Sep 9, 2022 | Flotsam
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…
Jul 26, 2020 | Flotsam
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” – William James
How he found us, we may never be entirely sure. A true mystery if there ever was one. Vibes in the universe? Some sort of transfer of energy? It’s just basic physics after all. I do ramble on don’t I? All of this to say R.E.D. has a new home.
We splashed for the season. Decided to sell. Posted sale notice. Received an email. I responded with our contact number. Within minutes the phone rang. ‘Hi this is Stanley’ …. Deal sealed in principle. Our heads were spinning.
Never realizing what we had set in motion by advertising a 2013 MacGregor 26M for sale, we were overwhelmed with the interest. Yeah OK, R.E.D. is kind of famous….and pretty….pretty and famous. The blog has a very healthy following. We’re the Crazy Canucks after all. What about the time anchored near Boldt Castle in New York during the fourth of July fireworks and someone yelled out “Hey there’s R.E.D.”? Or in Ramouski, Quebec when someone approached us saying they had read an article about us in The Port Hole? Or the most epic of all, that moment we were photographed in front of the statue of liberty, the only Canadian vessel, in a flotilla of 145 boats, with the great French ship Hermione?
Aside from feeling out of breath, I no longer feel sadness. Belly butterflies, yes. Sadness, all gone. R.E.D. has found a new family. I think that really it was our hearts that chose them. And believe me, there were easier options. Two other serious buyers and local at that.
The change over was going to be anything but simple. The buyer lives in the Yukon. You read that right. Way the heck on the other side of the country. Almost 7000 km away. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.
First of all we needed to hatch a reasonable plan. Transport. And I felt we really nailed one that suits both parties. We haven’t trailered R.E.D. a lot in our seven years other than bringing her home from Hamilton, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. The second time was when we brought her from Montreal to Trois Rivière for our first summer adventure. The last time of any distance was when we moved from Montreal to Nova Scotia three years ago. But we were confident a good tow beast could handle it and that the trailer didn’t have any significant mileage. We did however have the trailer inspected to make sure it could safely haul longer distances and it passed that first hurdle.
Secondly, we decided to offer to bring R.E.D. part way. We do love our road trips and it just felt like the right thing to do…at the very least. So, crossing four provinces, we agreed to meet in North Bay, Ontario for the final hand-over.
Keep in mind this is all happening during the Covid19 pandemic. As of the writing of this, we in Nova Scotia currently have no active cases. Yukon has no active cases. But there’s a whole lot of stuff happening in between. We all will have to be extra careful. Once back home we’ll be quarantined for fourteen days as per Public Health orders. As Francois said: ‘Kathy, sometimes you need to choose to do the right things for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons’. I’m still not clear which of the two we have chosen but I know in my heart it feels right.
So, the plan was set and agreed upon by both parties. We set off for North Bay, Ontario, stopping once for the night, buyer grabbing a gruelling long flight from Whitehorse. We arrived all positive and excited. Francois immediately jumped out to inspect. Cursory first look. All good. A more thorough check showed excessive cupping on one trailer tire. Not the positive proud presentation we had hoped for when we met the buyer the following day. Keep in mind this deal was sealed, sight unseen. The reputation based purely on the merit of this blog (and believe me, I blog the good, bad and sometimes ugly) and a strong sense of two honest trusting parties.
As if the buyer didn’t have enough to worry about…jet lagged, humongous rental tow beast to get used to and trailering a 26’ sailboat 5000 km through six provinces safely over seven days by himself. Without going into too much detail, and the fact that it was a Friday in a cottage country/ RV/boating region in the middle of summer, we took our chances and trailered to a nearby tire expert. It was obvious he didn’t have the time, but he took the time. We asked a multitude of questions, had him mount two new tires and hoped this would be enough for a safe journey home. A million thank you’s Alex for making it right for us all.
On to the closing details…
This is the pen I purchased for Francois several years ago while in Paris. It has been used for significant milestones in our life. When we purchased R.E.D., our tow beast, our condo buying and selling, our little RED by the Sea purchase. It was first used during the handover of Francois’ military command in Shawinigan, Quebec so it seemed very fitting that it be used for this final handover….one captain to another.
We feel honoured that the new owners are keeping R.E.D.’s name, her original home port of Montreal and the poppy logo referencing Francois’ military service. It’s part of what gives her soul, part of who she is. Because of this generous gesture there is less finality and more of a continuation…a passing of the torch so to speak.
Registered Trade Mark
As a final act, I hid her heart somewhere inside the cabin for them to find. A little something to keep her safe on her long journey, a little treasure hunt for when R.E.D. reaches her final destination.
It’s a pure silver Canadian minted coin we bought in 2012 just after signing the contract to purchase R.E.D. In the centre is a Swarovski garnet red crystal we chose because of it’s significance of safety, strength, prosperity, abundance, and gratitude.
…so many details! Trying to fit in answering as many questions as possible before departure I can imagine we left R.E.D.’s new captain with an exploded head.
After all the rushing and stress of it all to make it right and safe, we bid Stanley farewell with a promise to stay connected. Strange how this simple act of selling a boat has put into action a tidal wave of new possibilities for us all. Even Piglet and new buddy Yukon Beaver are forever linked.
Pig and the Beave
Stanley and family, we felt such a wonderful and immediate kinship with you. We wish you nothing but good health and continuing adventures aboard R.E.D.
I delayed publishing this post until I had word from R.E.D.’s captain that all was safe. He seems to be enjoying the attention R.E.D. is garnering on this epic journey back to Whitehorse. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face…and may your compass always be true….and may those tires hold out at the very least till you’re safely home.
New adventure. New direction (click on image for final departure)
Mar 8, 2020 | Flotsam
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!