Grand Oak Blog

9 Oct

Catching Up!

The last several days have been delightfully busy.
Last week our friends from London, Ontario, Russ and Grace Branch, arrived here for a 7 night stay. We enjoyed their company, and did some things with them, including some cards and board games.
On Friday morning my neighbour, John, came over and said he would like to go sailing at noon, and asked if could I go with him. I said yes. You may have seen some pictures of our place from across the water. In a lot of those pictures there is a red sailboat in the water, in front of our place. That is John’s boat. It is twenty feet long. It is too big for him sail in alone, so he wants someone to go with him. He has said many times that he wants me to go with him, and I have said as many times that I will go. So Friday was our day. The wind was slight, but enough. We were gone for 4 and a half hours. We sailed south westerly almost all the way to the Habitation at Port Royal. It was wonderful. It was interesting to see the north hill (called the north mountain) from the river.
Saturday was Market Day. The Annapolis Royal’s Farmers and Traders Market is well known in Nova Scotia and always draws a lot of people. It is open from 8 AM – 1 PM. There are always a lot of tourists, but also a lot of Bluenosers (NovaScotians) from all over. My wife Martha works at the German Bakery booth. This weekend was also “Paint the Town,” weekend. Eighty artists came from all over, and set up their easels and went to work painting scenes from the town. The pictures they produced were auctioned off (by silent auction) on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Half the proceeds went to the artist whose work was sold, and half went to the local ARTS Council to help fund the work they do here all year. With all these extra people in town, not only the market, but a lot of local businesses were busier than usual.
Also on Saturday morning, there was a sailboat race from Digby to Annapolis Royal. Only two boats crossed the finish line, because there wasn’t enough wind. But there were people here, who came to watch this event too. It was a busy day.
On Sunday morning we went to church at the church we attend, Habitation Baptist Church. This is a small but lively congregation, and we are glad to be a part of them. We had guests for lunch, which was nice. Afterwards, I went with Russ and Grace on a sight-seeing drive along the Bay of Fundy shore for four hours. We stopped in at some picturesque villages, and at a beach. We saw beautiful scenery, and a couple of seals.
On Tuesday we went with Russ & Grace for a drive down “The French Shore,” also called “The Acadian Shore.” If you look on a map, you can see that we went past Digby, and stayed south, along the coast of St. Mary’s Bay. Across St. Mary’s Bay, looking north, we could see the Digby Neck. Our first stop was at Gilbert’s Cove lighthouse. The tide was out and mud flats were very wide. There were some people digging for clams on the flats. The lighthouse is also a museum of the shipping and ship building history of the area. It is very nice, and a must see.
Our next two stops were at churches, L’Eglise St. Bernard at St. Bernard, and L’Eglise Saint Marie at Church Point. They are beautifully ornate structures. L’Eglise Saint Marie is the largest wooden church building in North America.
From there we went to Mavilette Beach at Mavilette Provincial Park. After walking over the boardwalk across the dunes, we walked down 35-ish steps to the beach. The water was a couple hundred meters away, but the tide was coming in. The beach is about 1.5 kilometers wide, and is sandy, very unusual for Nova Scotia. We barbequed hot dogs, and had our lunch. Martha and I played Low Tide Beach Curling, a game we invented during our stays in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I swam in the ocean, but not for long. It wasn’t exactly warm. After four hours of enjoying the beach and sunshine, the water was only a few meters away, and it was time to go.
We made one stop on our return trip, at Smuggler’s Cove, by Meteghan. Smuggler’s Cove has a cave at the high tide water mark. It is fifteen feet high, and sixty feet deep, and was used to hide contraband liquor in years gone by. The cave in not accessible, but it is interesting, and very nice to see.
At home, we have had guests every night but three, since July 1, and most of those nights we have a full house. But on days like this, we try to make time for ourselves in the midst of all the busyness and enjoy the benefits of living here.

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