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One Year – June 2nd 2016

It has been exactly one year since we left Parry Sound. It was a very warm morning with many, many mosquitos hovering around and Janice, the new owner, rolled up in her rented truck at 8:00 am. We were ready to leave 102 Lorimer Lake Road even though it was sad to go. We had built everything from scratch and even though it was a lot of work doing so, we had fun there. We built Nick’s cabin, the steam bath, all the trails and Dennis built the little stack wall shed, and Nick helped build Dennis’ shop. But, we knew that it was time to move on to another adventure.

Coincidentally, our boat, the Split Crow, left this morning – exactly one year to the day of us leaving. The boat was sold in December but it stayed in Souris for the winter. Dennis watched it leave on the webcam this morning. We hope that all goes well for the new people.

Adam, Jada, Zeb

So much has happened over the last year. It has flown by and we are having tons of fun on Prince Edward Island. Not to say that we don’t miss Parry Sound and our friends, beautiful Georgian Bay with its rocks and bent pines, but we needed a change and this was an opportunity that we couldn’t miss. Our view every morning is spectacular – we look right out onto the Northumberland Strait and watch the tide, the boats, the birds  and sometimes even seals.

view

Summerside is really a good place to live, especially if you live downtown. We can walk everywhere because many places are close by. Samuel’s Coffee House is our major place to go and we have had a lot of coffee and tea there. Everyone is friendly, the food is good and the atmosphere is great. We can also walk to the bank, the pharmacy with a post office (Lori Hill is the lady who runs the post office and she is so good!), the hardware store, a grocery store, lumber store (Kent) and a wonderful shoe store right on Water Street.  I also go to the Humble Barber and since my hair is short, he easily cuts it. I can ride my bike everywhere too – traffic is not too bad so if I need to go “uptown”, then I just hop on my bike and it is less than 4 km away. I can easily get to Canadian Tire, the Atlantic Super Store and the mall. On the rare occasion that I can’t find what I need in Summerside, then we make the 45 minute trip to Charlottetown and there is everything we need.

The people are very friendly here and have been most welcoming to us. I think many people were very curious as to what in the world we were doing at the old Green Shore Marine store. We turned the industrial building into our home. It is a two bedroom 1600 square foot house, all on one level, and we love it! William Jones, was our main contractor, and he did an extraordinary job, so if anyone needs carpentry done, he comes highly recommended by both Dennis and me. Read the post about William.

One of my favourite places in Summerside is the Farmers’ Market. Now, we were lucky to get a vendor table at the market, but we already frequented the market when we were on our boat. We buy most of our vegetables (year round – fresh cucumber, tomatoes, a variety of lettuce, spinach and peppers), some of our fruit (apples, berries – even in the winter as the ladies from Souris have frozen blueberries, strawberries and raspberries), most of our meat – pork, chicken, sausage, fish, beef, and of course, we do get a few treats! Carrots, cabbage, kale, onions, potatoes, garlic, cheese, eggs – enough fresh food for us, that’s for sure! Some of the prices are a bit higher than the grocery store, but some are not, so we are happy to support the local farmers. Once you’ve had carrots fresh from the garden, you’ll never want another grocery store carrot again!

I also like the trip to the Charlottetown airport. What a easy, low stress airport. It is only 45 minutes away and I usually take the noon hour flight to Toronto and then catch whatever flight I have to from there. I do not miss driving on the 400, the 401 and getting to Pearson. We have also used the Moncton airport and that is pretty good too but it is 90 minutes away and you have to cross the bridge which is $46 (you only pay to get off the island).

The music here is awesome! We have seen Matt Minglewood and Sam Moon, Nathan Wiley, Fiddlers’ Sons, Keelin Wedge, the West End Blues Band, Fallback and many others. The Fallback Band plays Thursday nights in Kensington from 8:00 to 11:00 (April, May and June and in the fall). They play songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s and the place is packed every week! People just go to dance and I am talking about people of all ages. It is a lot of fun and being able to see Johnny Ross on the keyboard and Steve Guy on the sax, is amazing. Apparently, they don’t even practice together, they just up and start playing! We also gone to some ceilidhs and that is also great fun! The Festival of Small Halls will be on soon and the entertainment lineup is excellent.

The one thing that we were worried about was being able to find a doctor. We had heard that it would take at least two years but it didn’t for us. We’ve had a doctor since January and she is excellent. Now, she practices in Alberton, which is 45 minutes away, but we don’t mind the drive. She works right in the hospital so when Dennis had his foot looked at, they were able to x-ray it right away. There is also a walk-in clinic in Summerside but now that we have a doctor, we won’t need to go there unless we have to.

So, in all, I think things have worked out for us quite well. As I said, we do miss our friends but they are all coming to visit this summer so that will be great! We have found some new friends too and there does seem to be a lot of people moving this way. We’ve met so many people from other provinces. We also have kept in touch with a few of our neighbours. Dilys Buchan from Fort Frances, retired to Charlottetown, so we’ve met up with her and our neighbours from Parry Sound, the Pottingers retired to Cape Breton. Their daughter Shona, lives in Charlottetown and works as a music therapist. She used to babysit Nick. We had a great visit with her on Sunday.

We’re doing well, Dennis has bought a new boat – this time it is a fishing dory and he is expected to get it tomorrow. We will have fun going around the harbour and seeing the sights. I’ll post pictures when it arrives.:)

That’s about it for today!

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Everything Else!

 

December 16, 2015 – The Split Crow Sailboat has been sold

The best adventure that we had on the Split Crow was the day we left Tadoussac (July 9th, 2013 – it was Nick’s birthday) and we sailed across the St. Lawrence to Rimouski. We encountered beluga whales and they surrounded the boat. Here is the video of that:

The reason I am reposting that video is because seeing the belugas was probably one of the most interesting events of my life and it was all because of our boat, the Split Crow. Since our life has changed considerably in the last year, with moving to Prince Edward Island, buying a commercial piece of property right on the ocean in Summerside, turning it into our house and working at our small business – PEI Wooden Spoon and Sewing Company, we made a big decision to sell the boat.

Dennis put the boat up for sale in November and thought that because of its location, it would take a couple of years to sell. Well, it took three weeks. A man from Virginia contacted Sunnybrook Yachts in Chester, Nova Scotia (that’s where the boat was listed) and was very interested in it. He flew up to Halifax, rented a vehicle and arrived in Souris on Monday, December 7th with his girlfriend and a boat surveyor, inspected the boat and made the sale.

Split Crow for sale

After much running around with the ridiculous amount of paperwork such as unregistering it with the US Coat Guard (apparently it was registered with them the entire time we owned it – who knew?) plus several trips to the lawyer, (Mr. McNeill with two Ls as he likes to say), we are now waiting for the FedEx package to arrive today and then will make a trip to the bank to deposit the cheque.

Adam, the new owner, officially owns the boat but it will sit in Souris for the winter and then he will arrive in the spring to launch it and sail it away. He hopes to bring it to Georgia and then eventually to the Caribbean. So, the Split Crow might actually see the Caribbean after all! Dennis will be on hand to help Adam learn about the boat and to launch it. He might even tag along for a ride to Nova Scotia…

Now, we will continue on with our adventures sans the boat. In February, we are heading to Florida for a couple of weeks. We are staying in St. Augustine where there are plenty of boats to look at. We are also hoping to go to the Bike Friday store. These bikes are high end portable bikes that fold down into a suitcase so when we travel, we will be able to take our bikes. People have driven around the world on these bikes, so we are interested in test driving them. Who knows? Maybe we’ll drive across Canada on them or head down to Australia and New Zealand.

So, we are not done with the blog or the adventures but they will take place without the boat. I will have to change the blog tag line to read “Blogging about our adventures” but I will do that on a later date. It will be sad to see our boat sail off without us as it is a good boat and it lived up to our expectations. We had wonderful summers sailing. We got to see the Benjamins, Killarney, Little Current and many, many beautiful anchorages in Georgian Bay and the North Channel. We had a great time in Lake Michigan and totally enjoyed Mackinac Island, Beaver Island and Charlevoix. The Split Crow got us all the way from Parry Sound to Tobermory, down Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, the Welland Canal (read about this little adventure in the Welland Canal!), Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, the Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands and then finally to Prince Edward Island. So, good-bye Split Crow – you’ve been part of the best adventure of my life!

collagesplitcrow

 

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Everything Else!

 

September 8th, 2015 – Summerside to Souris

We made it safely back to Souris on Sunday. We left Summerside at 6:00 am and thought that we would go to either Wood Islands or head over to Pictou, NS but the weather report for the next day was looking very windy so we kept going until we got into Souris at around 10:00 that night. It was an extremely warm, warm day and the wind didn’t do much for most of the day so it was nice not to be in town where I’m sure we would have roasted. There was enough breeze to keep us cool. We didn’t see much in the way of wildlife except for gannets, seals and a few porpoises so the whole day was just kind of relaxed and uneventful. Here are a few pictures of the sunrise in Summerside, the lighthouse which could have been a scene for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, the Confederation Bridge and the red sandy cliffs of the island.

Summerside to Souris

The sun set at around 8:00 and we knew that we had a couple of hours to go as we really slowed down during the day for some reason. We think it was because we were going against the tide as our speed had dropped to 4.1 SOG (speed over ground) knots and for the rest of the day it had been between 5 – 7. By the time we could see the lights of Souris, it was pretty dark out. We managed to find the right lights for the entrance to the harbour though and slowly made our way in. Here are some pics of the sunset.

sunset souris

Our good friend Dale was there to greet us – thank goodness he was because there was only one slip available for us and we had rigged the boat for the wrong side so Dennis had to back in. Luckily, Dale was able to push the boat off the dock and catch the lines. We went to bed at midnight and slept in until 7:00 – we were pretty tired!

Yesterday, we started getting the boat ready for winter. We cleaned the dinghy (it was disgusting!) and the fenders (they were pretty bad too), took down the jib without too much trouble and brought down some of the canvas. I was very happy that we were safely tied to the dock as the wind was really blowing. I have a picture of the wind metre showing 36 knots but it did go up to 45 at one point. I’m glad Captain Bligh decided to do the trip in one day instead of two as it wouldn’t have been much fun on the water with 3 metre waves and gusts of 50 – 60 kilometres.

We had Dale over for supper and he told us about his adventures. He had headed over to Newfoundland but had a tough time because he either got fogged in or it was too windy or he got caught in rough seas. He says he’s going to try again next summer.

Here are some pics of Dennis eating my mother’s homemade bread – it was delicious – especially toasted, the wind metre, Eric in his car (he’s the guy in charge of the marina), and Eric and Peter. Peter is the man who drives the travel lift.
Souris

Our boat came out this morning at 9:00. The marina bought a new travel lift from Parry Sound at Kropf Industries. It’s a huge travel lift and can carry up to 60 tons, so it is a bit of a monster. Peter is still getting used to it and does like it but he said it is really slow. In his words, he said that he could “crawl faster after drinking a quart of Captain Morgan’s”. It did the job though and we were on “the hard” within an hour. Here are some pics – notice the one on the bottom right – that is Dale!:)

travel lift

IMG_1540

We power washed the boat as it was really dirty after sitting in a marina all summer. Tomorrow, we have to winterize it, take down more canvas and get the mainsail down. We are waiting for less wind for that to occur. We will also put everything in plastic bags and make sure that every cupboard is left open. It gets pretty humid here so we don’t want mould on the boat although I think that is inevitable.

We will head home on Thursday – just a two hour drive now and figure out what we’re doing next summer!

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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August 24, 2015 – PEI Earthship House

I am a little late writing about the PEI Earthship house but we did go to the Open House on August 8th and I have to say that I was quite impressed with the unique structure. Jordan Cameron, the owner and builder, built the house out of recycled materials and it was designed for sustainable living. This is the CBC interview:

Here are some pictures of the house. It was very spacious inside and had lots of interesting features. For example, one wall was built with cement and bottles – it looks really neat! I liked the inside garden. It is intended to act as a greenhouse throughout the winter. Jordan also used a lot of glass pieces in his floor and on his countertop, so the whole place looks like a piece of artwork. It was definitely worth the trip to go and see it!

Here are a few pictures of it:

Earthship

earthship

earthship

earthship

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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August 17th, 2015 – William Jones – Licensed Carpenter

Our house is done! The final inspection passed and it is all because of William Jones, the licensed carpenter that did most of the work on it. William started working in February. Dennis had arrived in Summerside to start the demolition and William started working with Dennis two weeks after that. The two of them got along really well. Dennis realized very quickly how lucky he was to work with a guy like William. He is very efficient and does meticulous work but also had some great stories to tell Dennis during the long, cold month of February.

Because we didn’t know much about Summerside and the contractors and everything that has to do with building a house, William basically took over and got us through the entire process. He hired most of the subcontractors. The people that he hired were all excellent and did their best to help make the house as nice as it is. We were very grateful because it made it a lot easier for us, especially being so far away for a lot of the construction.

William got his carpentry license in a very interesting way. He did not go to school for carpentry at all. He went to Holland College in Charlottetown for electrical engineering but according to him, he spent quite a bit of the year socializing as it was his first year away from home. He finished the year but then switched courses to construction technology. He got a job right away in an office reading blueprints and working on projects but only lasted four days. His boss noticed that he didn’t really like what he was doing and asked him if would rather work downstairs in the construction area. He did and never looked back. He worked for a number of different places and eventually decided to apply for his carpentry license. He challenged the license board because he didn’t want to go back to school as he had a lot of practical experience (and probably knew more than the instructors). The board told him that he needed 10,000 hours of construction work and had to write an exam. He fulfilled both of those requirements and got 85% on the exam.

William now works independently – he owns his own business – William’s Woodworking. We were lucky to get him because as I said earlier, he does excellent work. His favourite part of a job though, is the finishing work and that was a good thing for us as both of our previous houses had no trim until two weeks before we moved out. He is able though, to do everything and quite often suggested options for finishing a particular part of the job. We almost always agreed with his suggestions.

William also had a few stories to tell and often during a break, he would tell them to Dennis who got quite a PEI education! He learned a lot from William – things such as lobster fishing which was important to learn especially when navigating a sailboat through the lobster pots. He also told us that we could go clam digging by using a plunger (we still think he’s pulling our leg on that) and how a fisherman would pull a trick on his buddies by putting a fork in his boot. Apparently, you can’t pull your foot out without jamming the fork into it so you have to cut the boot (we have not tested this and most likely won’t!).

William is married to Carla who is nurse at the hospital. She works in the nursery. William told me the other day that he traded in his motorcycle for an engagement ring – which was a very good decision. William and Carla have three little boys and a dog. I think their life is very, very busy. I was riding my bike one day past their house and William had all three boys working outside. Owen, who is going into grade 4, was mowing the lawn and the two younger boys (Iain and Thomas) were scraping the driveway. They seemed very happy to be working with their dad.

We have thoroughly enjoyed working with William over the past six months. He not only is a good carpenter, but is also a good person and was always thoughtful and considerate. What I really liked was that he kind of kept his eye on Dennis to make sure that he was ok. He is trying to give him the nickname Skipper (with mixed results) and the two of them had good talks  about boats, wood and other important parts of life. If William lived elsewhere in Canada, say Muskoka for example, he would be able to be paid twice the amount of money and there would most likely be a long waiting list to hire him but I think he enjoys his life on the island (who wouldn’t?) We are very fortunate to work with him. He’s made this place into a home and as you can see by the pictures below, it was no easy task!

houseaug20

Here are a few pictures of William working:

William

So the house is done and as I said earlier, it is because of William. He has done a fantastic job. I hope he enjoyed working on the house, I’m sure it was a challenge!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Summerside

 

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July 24th – 26th, 2015 – Summerside

We have spent the last week or so moving into our new house here in Summerside, PEI. I do have to say that it is really nice and I am enjoying the view from where I am writing this. Here is a picture of what I see right now:

view

There is quite a bit of traffic around where we are – not necessarily cars going by but lots of people wandering past, jogging, walking their dogs and on a regular basis, the Segways buzz past our house. Everyone we’ve met has been very nice and very curious too as to what in the world we are doing with this building, so we often have them come in for a quick tour to satisfy their curiousity.

The other day though, a young couple from a small town near Goderich, ON stopped at our place. They were looking for the bike rental shop and it used to be located right beside us. They were so disappointed that they couldn’t rent bikes as they wanted to try the Confederation trail which is about 100 metres away from the house. Dennis decided to lend them our bikes (they’ve just been sitting in the workshop gathering dust – literally) and that made them pretty happy. Of course, I had to get a picture of them for the blog, so here are Andrea and Jordan getting ready to ride the trail!

Jordan and Andrea

The other things that we’ve been doing are going to a lot of music venues. Last week during Lobsterfest, Jimmy Flynn was playing and since we used to go and see him in Halifax many, many years ago, we thought we’d go here in Summerside. He’s got a few new jokes but pretty much the same songs that were lots of fun while hanging out at the Split Crow tavern in Halifax! Here is my Youtube video of him at the Marine Terminal in Summerside.

 

We also got to see Nathan Wiley play too on July 30th. He is a man of many talents as he was one of the workers who tiled our bathroom and entrance floors as well as put the stonework on our fireplace. Here is a video of him playing:

Finally, we also saw some Acadian fiddling music on July 31st. Peter, Albert and Helen Arsenault and Gary Gallant gave quite a concert! Peter, by the way, also worked on our house for a couple of days – he did some painting and verathaning. Here is a video of them.

 


So, that’s all the news for today. It’s hard to believe that it is August already – this summer is going way too fast!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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July 22nd, 2015 – Summerside Sidewalk Sale

We applied to be vendors at the Summerside Sidewalk Sale. It was a part of the Lobster Festival and the sale was on Tuesday, July 21st and Wednesday, July 22nd in the downtown area on Water Street.

We met a lot of interesting people throughout the two days but the most interesting were the kids because of the Young Millionaires Program. According to Stephanie, one of the Downtown Summerside employees, kids can apply to receive a $100 grant to start their own business.

The Young Millionaires Program is here to introduce youth to the world of business and entrepreneurship.  We help participants develop basic business and life skills, such as record keeping, customer service, and public speaking.  Successful participants will even receive grant money to start up their very own business!”

There were about 30 kids at the sidewalk sale with their business ideas. My favourite were the boys who made the stilts. I think they were successful because they advertised well by walking up and down the street on the stilts. By the end of the day though, they were looking pretty tired because of the workout! Another good idea one kid had were “Candy Kabobs”. These were very successful and I would have had a picture but we ate ours! Basically, they put soft candies like gummy worms and jujubes on a skewer. Not only did they look attractive but they were easy to eat. Great idea!

I also took a few pictures of a “field springer spaniel” because of Louise in Parry Sound who has one that looks very similar. We had a good laugh over the dog’s smile. Looks quite a bit like Harry!

Here are some pics of the day:

Sidewalk Sale

The other interesting thing was that the lobster trap challenge was cancelled at the marina because of the huge boat that had come in. I happened to walk by at about 4:00 and saw it. Wow! It looked brand new and was very shiny. It was from the Caymen Islands. Sadly, I startled the heron who was fishing for his dinner on the dock but I did manage to get a pretty good shot of him beside the boat.

Big boat and heron

That’s about it for today. We have started moving furniture into the house and the kitchen people will be arriving sometime today to finish the countertop. Then, hopefully the plumber will arrive to set up the sink. The house looks great! (A bit messy right now, but by next week, it should be pretty much in order.)

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait

 

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