Spent my first morning in paradise trying to get a handle on life in rural Nova Scotia. What I have found so far is that telephone service here is extremely unreliable and that the good folks at Verizon were blowing smoke when they told me that my unlimited text and picture message capability would be unaffected by my change of location. It turns out that I can neither send nor receive picture messages and there is a limit on the text messages that I can use. Fortunately, I think my texting limit is set high enough that it should not be a problem, especially since picture messages will not be included. The good news is that the campground has a very reliable Wi-Fi service so email and internet communication will keep me in touch with the world while I am here.
The tide was out when I awoke this morning. Sure changes the view! Two miles of mud between our beach and the tip of Moose Island. In the picture I have attached you will notice some black dots in the mud. Those are the commercial clammers (and I think I spotted one camper) harvesting clams. The commercial guys are the only ones who are allowed to take 4-wheelers onto the mud flats. Everyone else has to tote their buckets and clamming forks on foot.
The weather here is still a bit chilly and always breezy. The wind causes a damp chill that cuts right through you when the temperature is low. When the sun is shining, the breeze keeps things more temperate. Daytime temps are in the 60s and 70s; nighttime temps will drop into the upper 50s to low 60s. The extended forecast is for a few nights in the upper 40s. Time to put the blanket back on the bed.
I jumped right into the job today, although I was so brain dead from travelling and lack of sleep that it will be interesting to see how much information I actually retain. It is also hard to concentrate on training when the view out the windows is so compelling. The office is at road level and the campground flows downhill from there toward the water. The sites are terraced so that everyone has a good view of the water wherever they are parked. There is a cliff with about a 20 foot drop-off to the beach but a pathway on the edge of our property provides easy access down to the water.
Sandy (one of the co-owners) gave me a brief lesson on the five islands that give this area its name. Looking at the picture I posted of the islands, look left to right. The largest one is Moose Island ~ so named because when you look down on it from the air it resembles a moose’s head. Next is Diamond Island. Legend has it that a pirate anchored there to make repairs to his ship. When the tide went out and his ship tipped over, he walked up the sail masts to off-load his booty onto the island for safe keeping. However, when the tide returned water to the bay, he was attacked and forced to flee, leaving his treasure on the island. Next is Long Island ~ because it is long. It is also nicknamed Dick’s Island because a lawyer from California, named Dick, bought the island and built a private retreat there. Next is a small, oval island that is named Egg Island for obvious reasons. Last in the chain is Pinnacle Island. Erosion has formed a sharp pinnacle of rock at the north end of the island that gives this island its name. When the tide is out, you can see that the two sections of land are connected, but when the bay is full they look like two separate formations.
To my surprise, everything here is done manually. There is no computerized reservation system and store transactions are processed on a regular cash register. Site reservations are handled on file cards and a notebook log. The Canadian monetary system is very similar to the U.S., so at least there is not a big learning curve there. The only real difference is that there are no one- or two-dollar bills. One dollar is a coin, called a Loonie (because there is a picture of a loon on it), and there is a $2 coin called a Toonie (for 2 Loonies). With 85 RV sites, 2 cabins and 16 tent sites, it’s going to be an interesting summer!
After getting off work I took a drive into Parrsboro for dinner. I decided to plunge right into the culture and headed down to the waterfront for seafood. Good choice! The restaurant was situated next to the city pier with views of the harbor lighthouse. Dinner was a combo plate piled high with clams, scallops and fish ~ all cooked to perfection. The clams on my plate tonight were sleeping in the mud in front of the campground this morning. Tender and tasty! There was so much that I was able to eat my fill and still have enough left over for dinner tomorrow.