7 August, 2014
The ride to Bouctouche was pretty smooth, seas less than 1’, wind 7-8 knots. It was pretty hazy, and one of those “close” days, with high humidity. 2 hours out of port, we started seeing lightning on the shore, a couple of miles away. Checked the satellite weather (again), and it looked like the worst of it would track past us, and work its’ way down the shoreline. …….This weather satellite thing that I keep talking about is a pretty awesome tool. Software is on one of the computers, and the data comes in piggybacked on an XM or Sirius signal. When projected on our monitor, it provides all kinds of data (radar, satellite view, fronts, surface conditions, marine forecasts, and etc.), overlaid on a map of North America. All this stuff is manipulated by the mouse in hand, and allows us to make some pretty accurate appraisals of the weather now and for the future.-I frikkin’ love science! The water’s pretty skinny on the way in (always a little tense for Y.T.), and we’re going in on a falling tide, which means you go aground-you’re not floatin’ again until the next high tide. Okay, get tied up, and the Admiral says it looks like rain-guess so, the clouds are purple. Thirty seconds later, the sky busts loose and drops about an inch in half an hour. Formidable! (oops..Francais). I can sit and read instead of washing the salt off The Girl. Kind of a long day, so it’s a 5 to 7 with Lauren and Bill, and we all agree that dinner is overrated, and head off to bed. By the way, wildlife tally for today is 2 whales (species undetermined), and 8 Harbor Seals. Today is exploration day in Bouctouche, but first have to call Shediac (the self-proclaimed lobster capital of the world), to book a spot for tomorrow. Justin (marina guy) takes all the info., tells me there’s plenty of water to get in (BUT STAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHANNEL!!). When we finish up our conversation, he asks where we’re coming from. “Bouctouche”. No, where did we come from initially. “Michigan”. Says he thought so, as the only English speakers that come here are usually from the Great Lakes, and then only 1 or 2 a year. (??). Fun day! 24km. of riding on nicely groomed trails through mixed forest and lowlands took us out to the Eco-Centre and back. The trails and Centre were built and are maintained by the Irving family. Originally from Bouctouche, the Irvings built a corporate empire, starting with a sawmill and general store. We talked to a lady who told us that about half of the folks in New Brunswick cash a paycheck from an Irving company, and besides their properties in Canada, this privately held company is one of the largest landholders in the U.S.A. (I’ll have to Wiki that). Anyway, they ought to call this village Irvingville instead of Bouctouche. The family has given back to their community in a BIG way-righteous. The channel on the way out was a snap-amazing how your perspective changes once that unknown has been banished. A little rain and some lightning on the way to Shediac, fortunately the electricity stayed onshore. The Shediac Yacht Club is pretty tiny, The Girl is the biggest boat in here ever. We’re met at the dock by the Harbormaster, Mike and the Commodore of the club, George. Barely before we’re tied up, they want to know “How did you pick our marina?”, and “We’re so glad you’re here. Is there anything we can do? There are bikes to use”, and etc. Story is, the village owned the marina, and it was falling into a major state of disrepair. The local boaters got together, formed a non-profit, and bought the property from the village. The results of their efforts are pretty clear. The docks are in good shape, good electricity and water, and their clubhouse looks new. That old preferred future thing again. It’s fruit, veggie, and lobster shopping-empty the backpacks back at the boats, then out for some essential liquid supplies. After that, it’s the tourist thing. Out to see the “big lobster”, a statue at the mouth of the river. We wait our turn, chase the kids off, and climb up so the nice lady can snap one of the 4 of us. Then it’s off to the other marina, which is situated out the bay a ways. The lightnings’ snappin’ all around, so we’re hustling to get to the watering hole there before the rain hits, ‘cause it’s getting really black. The free rental bike is giving me just what I paid for, the pedal’s coming loose from the crank and it ain’t workin so well. The trusty Leatherman tool tightens it up (somewhat), but the bolt is stripped and it comes loose about every 200 yards. One-legged pedaling gets us there just before the sky lets loose. Dan’s is pretty proud of their beer-$8 for about a 10 oz. pour. The rain slows down, so we relocate to the Sandbar for our second round. Mo bettah! $5 brews, and mussels that you don’t have to get a second mortgage to buy. Rain stops and we’re on our way to dinner at “The Bayou” (where the locals go). Surprise, surprise, surprise. All you can eat fish ‘n chips night, and they’re not makin’ any money on us, Suz and I haven’t eaten since dinner last night. (This is potato country out here, and The Admiral and I haven’t eaten this many fries in the last year. The fried stuff kinda’ sticks with us, so we really don’t feel hungry. It’s a good thing, as we’d both weigh about 300 by now). One-leg pedaled back home. Right leg got a workout, but we made it before the rain (and this one’s a real turd-floater). 0720, and on our way to Prince Edward Island. Supposed to be rainy, but calm today with very little wind. Well…..we got about a 3 on the Beaufort scale, and a beam sea of 3 footers, with an occasional 4 thrown in-rock and roll, baby. Fortunately, it starts to pour, making the seas lay down a bit. The rain is coming down in sheets and looking down the rows of waves racing away from us, the wind-whipped droplets look like fog about 6” above the water. Rain has stopped, seas 1-2’, and P.E.I. oysters are only 9 miles away..…Later.
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