|Today we had to rise early because breakfast was at 6:45. It was very foggy when we went to breakfast. We were early because we were departing at 7:50 to catch our 8:00 nature cruise/boat trip to Campobello Island. The hotel restaurant had opened early for us. So, there was no crowd for the first 15 minutes, just the tour group. It was the usual buffet, plus the addition of an omelette station.
One of our boat guides, Rika, met us at the bus when we arrived at the pier and escorted us along the pier to our dock. We took a Whale Watch boat out into the fog on our way to Campobello Island. Our crew was Rika, Danielle and Captain Matt. Rika talked about the history and geography of the region on the way. The fog was thick, and we could not see the islands we were passing along the way. Rika said we were passing Parker and Jamison Island where Spider-man vacations. (Groan.) This joke went over most of the passenger's heads. Spider-man is Peter Parker and his boss was James Jonah Jamison.
Rika talked about the lobster industry. There are two six week seasons (May/June and October/November) to harvest lobsters. A captain with a license can only have one boat with a maximum of 300 traps. If females are in the traps, they must be returned (you want more lobsters).
Once we had passed through Passamaquoddy Bay (named for one of the First Nations tribe from the region) into the Bay of Fundy, we began to see, as the fog had rolled back a little, fin and humpback whales, dolphins, and seals. Everyone was excited to see the whales, some of the group were seeing a whale for the first time.
We arrived at Campobello Island. Half of the group took the first shuttle (we were in the first group) and the other half waited for the next shuttle. The shuttle took us into the Roosevelt Campobello International Park to the visitor center. Our group was taken on a tour of the cottage, while the second group were watching an 18 minute video about the Roosevelts and their summers on Campobello Island.
Franklin's parents had bought a summer cottage on the island when Franklin was one and he spent his summers here growing up. That cottage no longer exists. Franklin was given the 34 room (18 bedrooms) cottage by his mother as a belated wedding present. One of his sons, FDR, Jr., was born here. It was also at Campobello, in August 1921, that the future president fell sick and was diagnosed with polio.
While we were taking the cottage tour, the sun had come out to play. After the tour, our group went to see the movie. Then we were shuttled back to the boat for our return trip to St. Andrew's. On the return trip we were able to observe all of the islands we missed in the fog earlier. We were served hot chocolate and cookies by Rika and Danielle. Then they brought out a touch tank.
Danielle was now the narrator and Rika was the animal handler. While Danielle was discussing the animal species, Rika brought around sea stars (starfish), a sea urchin (sometimes called uri and found in sushi), a sea cucumber, sand dollars, a periwinkle, a whelk, a scallop, mussels, and for the finale - two crabs, a rock crab & a green crab.
After we docked at 1:00, we returned to the bus so Kim could talk with us about the afternoon, and the schedule for tomorrow. Now, we have the rest of today on our own. Our bus was returning to the hotel, but would bring/pick-up people between the hotel and downtown at 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00. We elected to stay downtown and disembarked.
Our first stop was the local post office so I could purchase the quarterly stamp packets for my collection. We then strolled the downtown, entering art/antique stores, souvenir/clothing stores, a dollar store and the supermarket (Jean wanted a lemon). Saint Andrew's is a small resort downtown, reminiscent of the towns along the Jersey shore like Avalon.
We had a late lunch/early dinner at The Gables Restaurant. On the way in, we met one of the couples from the tour who recommended the chowder. So I ordered the seafood chowder and the BBQ Pork Loin special, and Jean had the ham & white bean soup of the day and a small Caesar salad. While waiting for our food, a waitress came out and erased the soup of the day and the BBQ pork loin special. We had ordered the last ones! Timing is everything!
We walked some more and then stopped for ice cream. We hopped the 5:00 bus back to the hotel. It had been a long day. We just rested and packed for our trip tomorrow - bags out at 6:45.