April 3, 2012 , All over the place
We just had a 3 day weekend. Well, I just did. Dave likes to nag at me and point out that every day is a weekend day for him. And those 3 days passed by faster than the blink of an eye and the snap of the fingers. Just how does that happen ??
Well for one, we are still constantly cleaning house. No viewings since the last avalanche and potential offer. Keeping our fingers crossed and our hopes high that the after Easter rush will bring something concrete and profitable our way.
Secondly, it's been just gorgeous outside, so every day has involved a long walk in the sun and well no sand or palm trees on the horizon yet, however we were surprised to spot some gorgeous Canada Geese at our favourite trail the other day.
We spent a lovely evening at the Club last Friday night. Lots of laughs that covered alot of ground (toy boats and hollow legs with solemn promises of no blogging allowed by the recently crowned Coastal Navigation Goddess), along with great food (my first time having perogies, yumm !) made for a great evening with some friends that shall remain anonymous, HA !
Dave and I spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon trying out the Geocaching Phenomenon. Armed with a GPS, one downloads information from a site that provides details as you hike on whatever trails/area you choose and the GPS beep beeps you with hints on where to look and how far you need to Bushwhack into the shrubbery to find your little flask of Swag. It does get much more complex than that, with Travel Bugs and Hitchhikers, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. We added to the caches but otherwise left them all "as is", with one exception, a cute little toy dolphin that we might even bring on Banyan to be our travelling mascot.
And so we spent the afternoon in the vicinity of Lake Echo/Porter's Lake and hiked some trails that were totally new to us, and where, about 5 years ago, a raging fire destroyed some homes and over 600 acres of land. Our friends were quick to point out the locations of stash as we clambered over and under charcoaled remnants of trees, bushwhacked our way through the new growth, amazed at the devastation that had occured and of course (no competition here) one of us had to be the "first" to yell "FOUND IT!". Feel free to visit and like Banyan's Facebook for the pictures.
A pause at the edge of the Lake had us stopping and enjoying a beer and you know, that's what life's all about isn't it ? No, not the beer (not exclusively anyways) but being out and about, doing something. Feeling every pore of your body alive. In the moment and in love with it. And just for a moment there's nowhere to have to go and nothing to have to do. Time comes to a standstill and seemingly lasts forever. Life. Is. Good.
March 24, 2012 , Terrence Bay, Lower Prospect
Today Dave and I decided to do some exploring, on land, in our own backyard. Whoa, what ??
We were heading to Polly's Cove, a hiking trail just a tad before Peggy's Cove. We had even packed a snack and some coconut water to quench our thirst (nothing like getting ready for our future caribean travels !)
The reason we got sidetracked, is that four summers ago, when we were sailing on Dave's then lovely Illihee II, we spent a wonderful night in Grovers Cove, where we had hiked by some waterfalls. Today we were driving by, on our way to Polly's Cove, Dave did a double turn and hmm, mentionned that those "rocks looked familiar" and so we did another double turn and went for a look-see. Now only a "true" sailor would understand this term "the rocks looked familiar". Maybe, given that I knew exactly what Dave was talking about when he said that, could I be that much closer to becoming a sailor-ess ?
In any case, that's how we got sidetracked. We parked in a very small area just off the road, and found ourselves in this waterfront park, stumbled on the boardwalk littered with benches everywhere and stopped for a moment at the gazebo. We started reading the interpretive panels and discovered a very interesting piece of history that neither one of us knew anything about.
On 01 April 1873, the sail and steam fueled SS Atlantic was on its 19th voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, (from Liverpool (U.K.) and on its way to New York (U.S.), needed to refuel and was heading to Halifax to replenish its coal supplies (why did it leave UK with not enough coal?). The (typical) stormy seas and foggy nights of Nova Scotia had the Capt fooled (and there seems to be a bit of question as to the Capt's actions), thinking he was near Halifax, zigged when he should've zagged, and so in the wee hours of the morning, the ship smashed into some underwater rocks off Marr's Head...
It was considered "the worst marine disaster off the Canadian Coast prior to the Titanic". Of the 952 people on board less than half were saved. Lifeboats were lowered but were mostly washed away or smashed by the rough seas. The ship quickly filled with water and rolled over on its side. All the women and children died including 2 babies that were born on-board during the voyage. One child survived, a young boy by the name of John Hindley. The few survivors owed their lives to the very small and brave community that kept the frozen bodies alive during the dark and cold night. Many divers spent weeks diving and recovering the bodies. One newspaper tells an interesting tale : that one of the found crew was discovered to be a woman instead of the man that she was pretending to be - (s)he had served as a "common (male) sailor" for 3 of the SS Atlantic's voyages. Shiver me timbers !!
There stands a commemorative monument, erected in 1915, on a mass grave for the unidentified victims of the wreck.
As Dave and I meandered off the beaten path, we came across more gravestones laying helter skelter in the bushes, enough to shiver me timbers and hush us into solemn pensiveness. What is it about discovering a bunch of gravestones that gives one the creepy crawlies ? Either way it was an interesting detour and a wonderful day spent discovering a little piece of history in our own backyard.
On a side note, the offer and counter offer fell through and our house is back on the market, so we came home after our adventures for (another) thorough cleaning, getting it ready for more showings !! And it's back to the books for this "true sailor-ess" for the upcoming reviews and Coastal Navigation exam this week.
Keep your fingers crossed, shiver me timbers !!
Photo: One of the descriptive panels fond at the Heritage Site aptly named "Cry of the Sea". As always if you've liked SV Banyan on Facebook, you can take a peek at a few more pictures.