We don’t seem to be having a great deal of luck in the camping department this year. After visiting the eastern shore mid-June we planned a wee break expecting some visitors from away and of course time to tend to our garden.
We did however manage a trip to Quebec for a family visit. Twelve hours of driving each way used to seem like such a trial but for some reason this time it felt easier. Two hours of drive time, a brief break for Zula and us to stretch our legs, a change of driver and all was good.
We decided to leave REDII behind this time choosing instead a hotel stay. As much as she loves the camper, Zula seemed to feel right at home in our room…
F thought she should have tree-climbing lessons at a nearby park. That look on Zula’s face says it all doesn’t it? “Are you kidding me? I’m a cat. Watch me climb! Now try to get me down.”
Early August I had booked another few days at Five Islands (our favourite spot last year) but half way there, our tow beast started having issues with losing coolant. Staying on the safe side of road travel we called to cancel and turned around. Once home we found the water pump needed replacing. Last year wasn’t a whole lot better with F breaking ribs and collar bone during a cycling outing. That time we had to cancel our trip to PEI, so this year we are island bound, the longest trip to date for REDII, slightly longer than our trip to Fundy last year. We chose to cross by the Confederation Bridge instead of by ferry.
My dad, Robert Haslam, was born on the island and it always brings back wonderful memories to drive by the family home, even if now it is only a drive-by, no longer owned or occupied by family. Hazeldean is what it was called and it still stands, having been lovingly restored under the Historic Place Protection Act. If you are interested you can read a bit more about its history here: Hazeldean.
Our camp site at Twin Shores was perfect. Large and private and most importantly, level.
We had a view of the beach from our dining table and at night we were treated to a symphony of waves splashing the shore.
In spite of this being a busy week for campers and the last long weekend of the summer, and a very hot one at that, the beach wasn’t at all crowded.
Twin Shores Beach
Every night we enjoyed a camp fire and were treated to spectacular sunsets.
Venturing out to poke around the country side offered so many beautiful pastoral scenes.
Garden of the Gulf
…and along the coast, dotted with fishing villages.
You can’t come to PEI without enjoying it’s bounty of seafood, especially world famous Malpeque oysters.
Our final day we stopped by a nearby pub to enjoy yet another feed of oysters, delicious seafood chowder and some local brew.
While we were away, our little village of Hubbards hosted the World Sailing Championship of the 49er, 49er FX and the Nacra 17 class. Over 400 entrants from all over the world filled St. Margarets Bay with colour and activity. Our very own Bluenose II even made a cameo appearance.
It was a very busy month for us but we are now back to home base, rebalancing our lives and getting ready for whatever fall may bring. We hope to have at least one more outing before packing up for the winter months…something more local no doubt. Maybe a place on a quiet lake to try out my new paddle board…which sadly hasn’t been out of it’s bag yet this year.
Thanks for stopping by to catch up. The crew of REDII will return when time allows.
….peace and love…
The following is the story of our recent road trip to Bear River, Nova Scotia…
This is the amazing 150 year old captain’s house with a sprawling 5000 square feet of beauty, antiques and charm where we stayed. I had booked the two guest rooms well in advance for us and our friends and arranged for purchasing four tickets for the sold out performance of Hold Mommy’s Cigarette. So super excited but a bit nervous that maybe I just might be over-selling how wonderful it would all be. I needn’t have worried.
Before Shelley departed to prepare for her performance, she asked what time we wanted breakfast and before I could answer, she announced “OK, 11:00 it is then”. Always the comic! She told me that after the show she is usually drained and crashes while she regroups so I didn’t expect any special treatment
Hold Mommy’s Cigarette
She and her husband set up and prepare for the show with minimal help, the set simply a reproduction of her growing up environment.
During the performance she plays her seven year old self, her mother, her grandmother and her current self. She deals with such emotional and traumatic events with such ease, moving effortlessly from character to character. We belly laughed and at times felt our eyes welling up with tears. It was truly a world class performance.
Following, we returned to Hummingbird House, stripped down to our bathing suits and wrapped in the fluffy robes left for us in our rooms. We skipped the sauna warm up and headed straight to the Nordic salt water spa that overlooks the Bear River and soaked and soaked and soaked until pruney, chatting and sipping wine. Actually I think we stayed there relaxing with our friends until at least 1:00 in the morning.
Hot Tub Heaven
That night we slept with the angels. Morning came with the delicious smell of freshly brewed coffee and when we descended to explore we found the breakfast table already set for the four of us. Cereals, toast, homemade jams and cake, freshly squeezed orange juice.
The sign she left on the table for us made me smile. So very Shelley!
Host with the Most
Four hard boiled eggs gathered that morning, two blue, two brown, prepared with love and so much care.
We asked Shelley to join us while we sipped coffee and chatted about the show and her life in general. She truly has had quite a challenging life and has come through the other side with such dignity and strength. I could have sat there listening to her for hours. Even as draining as it must be for her to perform then change costumes to become super host she carried it out with such ease.
After breakfast was cleared away we packed up our gear and headed down to the barn to visit with Jason (Shelley’s husband) and the Farmacy menagery.
I have such a soft spot for ginger cats! There was Marlowe, Peewee, Junior and Archie. Lucy Maude, the momma ginger, had previously departed for unknown adventures. Then there’s Johnny the black feral barn cat who is not a favourite friend of the Gingers.
Lucie Maud’s Tribe
They have an impressive variety of critters all with very distinct personalities. The shy and very grumpy pot belly pig. The curious sheep. One somewhat aggressive alpha goat who was insistent on challenging Francois to a head butting competition. The cautious feral black cat with vampire fangs. The adopted cow that nobody wanted.
Jason told us a hilarious story about the time Shelley called out to him and asked where Mork, the goat, was to which he answered: ‘out in the yard somewhere’. To which she replied: ‘no, just got a call, he’s down at the legion and it’s not even happy hour.’ They said that one or other of the animals with wander off into the town from time to time but they have become such a well known fixture in Bear River that it’s never really a problem.
Let me see if I can remember the names of Shelley and Jason’s crew. There’s Maynard the Indonesian Ayam Cemani Rooster (complete with black feathers, black internal organs and black bones), Rosie, Tammy the Silkie with feathered slippers and Susie. Then there’s Oscar the cow; Bean, Hana, Gilbert, Mork and Mindy the goats; Molly B, Seymour and Audrey the pigs; Sweetie the sheep; and last but definitely not least, Steve the pony. I think my favourite of their critters was Phyllis the Frizzle hen with her perpetual bad feather day.
Shelley refers to these wonderful animals as her ‘farma-suitables’. We came home totally relaxed and refreshed. Great entertainment, beautiful healing surroundings. The very best medicine indeed!
This year R.E.D. is being hauled out earlier than usual. We need to have my engine serviced – necessary after 300 hours of use – and you can bet Francois has been keeping track (you should see his spread sheets).
Why I call it ‘my engine’ here.
After an early rise and a cup of coffee, Francois picked up our haul-out ticket. It all went well, straps placed, she was carefully raised and set perfectly on the trailer.
The club was great in giving us a temporary parking location so we could give R.E.D. an initial clean up. While Francois applied a cleaner along the water line (Mary Kate On Off Hull Cleaner), I power washed the belly then rinsed the entire hull. Very proud of my workin’ hands but I’d say a manicure may be in order.
So we could get an early start we spent the night onboard one last time. When I opened my eyes the next morning there was a second or two of extreme confusion. Instead of clear sky overhead I saw leaves and a squirrel perched on the unstepped mast. Oh yeah. We’re no longer on the water.
One last look as the hauling out of club boats continues before heading out to Evinrude maintenance guy.
We’ll be leaving R.E.D. in good hands for the next several days. Uncoupling the car, she was immediately trailered away awaiting her place in the production line.
So what do a couple of sailors do after just a couple of coffees in our bellies and no breakfast? We head over to our fave watering hole, order a couple of celebratory pints and a yummy brunch. Tomorrow we’ll get back to a more reasonably healthy diet…at least that’s what we tell ourselves.
I’ll return once MY engine has been serviced to let you know all about what we go through for R.E.D.’s winterizing process. At the end of our fourth season we have it down to a fairly efficient process but there a few things that will need to be corrected.