Our 2020 season is over, it is December and the Oshan is resting at home in Bay St.Lawrence.

The season certainly started off late and with lots of uncertainty because of the pandemic. Luckily, at the start of August we had fabulous weather and fabulous passengers: people were polite, understanding and doing their best to follow Nova Scotia pandemic recommendations. By the end of the month, everyone seemed well-adjusted to the Covid-19, but the weather had adjusted as well. The last two weeks of August was quite windy, with lots of interruptions in our touring schedule.

Before the weather turned, we frequently saw seals and long-finned pilot whales. We were also treated to some rare sightings of right whales and bottlenose dolphins. Our regular visitors of harbour porpoises and Atlantic-white sided dolphins were also speeding about the Bay, but they had competition for being the fastest creatures in the water as we spotted plenty of tuna.

The choppy weather continued in September, making sightings more difficult. Thankfully, there were plenty of shoreside sightings throughout the season. Residential bald eagles routinely perched atop the Highlands and have lots of hang-out spots along our routes. The guillemots, who begin their out-migration in September, loved entertaining via their “crash-landings” in the water. We saw the migratory cormorants drying their wings on the wharf, though not in their usual numbers. We also saw a fair number of Northern Gannets diving in the water and countless, crowd-pleasing seagulls.

Aside from the marine and coastal wildlife, one of the best aspects of touring out of Bay St. Lawrence aboard the Oshan is the coastline. Our unique, northern coast is one of the many reasons why there is such a variety of sightings. The Highlands extend out under the sea forming many ledges, reefs and grounds. The coastal mountains are both humbling and spectacular when seen from the sea. Below is a time lapse of one of our favourite coastal hang-outs, White Rock Gulch. 

The Oshan in and around Cape Breton’s White Rock Gulch © Cheryl Fraser

2021 is already looking better than 2020 and we’re looking forward to researching, whale watching and stopping by the Gulch next year.