A Little Gem
23 August 2007 | LaHave, Nova Scotia
After a quick dinghy ride ashore to make a posting on the web, we let go of our Lunenburg mooring ball and headed out of the harbour. The Bluenose II had gone out a bit earlier, followed by a big blue dragger. I was struck by the image of two fishing boats from different eras moored a wharf or two apart, and leaving the harbour at the same time. The working day for one crew, of course, would be filled with entertaining tourists, while for the other, the fish would be the prime concern. While I was sitting on a wharfside bench making my blog posting, Jim and I watched a couple of women, clutching the hands of little children, walk away from the wharf just after the fishing boat left. Were these the families of fishermen saying goodbye? I expect so - just as they have done for hundreds of years from this same waterfront.
We had heard that Strathspey was headed for Brooklyn (just across the Mersey River from Liverpool) that day so we reluctantly decided to bypass LaHave and hustle on to meet them. What a delight it was to get a call on the VHF radio, with new information that our buddies would stay at LaHave another night and we could connect with them there.
We cruised along into the river past Fort Point until we could see the big red building with LaHave Bakery and Outfitters painted on the end. Sure enough, there was Strathspey! Peter Brown, our genial host, came along with a warm welcome, and amid all our "hellos" and "good to see yous", Blair and Mary were just brimming over with "Ya gotta see this!" exclamations. This was our first opportunity to try our hand at tying up on a (non-floating) wharf in tidal waters, so we took some time to carefully tie our bow and stern lines, and then arrange spring lines so that as the tide rose and fell, we would too.
The LaHave Bakery, famous in these parts for breads, buns, and all things yeasty, operates from the basement of the building. Main floor front is the charming café where we could pick up these yummy items, and sit to enjoy them or take them away. Main floor back is a wonderful co-op art/craft store where I certainly wished I had money to spend and space to store things. The quality was superb. Also on main floor back is a boat maker's shop. Unfortunately I never did get in there since he was away, and returned only as we were leaving the next morning, but we heard from Blair and others that Kevin's craftsmanship is also superb. Upstairs is the laundry area, office space - for the bakery as well as a couple of lovely rooms available to rent for visiting business persons. (Hmm, my mind was racing a couple of years ahead - wouldn't this be a nice spot to do some work from sometime down the road...) The third floor houses the shop where a young entrepreneur designs and builds skateboards - and high quality ones they are too! This whole building hums with creativity and appreciation for beauty.
It took me most of the evening to do a much needed laundry job - we discovered that our towel/sheet locker had a leak so practically all the textiles on the boat had to be washed. In fact, the kind bakery people put my last load through the dryer in the middle of the night!
We could happily spend several days here, but unfortunately, we had to move on the very next day. There was a spell of rough weather coming and we wanted to be further along the southwestern shore before then.
Madcap will definitely be back here. This is one of those places where we feel a certainty that there are more conversations to be had, sticky buns to share, and exploring to do.