New Zealand/Australia – December 10th, 2018 to March 31st, 2019
Here is a link for our adventure:
See you in April!
New Zealand/Australia – December 10th, 2018 to March 31st, 2019
Here is a link for our adventure:
See you in April!
On December 10th, 2018, we will be heading to New Zealand to cycle the two islands. Here is a link to our journal on Crazy Guy On A Bike – Canucks Cycling In New Zealand.
We are cycling across Canada and I wanted to use our Split Crow blog as a place for our links – Crazy Guy On A Bike, Instagram and our GPS tracker. So, if you’re interested in reading about our trip, check out the journal, follow us on SPOT or see our pics on Instagram.
Wish us luck – we are leaving on May 31st, flying to Vancouver and setting out on our trip on June 2nd. Apparently, Day Three is the most difficult so if we can do that, we can do the whole thing. Off we go!
Journal – Crazy Guy On A Bike
Instagram – Van2PEI
Jane and Dennis
I just want to make this very clear – it was not us involved with Split Crow’s misadventure. The new captain was arrested for BUI (boating under the influence) and the Split Crow was towed in to the harbour by the US Coast Guard.
As you know, we sold the Split Crow and the new owner left PEI in early June. He set sail with a crew of two others who got off the boat in Halifax and flew home (to Georgia I believe). The captain set sail from Halifax to the USA by himself. It was at this point that things went awry. We didn’t know anything about it until today. Someone sent us a link to a YouTube video. It was a bit disconcerting to see our boat being towed in to shore by the US Coast Guard and the captain being led away in handcuffs. Yikes!
Here is the video and a number of articles explaining the event. I am sorry to see our beautiful boat under these circumstances. The good news is that we had quite a number of hits to our blog, so I guess the captain created quite a stir! We don’t know anything else about the boat now – where it is and we don’t know what happened to the captain. I guess it will be a mystery… If anyone happens to know something about this, please let us know.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Well, we cooked up our first PEI lobster dinner tonight. We have had lobster before, Dennis especially, since he lived on the east coast for nine years but this was the first time we actually cooked it ourselves on PEI. I wonder if that makes us islanders now?
Peter, the guy who runs the travel-lift for putting the boats in the water, brought us over four lobster after he had finished fishing this morning, so they were good and fresh. We had lots of advice from a variety of people on how to cook them but we decided to follow Peter’s recipe and use salt water and simply cook them for about twenty minutes.
They were pretty good to eat, I have to say! A bit of work though. Dennis had to use his giant set of pliers (that’s all he had on the boat) to crack the shells. Luckily, he knew what he was doing and we were able to have a good meal.
Here are a few photos:
That’s about all the excitement that we had today. We spent the day getting the boat ready to go tomorrow. It is looking pretty good and if the weather is good, we’ll be leaving at about 5:00 am for Wood Islands where we will stay the night.
If you’re interested in an excellent podcast about fishing, CBC Ideas has one called, “The Mortal Sea”. It is really interesting and well worth a listen.
It has been quite some time since I’ve written on the blog so I will try and get everyone up to date by writing the condensed version of what we’ve been up to since September.
We bought an industrial building at 360 Water Street in Summerside, PEI. If you check it out on Google Street View, you’ll think we were crazy but we were given permission from the City of Summerside to turn it into our residence. The building is right on the water (the Summerside Harbour which leads out to the Northumberland Strait) and right downtown. It was exactly what we were looking for even though it didn’t really resemble a house. Dennis was the one who saw the potential of the building and we are now in the process of renovating it. Thanks to a number of Summerside people, Jeff Barry, Wilfred Smith, Scott Buchanan, Roy Kilbride, Denis the painter and especially William Jones (I will write an entire post about William in a few days but needless to say, he is one amazing carpenter!), the place is looking awesome! We should be able to move in at the end of July.
Here is a picture of before and after (so far…)
We bought 360 Water Street in August of 2014 and once the deal went through, we put the Split Crow away for the winter (in Souris, PEI) and went home to get ready to sell our house in the spring. Within a week of being home, we got an unexpected visit. Janice Hughes, the owner of Hughes Communications, had a boat to cottage on Trout Lake but was thinking that she would like to move to a more permanent location and had heard that our house was going to be for sale. She looked around and I knew within five minutes that she was going to buy our house. Long story short, she did and is very happy there roaming the trails with her dog Daisy and paddling around in Crow Lake. Here are the pictures of the place that I posted on Flickr.
We spent the entire fall, winter and spring getting rid of most of our belongings. Dennis had quite a bit of worldly goods that he had to “thin out”. He was going from 23 acres to about 50 feet so there was no room for his collection of treasures.
We finally managed to get rid of a lot of stuff, loaded up the rest in a 20 foot U-Haul and headed out on June 2nd for PEI. We arrived the next day in the evening and just about froze! There was a frost warning out – yikes! Over the next two days, we unloaded our belongings into two storage lockers and basically got in William the carpenter’s way because we were so impressed with the work that had been done. We could not believe the transformation. I will post pictures of it on a later date.
At 360 Water Street, part of the building is rented out to a computer company – LiveTechs. The owner, Allan Ramjattan, has been very patient with the construction. He is a great guy and so easy to get along with. The other part of the building used to be rented out to a hair salon but we will be turning that into Dennis’ workshop for our very small business, the PEI Wooden Spoon and Sewing Company.
We suspect that there were a lot of people wondering what we were up to. Somehow, (thanks William :)) we were interviewed by the Journal Pioneer. Here is the article.
Finally, finally, on to the boat! We have officially moved onto the boat for the summer and will be bringing it to Summerside on Saturday and Sunday if weather permits. The boat went in the water today and we are very comfortable on it. Here are a few pictures of it being moved from the yard to the water.
If you’re interested in seeing the boat going into the water, please watch last year’s video – it was pretty much the same thing except that Dennis and Peter had different shirts on (we hope!). Here it is:
Anyway, that’s about all the news for tonight. As you can see from my final picture, the boat is safely in the water. 🙂
Yes, it is a miracle! We finally left Summerside this morning. During the entire three weeks that we were in Summerside, the winds were very strong almost every single day. Even the local people kept saying that the strong winds were very unusual. So, we left this morning at 7:00, motored under the bridge and then pulled out the sails. Within an hour, the wind had died completely! So, the sails had their debut and are now back where they will most likely stay for a while…
Needless to say, it was an uneventful day. We spotted a few seals and one whale (we think). We did have a passenger – a beautiful dragonfly which is still hanging on to the canvas. I’m not sure if it’s sleeping.
We amused ourselves today by playing the new musical instrument – the strumstick. It is really easy to play – no wrong notes. In the pictures below, you’ll see it. You can also see Dennis whaling away on his traveller’s guitar. I have to say that a boat is a great place to practice – nobody can hear you!
Of course, upon docking at Wood Islands, we went over for our lobster rolls at Crabby’s. They were delicious! And I had to go and see how the ospreys were doing. They have really grown since we were here last. I didn’t get to see them fly but maybe next time when we stop in.
So, I don’t have any other news. We are off to Ballantyne’s Cove tomorrow.
We picked a good week to stay in Summerside because the Lobster Festival is on. We’ve been enjoying all the activities – lots of outdoor concerts, all sorts of vendors and tons of things for kids to do. Monday was the parade. Of course, it poured rain all morning but finally at 1:00, the rain let up (just in time for the wind to blow a gale) for the parade. There were 80 floats in all – the highlight being the giant lobster. I thought that the wind would take it away but it did not although its giant claws were waving wildly! One of the highlights was seeing Heather Moyse, the Olympic bobsledder from Summerside. Here are a few pictures.
The College of Piping was also in the parade – they were excellent. Here is a video of them at the parade plus plus a couple of other activities during the festival. They are certainly unique and hard to explain so watch the video. 🙂
Last night, we had the opportunity to see The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom and it was excellent! If you do get a chance to see it, please do so. Here is some information on Stompin’ Tom – he sure had a rough start to his life. Of course, my favourite song is… (Click the link!)
That’s all the news for now. We are expecting company from Canmore tomorrow – looking forward to a visit with my parents. They’re driving around in a rented RV. Pretty windy ride, I bet!