04 August 1999

Paddling on Queen Ann's Bay

Up at 7. I made that orange/cranberry/bulgar stuff for breakfast. We had to take a ferry (75 cents) to get to the other side of the bay. I'm not sure what the story is with this ferry... they built a causeway for the road most of the way across the bay but the last 3 car lengths or so is a cable ferry. Maybe it's for boat access to the bay??

We found the kayak place, North River Kayaking and met Gregor (our guide) and the Gillims. We're dropping the Gillims at our lunch stop (where they will camp for the night). The rest of the day will be just Gregor and K and me.

Just after putting boat to water, I saw an eel in the shallows around the dock. There were lots of jellies. Gregor says the purple ones are Lion's Mane and the clear ones are Moon Jellies.

We paddled down the North River to the ruins of an abandoned lumber mill at the mouth. Just out from the ruins were old dock pilings with a cormorant perched on the top of each one.

We paddled past several-hundred-foot cliffs until we came to rocky, narrow beach where we stopped for lunch. There's a fresh stream waterfall running down the rock back and into the salt bay.

We had lunch then left the Gillims to paddle back the way we came.

Since we were ahead of schedule and making good time, Gregor took us over to a lighthouse on the other side of the river. It's not functioning...now people stay there on a sort of B & B arrangement. Gregor said that the woman currently staying there, paddled with him yesterday. We waved and exchanged shouted greetings.

On the way back to the dock, we met Angelo and some other kayakers. We also discovered that Gregor knows the Doanes. Chalmers taught his mother Jeannie to play uke and she's been teaching others. He grew up in Truro and knew the Doane kids...Melanie anyway. Small world! [ ps ... Later, when I told Jean about this, she said that Gregor's last name is Wilson and Jeannie was Chalmers first girlfriend (which she suspects Gregor never knew).]

When we got back, we chatted with Gregor a bit and talked barter. K and I wanted NRK caps and were wanting to trade one of my quote books and an Arizona t-shirt for them. We had to wait for Angelo to get back and say yea or nay. He was enthusiastic. I also bought one of his CDs ($15) too.

We listened to the CD on the way back to Englishtown. I like it but wouldn't listen to it all the time. We had to wait for the second ferry. The ferry holds 12 cars...we were the 11th car on the second ferry.

When we got back to camp, the radio-jerks next door were still there...dammit.

We took showers and did a load of laundry. I had a nasty headache (dehydration, I expect) so I took some ibuprofen and lots of water.
We were going to go to Baddeck for a lobster supper but when we called, found that they would have closed by the time we got there and the suppers were more than we really wanted to pay anyway so I made tortellini instead.
The radio-jerks left (briefly) then came back and loaded even more obnoxious music than they had been playing. At least my headache has dimmed or I'd be really grumpy.

After supper, we decided to take a walk and see if the radio jerks were as loud as we think or if it's just because we're right next to them. We walked all the way past the back of the campground and you could still hear it plainly. We'd decided to go speak to the manager about it and were discussing it when we passed another campsite with 2 women headed toward the road we were on. One apparently heard our discussion and made a comment about the music so we stopped to chat.

We really hit it off and, while chatting, the music stopped and stayed off!!! Hallelujah! But we stayed chatting with Cathy and Mary until full dark. We invited them to the SoHo Kitchen to hear Chalmers tomorrow night...sounds like they may make it.

We headed back to our (blissfully!) quiet campsite and slept soundly all night.