Nova Scotia Road Trip! - 2002


Mark told us that he has a lady scientist studying the whales in the Pleasant Bay area all summer with him. She comes from Dalhousie University and has been teaching him much about the cetaceans as well. At her urging he bought an underwater microphone so that she could study their vocalizations as well. We were the beneficiaries of that request as well because he put it overboard for us to hear the pilots “ talking ” with one another. They squeak, click, squeal and sing to each other delightfully and we greatly enjoyed eavesdropping on them. We were a bit disappointed not to see the Atlantic white-sided dolphin which is often seen in these waters, but the day was so beautiful and the seas so kind that we were not actively dismayed. It was a lovely day on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Captain Mark is a fisherman during the lobstering season and he told us about winters in this area. Apparently, there is not a lot of snow, but the winds are ferocious and the waters of the Gulf do freeze into pack ice thick enough for a man to stand on. There is great danger there however because the pack ice moves and floats away from shore stranding people. There are deaths from such foolhardiness when the ice floe a person is stranded on does not return to shore soon enough to keep the person from dying of exposure or starvation. Because the winds came to the land across the ice, they are usually quite cold and amazingly strong — often in gusts of 150 to 175 mph! We left the Double Hook in a good frame of mind and were so pleased to see that the skies were not closing in and we were still enjoying a beautiful day. We drove up to Bay St. Lawrence and Meat Cove (which Lois persisted in calling Meat Loaf) and were again thrilled by the beauty of the Cape Breton Coast. Such panoramas unfolded before us that we were gasping and exclaiming every second. The little fishing villages are so picturesque tucked into these magnificent settings. M EAT ("L OAF ") C OVE Meat ( “ Loaf ” ) Cove calls itself the Northernmost City of Nova Scotia and it is very remote. About 40 people live there and we were stupefied to find a community welcome center there with internet access! We ran in and checked our messages and sent out notes to everyone on our lists. The two ladies who formed the “ welcoming committee ” were lifelong residents of this tiny village — that in itself was incredible. They had unusual (to us) accents and we had to listen carefully to understand them fully. One lady appeared to be in her late 60s and the other looked to be in her late 40s or early 50s. We had trouble even imagining what it would be like to live in such an isolated place with only 40 people for neighbors and friends!

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