My trip to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was full of surprises. But, my sailing adventure with Amoeba Cruises was definitely one of the most amazing ones. I normally cringe at the thought of an organized tour, but this was anything but the typical awkward collection of people looking for a check mark on their vacation to-do list.
Before my trip, I had not even heard of the Amoeba or Captain John. In fact, I first noticed the boat on a billboard. But, not until no fewer than 5 people asked me if I had gone out on the water with Captain John did I actually take to the internets to see what the buzz was all about. I came across a ton of reviews and everyone seemed to have had a wonderful time. So, looking to have a relaxed day after lots of driving, I decided to go for it.
The Amoeba, docked at Baddeck Wharf, is a five sail, 67-foot schooner and overall, just a damn beautiful boat. She was built over the course of ten years in a backyard shed by Captain John’s father, Roy, who dreamed of retiring and sailing with his family. A true labor of love, the building of a dream come true reads like a Hallmark movie.
The boat sails for about two hours along the Bras d’or Lakes passing much of the Alexander Graham Bell estate. Captain John is quite a character and kept us laughing the entire time. It was nothing but fun and awe from the moment I boarded the boat. Did I mention how stunning the scenery is? It was a bit breezy but there are plenty of blankets on board. You can also purchase soda or beer and enjoy a cold one as you sail along.
It’s worth noting that his first mate is quite a looker. I kept trying somewhat unsuccessfully to snag a clandestine picture of him while pretending to take
459039 a few pictures of the lighthouse behind him, lol.
Captain John is incredibly knowledgable about the area and the estate and the eagles….ahh yes, the eagles! The eagles, all of them have names, have been nesting in the area for over 20 years and have been trained to recognize the boat. They soar overhead in anticipation of the frozen chicken breasts tossed into the water from the boat. Seeing them up close is quite incredible.
You can sail with Capt. John aboard the Amoeba June-October. There are 3-4 tours each day from 11-4. I called ahead to reserve for the 4:00 and found out it wasn’t going out that day because of the weather so I booked the 2:00 instead. I would recommend giving them a ring to make sure the tour you’re thinking about is on, especially later in the season. Cost is $25 CAD/adult, $10 CAD children 8-12 and children under 8 sail for free. After my experience, I was a little surprised the cost was so low!
For more information about Amoeba Sailing, check out: http://amoebasailingtours.com/