Bandwidth Frittering and Shutterbuggery by Jay Lee
Category Archives: Travel
Winners

My two favorite shots of the trip are the two I had the least hope of coming away with.

The first is this HDR shot of an iceberg near Twillingate. Three shots on a moving boat took some work to merge. It was a total experiment that ended up working out.

Twillingate Iceberg - HDR

My other iceberg photos (including the ones from Iceland) can be found here.

The second was an attempt to photograph the Milky Way on one of the clear moonless nights. This is over the fjord near Gros Morne.

Milky Way in Gros Morne

I’m new to astrophotography and I don’t get to places where I can practice very often so I am rather happy with the results.

Day 19 – Cabot Trail

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There were storms on the island of Cape Breton. Lightning lit up our hotel room all night long. Cynthia slept like a log but I watched from the window for a while. It was pretty to watch, but was dashing hopes for a good day on the trail.

We got up and had breakfast and got on the road. We immediately hit some fog and also road construction.

Fog On The Cabot Trail

As we drove we went in and out of the fog as we went up and down the mountains. It was not encouraging. But we kept driving. Eventually we did clear the fog and the rain stopped. And the view improved.

Cabot Trail

We kept driving and decided to go ahead and take the entire loop around the Cabot Trail. That’s over 200 miles in total so it was a full day.

We had a good time, stopping now and again to see what there was to see

Inukshuk On Cape Breton Island

And even to goof around

Cynthia Moose

Jay Moose

It turned into a beautiful day and we had a great time

Cabot Trail

When we finally returned to the hotel that afternoon we took a hike on the Middle Head Trail that is on the grounds behind our hotel.

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

It was beautiful, but we were pretty tired so we only walked for a mile or so before turning back. This was a find end to this fantastic journey. Tomorrow we drive back to the Halifax area so we can pack up and get ready to catch our flight home.

Day 17 – Lunenburg to Baddeck

As usual, we were up early and got out of town quick to make our way to the next destination. The drive took us close to Peggy’s Cove so we decided to take the short detour and see if it was any better in the early morning. It was. Still some tourists crawling around, but not as bad as yesterday.

Peggy's Cove

We left and made a stop near D’Aubins Cove where we noticed the water was exceptionally still

D'Aubins Cove

We drive on to Baddeck and got checked into our hotel. Turns out there was a small festival in the city center where we were able to see some live traditional music and have an enjoyable but early evening.

Baddeck Street Festival

Tomorrow, Cabot Trail!

Day 15 – Digby to Lunenburg

Cape Forchu Lightstation In The Fog

We woke this morning to rain and fog. And we had fog for most of our drive to Lunenburg via Yarmouth. This was a bit of a disappointment as parts of the drive looked like they would have been quite scenic. We did try stopping at a few lighthouses, but the fog was just too thick to contend with.

There were some odd things to see on the road, though. Like this relic from the past.

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As we pulled into Lunenburg the weather began to clear up and we had the opportunity to go for a walk down by the harbor and see the boats and have some dinner.

We retired rather quickly to our charming bed and breakfast and called it a night. Tomorrow the weather looks to be very good and we have some driving planned to explore the area.

Bluenose II

Day 13 & 14 – Halifax, Nova Scotia to Digby and Digby Neck

We got up and drive from Halifax to Digby. Digby is a very pleasant town and home to the Digby scallop fleet. So of course, we had to try the scallops. They are delicious.

Digby Harbour

Digby Harbour

For our full day in Digby we decided to drive down the Digby Neck, a small thin peninsula that leads to Long Island and then to Brier Island over a couple of short ferry rides.

Digby Ferry

When we crossed from Digby Neck to Long Island we took the opportunity to hike out to Balancing Rock in Tiverton. The rock hangs out over St. Mary’s Bay. It’s a 2.4 kilometer hike each way so a total of about 3 miles to get there. Plus there is 235 steps leading down the cliff side towards the end of the trail at the end to see the rock.

Path To Balancing Rock

Balancing Rock

We were blessed with some good weather and the hike was quite manageable. And in the end, the payoff was a spectacular view with almost perfect light.

Balancing Rock

We proceeded on and caught the second ferry over to Brier Island for our next adventure which was to take a Zodiac boat out to see if we could see some whales.

The Zodiac is a small boat and when you take one on a tour like this you have to wear a special thermal jumpsuit in case you fall into the water.

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Thermal Suit

We prepared to board the boat and as the previous tour was disembarking we asked if they had seen any whales and they said no. We were a bit discouraged by this news but as we moved out to see the boat pilot let us know that some whales had been sited about 20 miles out in the Bay Of Fundy. That’s a long ways to travel in one of these small boats and it was quite the adventure getting out there. When we did get out there the boat that was tracking the whales was gone and there were no whales. But then the boat pilot shouted that he saw a spout of water and proceeded forward for another 1/2 mile or so and we were treated to two humpback whales swimming very close to us.

This first picture is another Zodiac like ours and gives you a sense of scale.

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

This second and third photo gives you a sense of how close we got to the whales.

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

This was a great day in Nova Scotia!

Whale In Bay Of Fundy

Tomorrow, Lunenburg via Yarmouth.

Day 12 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

I have to say, we are no longer fans of built up metropolitan areas on our trips so Halifax was met with some trepidation after enjoying the rural surrounds of a place like Newfoundland. Add to that the fact that it was a bit rainy and VERY foggy and we were probably a little less enthusiastic about this leg of the journey. Still, the nautical nature of this town encouraged us to make the most of it.

We woke up and had breakfast and set off into the fog that had rolled in overnight.

It was not long before we saw a Canadian Tardis flying through the air near the harbour.

Tardis?

We walked out to the waterfront and snapped a few photos of ships in the fog.

Fog On Halifax Waterfront

HMCS Sackville (K181)

We spent much of the day in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic exploring the Titanic and Halifax Explosion exhibits. We even met a woman who worked on the museum staff who was the daughter of a woman who miraculously survived the disaster.

Lighthouse Light

The weather continued to be rainy and foggy and drained us of much of our energy so we called it an early day and got some rest for our upcoming drive to Digby.

Day 11 – Newfoundland to Nova Scotia

After staying up past our bedtime last night we woke up at the crack of dawn to get packed and go to the airport to catch our flight from Deer Lake to Halifax. We were on the road by about 6 am.

As we drove out we encountered some sheep which always makes Cynthia happy. She was able to photograph these guys while I pulled over to the side of the road.

sheep2

sheep1

A little further down the road Cynthia began to shout “A MOOSE, A MOOSE! I SAW A MOOSE!” I made a u-turn and drove back and sure enough there was a young moose grazing by the side of the road. I pulled over and Cynthia took this photo.

moose1

Seeing a moose was something Cynthia really wanted to do and we had begun to think we would not see one before leaving Newfoundland.

We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Deer Lake is a small regional airport so it’s not very crowded. The flight was only an hour to Halifax.

We arrived and picked up our rental car and made our way to the hotel. We were too early to check in so we parked and did a little exploring. We were pretty tired and had dinner plans with some friends that evening so when we got checked in we just relaxed until time to meet up.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

Newfoundland – Day 9 & 10 – Back To Gros Morne

Today we made the 4 1/2 hour drive back to Gros Morne. We didn’t do much on this day other than get back to our accommodations. It was important to get a little rest for the trip out to Western Brook Pond.

When visiting Western Brook Pond you have to drive to a parking lot and then hike in 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) to the pier to meet the boat.

We got an early start with the sun shining and blue skies blazing, but by the time we made the hike a bit of fog and gloom had settled in.

Western Brook Pond - Gros Morne

Undaunted, we boarded the boat and proceeded on a 2 hour tour of the fjord lake. It was impressive to see, but not the most photogenic outing of the journey due to the inclimate weather.

Western Brook Pond - Gros Morne

Toward the end the sun made an effort to come out, but it was ultimately too late to be of much photographic benefit.

Western Brook Pond - Gros Morne

We hiked out the 3 kilometers back to the car and then made our way back to the hotel. We needed to get organized for our flight to Halifax the next day so we took the rest of the afternoon to do that and then treated ourselves to a show by the Anchors Aweigh band who play Newfoundland folk music as well as some traditional Irish tunes. The show was amazing and we stayed for the whole thing, even though that meant that we were out pretty late and having to get up very early to make our flight.

Anchors Aweigh

Anchors Aweigh

Newfoundland – Day 8 – St. Anthony – Icebergs And Vikings

Icebergs In St. Anthony, Newfoundland

In St. Anthony our main goal was icebergs so we booked a reservation with a local tour company and boarded a boat and headed out on the North Atlantic.

Icebergs In St. Anthony, Newfoundland

Icebergs In St. Anthony, Newfoundland

Icebergs In St. Anthony, Newfoundland

Icebergs In St. Anthony, Newfoundland

Icebergs In St. Anthony, Newfoundland

Icebergs In St. Anthony, Newfoundland

After the boat tour we went to L’Anse aux Meadows, site of a viking settlement. The archeological site itself was rather unremarkable, but there was a reconstruction of the dwellings and there were reenactors who told the tale of what it was like in those times.

L'Anse aux Meadows

L'Anse aux Meadows

vik2

All in all, a fantastic day. Tomorrow we drive back to Gros Morne National Park, a 4 1/2 hour drive, and take a boat out on Western Brook Pond which is not a pond, but a fjord.

Newfoundland – Day 7 – Gros Morne To St. Anthony

We left early this morning to make the 4 1/2 hour drive up to St. Anthony on the uppermost part of The Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. It was gloomy and foggy for the first part of the drive and then cleared up and became very nice. Then the it turned foggy and gloomy again.

Thrombolites

The fog and gloom was unfortunately in the area of Flower’s Cove where we planned to stop see the thrombolites, fossils that are estimated to be between 600 million to 1.2 billion years old and that exist only two places in the world. The other is in Australia.

Thrombolites

With the wind, strong, wet and cold, blowing up off the sea was we decided to cut our visit short in favor of the warmth of the car and the promise of sunshine down the road.

Cynthia - Thrombolites

Sure enough, the weather cleared a few miles down the road and it became a beautiful day.

Shack

We finished up the drive in St. Anthony where we had this afternoon and the full day tomorrow to explore. We checked into our hotel and then set out to Fisherman’s Point where we had read there’s a great view of the cove. What we didn’t expect was the three icebergs that had settled into cove which offered a nice, close up view.

Iceberg - St. Anthony Newfoundland

We explored the point and then set off to find some dinner and then called it a night.

Tomorrow we take to the sea in search of more icebergs.

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