August 9th – Baddeck – Going to a Ceilidh

We went to our first ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee) last night in Baddeck and it was tons of fun!  Here is some information on it – click this link:

There were two performers – Donna Marie DeWolfe on the fiddle and Mac Morin on the piano. Mac plays in the Natalie McMaster band. At the ceilidh, we were treated to lots of good music and step dancing. Some brave volunteers learned how to do a dance – kind of like square dancing. The whole thing was very informal and relaxed – as I said, it was lots of fun.

Here are some highlights of the ceilidh.


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Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes


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August 7th, 8th – Baddeck, Nova Scotia

We anchored out a couple of nights in the Bras d’Or Lakes and it was really nice – kind of like being in the North Channel without the granite! There are all sorts of inlets and islands to anchor and the swimming is really nice. The water is brackish so you can taste the salt but it looks really clean and we don’t have to worry about the tides and other ocean hazards. Below are some pictures of the area. The picture with the boat and the rainbow behind it was taken last night in Baddeck and the rest were taken while we were on our way here.

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We had an interesting time in a narrow channel the other day. We watched a huge yacht come toward us and we wondered what they were going to do. Well, the yacht blew his horn and it just about made us jump! We immediately changed our course and avoided “disaster”! Of course, the captain of the Split Crow was not too pleased as he felt that he was in the right, so he decided that he was going to radio the yacht and give him a piece of his mind. So, he radioed over and said, “Nice horn you’ve got there!”. He really told him! 🙂

Here are some pictures of the yacht and of our anchorage near Marble Mountain.

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We arrived in Baddeck and picked up a mooring buoy then rowed ashore to Baddeck Marine. We wandered around the town – it is really pretty with lots of restaurants and shops. There are tons of boats here as there is a sailing regatta on. When we got to the wharf, we wondered if anyone could dock there and asked the wharf manager. He said that as long as there was room, we were welcome to tie up so that is what we did.

The last set of pictures is of the happenings on and around the wharf. The Amoeba, a sailing tour boat, is shown coming into the harbour. There are also a bunch of little boats racing around and they are quite interesting to watch. The funniest thing though are the kids that keep jumping off the wharf. One little guy kept saying to his buddy, “Watch this! I’m going to do a 420 and I’ll show you how it’s done!” Then, he would run and jump of the wharf and do a little twirl, splash and come back up and do it again. The two pictures of those kids are not as spectacular as the acrobatics that they did over and over… 🙂

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We will probably be here for a few days. We are going to go to the Alexander Graham Bell museum sometime and maybe rent a car to tour the area.

That’s all the news for today!


Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes



August 5th – The Bras d’Or Lakes

Well! We have finally arrived at the Bras d’Or Lakes and it is very beautiful here even though it has just started to rain. We are anchored out kind of near St. Peter’s in a nice big bay and we’re the only boat around, so it is very peaceful.

We left Port Hawkesbury this morning at 9:00 – we were fogged in so we left a little later than usual but I used my time wisely and walked up and down the hills – I thought I needed my exercise and this was a good workout!

The day was uneventful. We had to radio a bridge in the Lennox Channel to let us go through. Somewhere along the way, we spotted a couple of “fixer uppers” and Dennis immediately thought of Glen! (Don’t worry, Jo – they’re impossible to bring back to Ontario!)

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In St. Peter’s we had to go through the lock. It was the easiest lock ever – we didn’t even have to be on the boat! We just tied it up and wandered around while the lock master did all the work. Then, she hopped in her truck and raced over to the swing bridge to let us out. Her partner was out mowing the lawn somewhere so I wonder if the National Parks have had to cut back! 🙂 At any rate, it all worked out.

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As soon as we got to the Bras d’Or Lakes, we spotted several beautiful boats which you can see in the pictures below.

The only excitement here is that there seems to be some sort of confrontation going on with the herons and the ducks. Every once in a while, the herons let out a prehistoric cry and a great flurry of activity arises. The ducks get chased off and then everyone settles down again.

The rain has stopped and it is really nice out – Dennis is going to go fishing. (I am glad I made a couple of trips to the grocery store on my bike yesterday as he doesn’t seem to have much luck!)

I think we are heading toward Baddeck tomorrow but I am not sure if we will get there. The lake reminds me of Georgian Bay – maybe not as many rocks and bent pines but very beautiful!


Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Bras d'Or Lakes


August 3rd, 4th – Ballantyne’s Cove – Port Hawkesbury

So, now that we are travelling and heading toward the Bras d’Or Lakes, I seem to be lagging behind on the blog. There’s a lot to see and do so my entries may get shorter and shorter!

Yesterday, we left Woods Island in the morning and motored over to Nova Scotia. During the “voyage”, we saw many seals, dolphins and a pod of whales. I tried so hard to get good pictures but they were just too far away. I could see them really well with the binoculars, but as soon as I positioned my camera, everybody seemed to take cover under water! This went on for at least half an hour so I was quite disappointed to only get a head shot of a seal.

We arrived at Ballantyne’s Cove and promptly went to the beach for a swim as it was really hot out. The water was perfect! We basically floated around until we cooled off – it was so nice. Then, I decided that I needed a good, brisk walk and headed up the road. Nova Scotia appears to be quite a bit more hilly than Prince Edward Island – yikes! It was a good walk and the view of the ocean and the rocky shoreline was spectacular.

Here are a few pictures – one of the seal, the other two of the scenery around Ballantyne’s Cove and the final one of Jackson, the three legged dog.

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Today, we headed across the bay and went through the Canso Causeway locks. Just before we went through the locks though, we spotted an entire pod of whales feeding. There were four or five different groups with three or four whales in each group. We were able to get some good pictures and some video.

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We locked through without incident and are now tied up in Port Hawkesbury. There is a 50 foot catamaran from New Zealand beside us but the boat is empty – apparently the people have left for a week. I would have liked to see the inside of that boat!

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That’s all the news for now – we are heading to St. Peter’s tomorrow and will most likely anchor the next day. Of course, Hurricane Bertha is supposed to make an appearance, so we will have to tuck in somewhere.


Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Sailing in the Northumberland Strait


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August 2nd – Wood Islands

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.

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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Everything Else!


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July 30th – Out and About in Summerside

As I keep saying, we will eventually be leaving Summerside, but in the meantime, we’ve still been having lots of fun! Yesterday was a great day for boats coming into the marina – there are some huge boats docked and Dennis is enjoying talking to everyone – a whole new set of people for him to tell his stories to! One of the boats is really quite big and its anchor goes right over the dock, so I had to take a picture of Dennis underneath it. I was hoping that the anchor was well secured!

One of the marina people that we’ve met over the past couple of weeks is a lady who owns a beautiful 42.5 foot Bruce Roberts. She and her husband bought the hull a few years ago and then finished the rest of the boat in their back yard. Due to a change of circumstances, Donna is selling the boat and found a buyer last week. So, in the collage below, you’ll see a couple of pictures of the boat under sail. It is a beautiful boat and the craftsmanship is excellent – I know the new owners (five sisters from Charlottetown) will love it!

The other two pictures are of a couple of dogs that are not exactly too beautiful but I couldn’t resist taking their pictures. Since we’ve been here, we have been walking the boardwalk along the ocean every night and have met quite a few people with their dogs.

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The other bit of news is that at the Summerside music store (it is excellent, by the way) I saw some really interesting instruments in the store and asked the clerk what they were. She took one down (it is called a Strumstick) and demonstrated how it is played. Here is a video of her demo – she’s really good!

So, after some pondering, we bought one (with the instructional CD) and hope to learn how to play it. Someone on the dock asked what it was and I mentioned that I was going to sell my mandolin (it really wasn’t working for me) so he bought it and now I have a strumstick which is relatively easy to play!

That’s all the news for now. 🙂

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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Summerside



July 27th, 28th – Touring the Green Gables Shore

It was a very sad day on Monday when Dennis brought back the rented sports car and returned with his folding mini bike. Back to reality… 🙂 We had a great time in the car and I would recommend that to anyone touring PEI – so much fun!

We started off on Sunday morning by visiting Anne Shillolo and her husband Frank. They were heading to their cottage in Newfoundland and stopped to see PEI. Anne is great person – she lives in Sprucedale, ON and lives off the electrical grid. She is a teacher and when I put in my notice of retirement, she applied and is now the new Educational Technology coordinator for the Near North District School Board! She’ll be great!

After our visit, we toured the Green Gables Shore. I have to say that it was beautiful – much of the route is right by the sea and is mixed in with little villages and farms. As a matter of fact, we came across the most photographed scene on Prince Edward Island and you should be able to pick it out in the collage of pics below.

We stopped in Cavendish and even though we had ridden our bicycles from Halifax to PEI in 1984 (and had stayed at Cavendish National Park), it was as though I had never seen it before. Very pretty with lots of tourists and all sorts of things to do.

We had lunch in North Rustico – I had the scallop burger and normally frown upon taking pictures of my food but it was so good, I had to! Here is the restaurant and my lunch – scallop burger with potato salad. Dennis had nachos (duh – not sure why as we are in the Maritimes but to each his own :))

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We drove around some more – visited David and Joy in Montegue – and then went to Charlottetown to do a bit of shopping. We got back to the boat at 5:30 and were totally exhausted! I guess all that driving in the sports car wore us out!

Here are a few pictures of the day. The top left is Anne and her husband Frank and the rest are a variety of shots along the Green Gables shore.

Photo 41 1




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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Summerside



July 26th – The North Cape Coastal Drive – Basket Weavers, North Cape, The Bottle Houses

We decided to use a more modern form of transportation for our tour of the North Cape Coastal Drive. Dennis rented a car for Saturday and Sunday but unfortunately, the one that was held for us, wasn’t available (I guess the car company knows how to take the reservation but does not know how to keep the reservation which is really the most important part (Seinfeld) :). Anyway, for ten dollars more, this is what we got!

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So, off we went on our tour of western PEI. Our first stop was in Richmond. We stopped at the Island Tradition Store – home of the basket weavers. Inside their store, they have beautiful handmade baskets made from reeds imported from Carolina and ash that was grown on the island. There were all sorts of different sized baskets, each one more beautiful than than next. What really interested me though, was that they offer workshops. The workshops vary in price and time but if you see the second picture below of the baskets hanging, that is what I want to make – a potato basket. The workshop will take all day and you can either made your basket out of the reed ($140 I think) or ash for $200. That’s what I want to do. Ann, the lady in the yellow top does the workshops in the summer or winter. If you want to take the class in the winter, she’ll do it at her house as they close up the store at the end of October.

The final picture in the collage is of a codfish basket that is over 70 years old. Ann had repaired it for a man who sold it to her for $45. Pretty amazing work here, I’d say!

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The next stop was North Cape and that is the most western point of the island. There is an interpretive centre, restaurant, gift shop and many wind generators making power for the island. It is a good place to have the windmills as it must be windy there all the time – it certainly was when we were there! This is worthwhile stop on the tour.

The pictures are of us standing on the tip as well as a sandbar and the “land’s end”. Notice in the picture of Dennis, there are tons of little inukshuks behind him. In my picture, I’m trying not to let my hat blow into the ocean but also trying to pose like a person who drives around in a sports car – the look didn’t quite work 🙂

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To explain the pictures below, we watched some guys pulling their boat out of the water at the cliffs – it looked pretty difficult especially because of the ferocious wind and waves.

I also wanted to show you big the windmills really are and if you look closely at the picture of the windmill on the ground, you’ll see two people standing in front of it.

The final picture is Skinners Pond – where Stompin’ Tom Connors was born.

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After we stopped for a late lunch, we came upon a very strange sight. It seemed to be a giant bottle made of cement and bottles so we stopped and went in. It turns out that this is the very famous Bottle Houses – where Edouard Arsenault of Cap-Egmont made three houses out of glass bottles. Very, very cool! If you want to read about the history, click on this link. There are three buildings, each consisting of at least 10,000 bottles – one is a chapel, the other a six gabled house and the other is a little tavern. The buildings are surrounded by beautiful gardens and you could spend the entire afternoon there as it was so peaceful and interesting. The pictures below will give you a sample of what it was like but if you are ever in the area, this is definite place to stop!

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So, that is all the news for today. More touring around in the sports car tomorrow and then, sadly, we have to return it. Oh well, it was lots of fun!

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Posted by on July 26, 2014 in Summerside


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Summerside – The College of Piping

The other night, we had the pleasure of seeing The College of Piping performance – Highland Storm. Wow! If you ever get a chance to see this show or any of their other performances, you will be amazed at the quality of Celtic music and dance.

The outdoor theatre is excellent and the acoustics were great. I took a lot video at the concert and compiled some of it on the following video. I also added a bit at the beginning of the video of their performance at the Divercity Festival since I enjoyed the concert so much. So, please enjoy the video and again, if you get a chance to see one of The College of Piping shows, please do so!



Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Summerside



Summerside – July 19th to July 22nd

In case you haven’t noticed, we are still in Summerside and will most likely be here for another few days. This is good news because we have certainly been able to amuse ourselves easily! First of all, the Silver Fox Marina is located right downtown. It is a great marina with excellent staff and clean facilities. Everything is within walking distance – grocery store, pharmacy, post office, and the downtown which has quite a few shops and services. As a matter of fact, Summerside is trying something new this year and has closed off a block of the main street to traffic and turned it into a place for artists. Here is an article from the CBC on that. We’ve had lots of fun watching the artists, musicians and dancers.

We have met quite a few people here but one lady stands out because she is a descendent of Lucy Maud Montgomery! Cora-Lee Dunbar is the owner of ABI Business Services and we had the opportunity to talk to her. She was a very interesting lady, knowledgeable and lots of fun (a perfect combination!). Anyway, once I heard that she was related to Lucy Maud Montgomery, I had to take her picture and she also told us that her daughter won the Anne of Green Gables look alike contest! Cora-Lee sent me the photos of her daughter dressed as Anne. I can certainly see her winning the contest! July 24

We’ve also seen quite a few interesting dogs. We met Flora the dog at the Farmers’ Market last Saturday. We were finished shopping and were sitting at a picnic table when a lady came up to us and asked us to hold her dog as she didn’t want to leave her in her car (it was a very warm morning). We were happy to help and enjoyed Flora’s company for a few minutes (she was a very nice dog, by the way).

The second dog that we keep seeing was driving around in a car and I couldn’t resist taking his picture. We don’t know anything about him but we keep seeing him around and looks like a friendly fellow.

The third dog was a standard poodle named Harvey. Harvey is on a sailboat and was from Duluth. We talked to the boat owners and Harvey for quite some time and compared travel notes. They had stopped in Parry Sound on their trip. It was good to hear that they enjoyed it very much.

So, here are a few pictures…That’s all the news for today!

July 24



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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Summerside


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