Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Expect delays ... and Pirates !

Maritime Race Weekend saw lots of runners in the Passage for 5k, 10k, half and full Marathon races. ...

You can't say we weren't warned.

My friend Mickie was running in the 5 k on Friday evening and her partner, Amy was going to take photos.  Did I want to meet up with them ?

"Sure", I said.  "I'll meet you near the start area."

Want to take a guess how THAT worked out ?  

After scanning a thousand or so faces, and realizing that I wouldn't be meeting up with my chums, I reconciled myself to enjoying the race on my own.

And I did.

Participants and spectators were encouraged to dress up in keeping with the Pirate theme.

I was really impressed with the costumes folk came up with. 

Family and friends came out to show support for the runners.

And ... "THEY'RE OFF !"

The setting sun cast its orange glow on the runners.

Yep.  She ran the 5 k in a "boat" !

Along the route on Shore Road, encouraging signs, cow bells and cheering watchers urged the racers on.

And what better way to celebrate the end of the race than with fireworks ?

Almost makes me want to lace up the running shoes and get out there.

I said ALMOST.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A disastrous walk around Lawlor's Island

I know what you're gonna say: "You've already told us about your walk around Lawlor's Island".

But when I say I "a walk around Lawlor's Island", I don't mean a walk upon Lawlor's Island, I mean a gosh darn walk all the way around the Island.

The view from Lawlor's looking back toward Woodside and the oil storage tanks. 

Of course I wasn't alone on this silly undertaking: I had Trey with me.  I've stopped taking a ball to throw for him, after our last visit where he ran into the woods with a ball, and came back with a rubber boot !   (Hey !  That was a $6 ball you stoooopid dog !)

It didn't take Trey long to find something for me to throw.

On this trip he brought me a running shoe, a sandal, a Croc garden shoe, a rubber boot, a diver's rubber hat, a stick and a six foot tree !

Some things are more throwable than others.

Trey and the tree he wanted me to throw for him. He carried this damn thing for ages.

It wasn't long before the boot was shredded.
Cooling off on damp sea weed.

A thong, or do you call them "flip flops" ?

His pièce de résitance was glomming onto a massive truck tire that was embedded in the sand.  To his profound shock and displeasure, I was unable to pick it up and chuck it into the water for him.

The walk was a mite longer than I expected.

Each time I'd walk around a point, I'd expect to see the end of the island.  Instead I would be presented with yet another cove.
Finally I climbed a hill to see where I was and if I'd be able to cross from one side of the island to the other..

And found that the answer was, "no" as it was too overgrown, and covered in deadfall to cross easily.

But oh, it was pretty.

Looking toward McNab's Island and the far side of Halifax Harbour.

A lobster boat, and Devil's Island can barely seen in the distance.

So what part of this walk was "disasterous" you ask ?

Well, it wan't that it was over four hours of walking over rough and rocky ground on a very hot day.

And it wasn't that my kayak had been carried into the harbour by the rising tide, as this time I had secured it to the shore.


It was something else.

Something that I didn't realize until Trey and I were most of the way around the island.  Something that happened after we'd made it 'round the point and back down to the shore where I blithely threw a stick into the water for Trey.
The "something that happened", happened in this cove.

And I didn't know it had happened until Trey, Trey my indomitable, over-the-top dog, lay down on the sand and refused to get up.

And still I didn't get it.

I thought he was just tired and tried to cajole him into following me down the shore.  After all, it was still a 1/2 km walk to the kayak.

He refused to follow me.

Trey never refuses to follow me.

I walked on, calling back to him, and calling his bluff.

He refused to get up and follow me.

WTF ???

I walked back, knelt down and checked his feet.

OMG !!!

They were shredded !  Every one of his paws was ripped.  Some pads had flaps of skin just hanging off, while on others fresh raw skin was all there was.

I realized too late that in that final cove, I had been heaving his stick into water where just below the surface the rocks were covered in razor sharp Barnacles !   What an idiot I am !   I had no frikkin' clue and of course, Trey refused to listen to his body until it was too late.

Photo after we got home and cleaned his poor paws.
Alone and worried what Trey would do left on his own, I hustled down the shore, got the kayak and paddled back to where I'd left him lying bewildered by my abandonment.   It was over half an hour before I got back to him.  He had moved a mere 50 feet down the shore in a vain attempt to follow me and was just standing there mournfully.

Oh it was a miserable paddle back to the mainland with a sodden, whimpering dog hunkered down down on my lap.

Back home his  feet were cleaned and Trey's enforced period of quiet began so his paws could heal.

That was almost three weeks ago now and his feet are a good as new, but what an awful way to learn a lesson.

It seems that Trey and I are destined to always learn things the hard way.

~~~~~~  ~~~~~~

If you missed my scintillating post about walking on the island and the lesson I learned on that visit, you can see it here.

Monday, September 1, 2014

MacDonald Hill ...

One of my favourite places to visit is MacDonald Hill which provides views of the two Lawrencetown beaches.

From one end of the hill you see this marvellous shallow cove.

There, at low tide, sand bars are exposed and you can walk out and stand in ankle deep water and  marvel at the kite surfers zipping by.

This surfer was zipping between the waders and the shore.

Occasionally, he would veer toward the rocks and suddenly soar high into the air !

On another recent visit, Wendy and I walked up MacDonald Hill to watch more adventurers enjoying the surf created by far off hurricane Cristobal.

Well that's a first:  I've never seen a surfing kayaker before !

In fact there were two of them.   

The kayakers would  turn their kayaks in a circle as they rode the waves, and more than once I saw them flip over totally and then pop back up. Clearly, they were having a lot of fun.

Wendy was more interested in the whereabouts of her ball, than watching the surfers.

This fella looks like he's standing in shallow water: in fact he's surfing on the top of a wave.

Cristobal created some pretty good waves.  

By the way,  that mist that peels back off the top of the wave is called "spin drift".

This beach is 20 minutes from my home.

I really should go there more often.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

There and back again ...

After our Whale watching trip, Sandy and I drove about 3 km to the tip of Brier Island, where we parked near the lighthouse and went for a walk to Seal Cove.

It was a lovely, easy hike.  I never tire of looking at the pillars of Basalt, the waving hills of grass, and the amazing vista of the Bay of Fundy.

When we came over a low hill, a faint, odd sound, like a cross between a hoot and a howl, reached our straining ears.  

In the photo below you can see Sandy scanning the sea with binoculars, looking for the source of the sound.

Then we found it.  There.  On that rock off shore.  Noisy sun-bathing Seals.

Lots of noisy, sun-bathing Seals. 

See the baby Seal on the bottom left of the photo ?
We lost count at 60 Seals !

The scenery was just stunning !

After leaving Brier Island (reluctantly) we travelled back up Digby Neck with the goal of seeing the famous "Balancing Rock": a pillar of Basalt precariously perched next to the Bay.

Leading to the Rock is a lovely hiking trail, peppered with informative signs about the plants we are passing by.

Notice the wet footprints ?  That stinky dog went in the bog.  

And there were stairs.  Lots of stairs.  I'm OK going DOWN the stairs.  Coming back up ... well I'll think about that later ...

Balancing Rock (9 m or 29 ft high)

The sign when you leave the trail.

It wasn't long before we found ourselves stopping once more, this time to check out an old, abandoned homestead.

Older wringer washer and child's stuffed toy.

There is such a poignancy to items like this. 
Looking in the front door!
The living room floor has fallen into the basement.  Such a shame.
After we got back on the road (again), we had to stop to check out Sandy Cove.

Sandy and Sandy Cove.  Together at last !
Sadly the tide was in.  Apparently there is a massive sand bar and the beach is MUCH wider at low tide.
And of course we had to check out the toppled building that we spied over the hill.

And then we drove home.

The very, very End.