Hanging Out in Halifax
16 August 2007 | Halifax, NS
Oh it's good to be back in Halifax! We left here in 1991 to move to Vancouver, and although we have returned for brief visits since then, this one is different. We came by water on our own boat using our own skills, and we have stayed for a whole, wonderful week - a few days in Purcell's Cove, and now on the waterfront at Bishop's Landing.
It is so much fun to chat with the people who walk by. We've met Les - a local man who is restoring a sailboat and has been south to the Bahamas twice, David and his son Adam - visiting here from New York on a cruise boat, Matthew - the attentive and helpful marina man, Jac and friends from Ottawa - who wouldn't mind a ride back home with us!
We remember all the times we have strolled waterfronts, admiring sailboats and talking with their owners, and we thoroughly enjoy these interactions with passersby. They tell us stories, and recommend anchorages and share our dreams with us. It is quality time.
The first few days were filled with boat jobs and the generous hospitality of Pam and Gary (Atlantic Star). With their help we reprovisioned, repaired the teak rail on our stern, and located a competent diesel man to check out our engine and install a new solenoid on the starter. We traded in our 9.9hp 2-stroke outboard motor for a 5hp 4-stroke one, and can recommend Steve Dawson at White Water Marine in Lower Sackville for his helpfulness. The new motor is lighter, more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. It won't take us along as fast, but it is a better weight for our dinghy davits, will still take us ashore for explorations, and assists us in our attempt to be more earth-friendly.
The band, Signal Hill, was performing at the Lower Deck, and we spent a very fine evening enjoying their music with Blair and Mary. The Buskerfest is also on, but we liked it a lot better back in the days when it was more informal with fewer carnival-type booths and in-your-face commercialism. The oohs and aahs came easier then, and we were more enthusiastic about tossing coins and bills in the hat.
We rented a car and drove to Amherst for another visit with my Mum and Dad. The timing was just perfect, as Sunday was their 59th wedding anniversary. We picked up my Aunt Ursula in Truro, Mary Beth came down from Moncton, and we all met up at the Bell Inn in Dorchester for a superb lunch - another day of quality time.
Pam and Gary invited their friends Vince and Diane Purcell over for an evening and my pen flew across the page as they shared so much information on their travels down the US east coast, the ICW and through the Bahamas. We look forward to meeting up with them again.
We had lunch with our old friend and former neighbour, Glenn - a prelude to another visit when Peggy can come too! Among the laughs and reminiscences, were some valuable contemplations about work and identity and belonging, good fodder for another posting.
Susan and David and Jason came by for drinks, which turned into dinner and a whole delightful evening of conversation. We haven't seen Jason for 18 years so it was a real treat to meet the grown man whom we can remember discovering perched with Mary Beth on the roof of our house on Wedgewood Ave - quite oblivious to any danger as they (aged 6 or 7 at the time) dangled their legs off the edge! I think they have both retained their desire for adventure.
We just couldn't tear ourselves away today (Thursday the 16th) so we'll visit this evening with Gilles and Marielle (Lady M) and depart in the morning to journey on toward Chester and the Mahone Bay. That is where we'll reconnect with Strathspey and enjoy a few days in some of the prime sailing area of Canada's Ocean Playground.