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Enjoying Ship
  • Where do the boat tours leave from?
    Discover the Strait boat tours all leave from traditional Nova Scotia fishing wharfs located along the Northumberland Strait in small villages or along sea-side roads. All wharfs have ample parking and easy access to board your tour boat.
  • What is the boarding process?
    Boats are located at various small fishing wharfs along the Northumberland Strait, primarily between the Town of Pictou and the community of River John. All of the wharfs have parking and signage leading you to your captain and boat. Your boat will be tied up alongside a floating dock. Before boarding, the captain or crew member will have you sign a waiver if you have not already done so online at time of booking. Once on board, the captain will provide a passenger safety briefing before you get underway.
  • What should I bring on the boat?
    It is always a good idea to bring a sweater or light jacket as the temperature can sometimes be a bit cooler on the water. If you plan on going for swim, bring a bathing suit and towel. And don't forget the sunscreen! Your captain will have some hydration on board such as water. You are welcome to bring food onboard or beverages of your choice. Some of our captains allow alcohol in moderation, but please check with us in advance.
  • Do you allow fishing off of the boats?
    Yes! Our captains love nothing more than fishing and are happy to get you "on fish". Mackerel run throughout the summer in the Northumberland Strait and Stripped Bass has become a popular sport fish in the Strait. Our captains will have rods suitable for mackerel fishing onboard. If you wish to fish for Stripped Bass ask us about having a Nova Scotia sport fishing guide onboard with rods, tackle and bait suitable for Stripped Bass fishing. You're also welcome to bring your own tackle onboard.
  • Is alcohol consumption allowed on the boat?
    Most of our captains will allow guests to bring alcohol on board, provided that consumption is done in moderation. However, for the safety and enjoyment of all guests, if any passengers are found to be intoxicated, the captain will promptly return to the wharf, and the tour will conclude without a refund.
  • Are dogs allowed on tours?
    To ensure the safety and health of your dog, we suggest that you make alternate arrangements for your dog's care while you are on your boat tour.
  • Are there washrooms on board
    Yes, all boats have washrooms on board.
  • Are the boats wheelchair accessible?
    The docks are wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, the boats are not. Passengers that occupy a wheelchair will be provided any needed assistance to board the boat. Please let us know when making your reservation if any passengers in your group require special accommodations.
  • Is smoking allowed on board?
    Smoking is not allowed aboard any Discover The Strait boats. Kindly refrain from smoking on the dock. Please note that vape pens are also not permitted aboard our vessels.
  • Do the boats have wifi?
    We do not have wifi aboard the boats, but you will have cell phone reception out on the water during your excursion.
  • How do fishermen name their boats?
    Fishermen name their boats in various ways, often drawing inspiration from personal significance, traditions, or creative ideas. The boats often have names reflecting their families, such as the names of their children. Some name's may have a geographical significance while others may have a nautical theme. Ultimately, the choice of a boat name is a personal decision for the fishermen. It often carries sentimental value and serves as a representation of their pride, connection to the sea, and their unique identity within the fishing community.
  • What are Northumberland Strait fishing boats used to fish for?
    Northumberland Strait fishing boats are primarily used for lobster fishing, which runs from the end of April to the end of June on Nova Scotia’s north shore. Many fishermen also use their boats for other fisheries on the Strait including herring, scallops, crab, haddock and tuna. Northumberland Strait fishing boats play a crucial role in sustaining the local in-shore fishery and supporting Nova Scotia’s north shore coastal communities, where fishing is an integral part of the cultural identity.
  • What is Discover The Strait's Safety Policy
    Discover the Strait requires all captains, crew and vessels to be compliant with Transport Canada's Small Commercial Vessel program and display a Blue Decal on their vessels indicating their participation in the program. Program compliancy includes ensuring that the vessel and its machinery and equipment meet all regulatory requirements; having procedures for the safe operation of the vessel and for dealing with emergencies; and ensuring that the crew receive safety training. Guests will also receive a safety briefing before departure from the dock. Captains have the discretion to end the tour if unsafe conditions present themselves, such as weather and passenger behaviour.
  • Am I required to wear a life jacket while onboard?
    The boats are equipped with full safety equipment including life vests to accommodate every passenger in the event that lifejackets are necessary. Passengers are not required to wear life vests while onboard unless they are 12 years of age or under, or weigh less than 90 pounds. At time of booking, you will be asked the age and weight of any children under your reservation.
  • What temperature is the Northumberland Strait in the summer months?
    The strait's shallow depths lend to warm water temperatures in summer months, with some areas reaching 25°C, or 77°F. Consequently, the strait is reportedly home to the warmest ocean water temperatures in Canada, and some of the warmest ocean water temperatures on the Atlantic coast north of Virginia.
  • What kind of sea life can be found in the Northumberland Strait
    The Northumberland Strait is rich in marine life and is home to a thriving commercial fishery including lobster, scallops, crab, herring and tuna. Harbour and Grey seals are common sitings in the Strait and Harbour porpoises and White-Sided dolphins can be spotted in the summer and autumn months. Leatherback turtles, an endangered species, have been spotted by many fishermen in the Strait. Smaller sea creatures are easily spotted in the shallows including crabs and juvenile fish. A wide array of sea birds can be spotted along the coastline, along with American Eagles that nest and perch in large pine and spruce trees.
  • Why is there no fog along the Northumberland Strait like other parts of Nova Scotia's coastline?
    Fog forms for various reasons, but the type that occurs over water typically emerges when warm, moist air moves across cooler waters. The Northumberland Strait's warm waters are responsible for its coastlines being free of fog. Additionally, our summer days tend to be warmer and sunnier in this region, thanks to prevailing south/southwest winds originating from land rather than the ocean.
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