On a Tour of Lighthouses in the Canadian Maritimes
With Patti and Joe Kwashnak
Canada is one of those countries that is right next door, but too often you never go and visit. Sure, NOT's been there a couple of times, but he'd never been to the Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland). So with Patti and Joe embarking on a tour of the Canadian maritime lighthouses, NOT quickly snuck his way in on the trip.
The only question is whether he found it illuminating at all.
Of course the first stop is in Maine at the Lighthouse Depot, home of everything lighthouses (and co-incidentally the organizer of the tour). NOT got a tour by the owner himself, Bob Devine.
NOT found these lighthouses much easier to get atop of (with Patti and Joe's help a bit).
While in Maine, and on the way to see lighthouses, why not stop in Portland? The Portland Head Light is the most photographed lighthouse in the world and was completed in January 1791.
Though NOT held his ears in fear of the lighthouse's bell being rung with him too close.
But now it's time to man your passports - we've moved along into Canada, eh. First stop, Nova Scotia! Here at Cape Forchu.
Then it's Liverpool, Nova Scotia and the Fort Point Lighthouse. NOT found this old salt to be less than talkative, and he tasted nothing like salt when licked.
But being so quiet must work, since the old salt was a favorite of the ladies, even charming the tour guide Cathy Hampton to just sit on his lap. NOT stayed behind to chaperone.
And NOT had to chaperone to keep an eye on those who were just fiddling around.
But he still found time to learn about the lighthouse. NOT's gotten quite good at reading information plaques upside down.
And again at Port Medway Lighthouse, he's reading upside down. Watch our or he might slide off!
At Musquodoboit Range Light in Point Pleasant, N.S. the light is no longer in active service, the the lighthouse is still maintained by Ivan and Mildred Kent. Ivan is the grandson of the original keeper of the light.
And NOT checks out the picnic tables. This one is reserved for the ghost of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who is said to be a frequent visitor to the light. Why would a ghost of the famous British admiral hang out in Canada. Well apparently Ivan Kentís great grandfather sailed with Nelson as his navigator and was with him when Nelson was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar.
NOT saw seagulls, but no Admiral.
NOT contemplated the lighthouse quilt in the background as the group at Port Bickerton, N.S. was raffling it off as a fund raiser, but in the end NOT felt that he was in a bigger danger of being smothered than being cold and passed.
NOT and company rolled into the town of Guysborough, N.S. to visit their Out of the Fog Museum. The group was the first bus tour to come through the town, which was trying to promote tourism, and Counselor Blair George met the group, gave everyone packets of information and invited them to a chowder dinner put on by the town's residents. NOT and everyone enjoyed the hospitality.
Just as the old ships that depended on the lighthouses for guidence had carved figures in the front leading the way, so the tour had NOT, who at the invitation of tour driver Ray sat in the front of the bus on a tissue box that seemed tailor made for NOT. "Ahead!" squeaked NOT.
Louisbourg Light is the oldest in Canada, though it looks good for its age.
Louisbourg, N.S. is the site of Fort Louisbourg, an important fort for the French in the 18th century. The fort was the site of several sieges in the continued tension between England and her colonies, and the French and her colonies. Today the fort sits reconstructed and staffed by historical interpreters in period dress. NOT checks out colonial life with BelleHumeur - Infantry, La Fluery - Blacksmith and Bassigny - Infantry.
NOT was a bit nervous visiting the kitchens though since waterfowl is a common dish in the area. The women reassured NOT that he was not going to be cooked - he was too small. NOT wanted to argue the point until Patti shut him up.
The Maritimes have a strong Scottish heritage. While there, NOT checked out some formal kilt attire. Unfortunate they didn't have his size, which is probably just as well seeing that he doesn't really have the legs to pull off a kilt.
And the Tam-o-Shanters were a bit big for him too.
But that didn't keep NOT from getting up-close-and-personal with the bagpipes at Cape Bretton Highlands National Park.in Nova Scotia.
Now one thing to know about NOT is that he kinda hid across the border. And when he got to the Cape Jourtrimain Nature Center, he began to get nervous. There on the wall was a plaque asking "Have you Seen This Duck?" !!!!
Guide Jeremy Hunt explained that he was not sought, rather it was a conservation effort for the Harlequin Duck, which is considered endangered. NOT felt better, and was a bit relieved because in the U.S. people joke about escaping to Canada, but he didn't know where Canadians escape to.
On Prince Edward Island, NOT checked out the West Point lighthouse, here being guided personally by Carol Livingstone.
Everyone says Canadians are a friendly people, and NOT got to find out for himself. After all he is an international goodwill ambassador. Among his friends was Why Not? Duck - we don't' know if they are related, but anything is possible.
And finally NOT brought cheer to Anthony (and his waiter) celebrating his birthday in Saint Johns, New Brunswick.
A goodwill ambassador's work is never done. But NOT does it with a smile on his beak.
|North American Travel|
Photos courtesy of Patti and Joe Kwashnak
Last Updated September 2006