own bed again soon rather than sleeping on an air mattress or the fold-down dinette in the camper!
The first thing we did for the day was to check out the Suncor Energy Fluvarium, which features some exhibits on how water has shaped the features of the earth and about various aquatic species. The coolest part of the fluvarium though was that the building was built on the edge of the stream, and they dug down into the streambed and have nine large viewing windows so that you can actually see the bottom of the river and the plants and the trout that reside in this area. The area of the river that the windows look into has not been blocked off for purposes of the windows, and so all of the fish that you see are there because it is their natural habitat and they have the freedom to come and go as they please. It was kind of neat to get a different view of the river and to see the fish in there.
We decided to do a whale watching tour for the afternoon, and so after we finished at the fluvarium we headed to the harbour in St. John's so we could pick up our tickets for the tour, and wander around there for a bit until the tour started. The tour company we booked with was Dee Jay Charters. I had looked up different companies last night, and from the reviews it sounded like some of the other companies were larger boats, which means more people which means less space to move around freely on the boat to see any whales you might encounter. Other tours were about a half hour outside St. John's and we didn't feel like driving outside the city as we would rather spend that time checking out St. John's since it was my last day. One review though had said that Dee Jay's was a smaller boat and gave it a great review and so we decided to go with that one. When we were picking up our tickets, sure enough there was another whale watching tour-company that was just starting the tour and there were so many people getting on that boat (which was a larger boat, just like the reviews said). Our tour wasn't leaving for another hour or so, and so once we had our tickets we wandered for a bit and then made our way back to the dock. When we got back, there was no one else there though. We were starting to get a little nervous that the tour would be cancelled because there was no way they would take only three of us - that wouldn't even cover their costs. There was another reservation for three others, but they hadn't shown up yet. Luckily, they showed up at the last second and even though there were still only six of us total, the tour company still decided to take us on the tour!
We left the harbour and headed out past Cape Spear. Not too far past there we saw dolphins! They swam around the boat for a little and then took off. We continued towards Petty Harbour because that is where whales had been spotted earlier. After a little while we saw some blows in the water from a whale, but the whale didn't really do too much, and so the tour guide decided to keep going to see if we could find some more energetic whales. He said even though we may have seen a whale and maybe we were satisfied with that, that he wasn't turning back until he was satisfied, and he wasn`t satisfied quite yet! And so we kept going, which was the right decision. We happened to see a mother and a calf humpback and they put on more of a show, showing off their tails and more blows. And then they even breached! It was pretty cool to see! At that point, the tour operator was satisfied and we headed back into the harbour at St. John`s. I must give a shout out to Dee Jay Charters - because they weren`t ready to turn back until they were satisfied, our 2.5 hour tour turned into almost a 3.5 hour tour despite there being so few of us on the boat. Amazing service. And the guys were super friendly. Recommendation: Take Dee Jay tour company in St. John's if you're looking for a whale watching tour. You won't regret it.
Once the tour had finished up, we met up with Barrie and Ardith on George Street, which is a little tiny street with a bunch of bars and restaurants. We had dinner and drinks at O'Reilly's Irish Newfoundland Pub, and then because the night was still too early after that to bring it to an end, we went to Bridie Molloy's for more drinks, and then ended the night off with another drink at the Yellowbelly Brewery. A fun last night it was for my Atlantic Canada adventure!