Summer family travel plans are on the mind and it has me thinking back to last summer when we had a wonderful East coast Canadian adventure in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. We rose early one day to head out on our first whale watching tour with the Jolly Breeze Tall Ship with a lot of excitement and hopes to see some Minke Whales and other marine life.
To be honest, some of the excitement was built by the kids willingness to dress like pirates before boarding a true authentic sailboat. The crew greeted us as we boarded the boat and a quick safety overview was underway before we set sail on our first whale watching tour. You can imagine the excitement as we left the pier and headed towards the open sea where Minke Whales were commonly seen.
The first sight my eyes laid upon as we sailed away from the pier was this gorgeous sunburst reflecting on the water. With the sound of the water slapping off the boat and the salt water drifting up my nose as we sailed towards our destination, I immediately felt a sense of peace come over me. In fact, the entire trip was filled with gorgeous scenery, an occasional sighting of Porpoises and sea lions and the vision of a lighthouse off in the sunlight sky.
These views may be an everyday occurrence to locals but for us, who live on the prairies where the everyday view is farmer crop fields, this was a breath of fresh air. New Brunswick takes their natural habit seriously, preserving and respecting sea life and fauna in the area and allow us to take part in the beauty of it all.
For our little guy who was 2 at the time, I was a bit concerned about the safety of a mischievous toddler on this 3 hour tour. It was a bit long for his age but the crew filled the time with a light breakfast and colouring sheets below deck before providing face painting and a starfish touch tank to keep the kids busy. Our little guy even curled up on the floor at the front of the boat for a quick nap.
The best part for the kids was when they were asked to help hoist the sail up and earn their Captain’s sailing certificate, each taking a turn at the helm of the boat. My teens took a turn at the helm and it was nice to see them have fun like the little ones.
It may be hard to see in these last two pictures but if you click on them and view them larger, you can see a sea lion and a Minke Whale swimming through the water. We were lucky to have sightings from a distance of these amazing animals in the wild; they were curious animals playing in the water as we sailed by.
First, St. Andrews is a stunning destination that you should really visit should you be planning your next family vacation and when you do, make sure to schedule a whale watching tour with the Jolly Breeze for an unforgettable family memory that will leave you wanting to go back.
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as part of the 2015 Lets Go! Retreat. All opinions are 100% my own.