Good day to all of you followers of Sailing RED, and more recently RED by the Sea. It seems our days are far too full and time is passing too quickly. We’ve now passed the summer solstice and here we are at the beginning of camping season.
Our very first of the year camp outing was to the eastern shore of Nova Scotia for a few days at Murphy’s Camping by the Ocean.
Zula, our road warrior, supervised while we coupled the car to the camper and seemed eager to be included in the upcoming adventure.
The Good Life
We find camping very relaxing and she has adapted quite well to the life style in REDII.
While at Murphy’s we took a ride on Murphy’s Legacy to explore the Hundred Wild Islands, an archipelago of over 100 islands stretching 30 km along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia and are protected through the Nature Trust of Nova Scotia.
One of the larger of the Wild Islands has a hunting camp that’s been used by the Murphys for several generations.
The trip included a chance to anchor and fish for supper. None of us caught anything large enough so it was ‘catch and release’ this time.
Clam Harbour Beach is one of Nova Scotia’s best with a seemingly endless expanse of white sand.
Clam Harbour Beach
Zula made friends with some of the visitors…those that smelled right that is.
Other encounters didn’t go so well. She took issue with a very friendly Australian Koolie, at least four times her size. I guess he didn’t smell right.
Walking with Papa
She is learning to walk well with her vest and leash but she is after all a cat so it doesn’t always go smoothly. Every scent, blade of grass or bug has to be investigated making the hike a little slower than we’d like.
We gave her a chance to explore our camp site.
After several days of perfect weather it was time again to supervise hook up. Time to return home to prepare for visitors from away and plan for our next adventure.
Thanks for stopping by to catch up.
….peace and love…
“The earth has music for those who listen”
March is here. One of my favourite months. When winter is less wintery. When things planted last year begin to poke boldly through the still cold ground. If they can be so optimistic then for sure so can I. After all, the ground hog said it would be an early spring back in February. There will no doubt be more white stuff dropped on us I’m sure, although this has been a very mild couple of months, even by east coast standards.
It’s been a year now since the pandemic entered our lives and ensuing restrictions descended on us….a year like no other. I remember with clarity that time last March when celebrating my son’s birthday, friend’s invited to make it more festive, those comfortable enough with human contact came. Cake with lit candles. Traditional wish made. Candles blown. It was at the very moment that I realized that something as common place and customary as a puff of breath over cake shared with others to extinguish a candle would forever change.
It’s been a year to reflect. A year to decide who and what and where we wanted to be. In essence, a year to return to factory default settings. When you are two retired folks living in a seaside country village, reset is minimal. We focused on things we love…F, his plants, his terrain, his construction projects….me, who spends a good deal of time in the kitchen, I focused on improving my culinary interests and planning for and designing future renovation projects.
We keep in touch with our small group of friends, locally known as the Hubbards Hooligans, because with exception of one short period of restricted groupings we have been allowed gatherings of ten consistent friends….and one family bubble.
So now we are springing forward to our next phase of retired life. RED II landed in Canada just before Christmas and has rested safely at our local RV dealer for the past three months. We visited once to gather the keys, secure an appointment to install the ‘extras’ to make us and her road-worthy….and to have a peak at her. Even though she is a few inches shorter than our dear RED (sailboat), she looks so big by comparison. Twenty-three feet of indoor awesomeness that we can actually stand upright in with not just one but two sinks with running water, a real porcelain flushing toilet and an actual refrigerator. I’m in land-based heaven.
I know I will miss sailing…and RED… but that feeling of loss will fade with time. We continue to get updates from RED’s new owners who were consummate camping folks before buying our water baby last year (they are our mirror image). They have been a great resource for what to do in the camping world…and what not to do. I can’t imagine it being too much different from being on the water. Most of my galley gear will come aboard our land trawler and we’ve been collecting bits and pieces to make our little home on wheels more ‘homey’. Being ‘on the way’ or in a storm on the water will be similar to land travel, making sure things are secure. We have friends who are a few steps ahead of us who warned to take care to stow the ‘pretty things’ before heading out. She said when they reached their destination it looked like a cyclone had descended inside her home on wheels. Message received!
When we went to bring our baby home last week, the getting-familiar-course was rather intense but our technician John was very patient giving us a thorough run through both inside and out.
Major Pig (ret) has gone from First Mate to Supervisor and he continues to perform his duties in his usual dependable quiet watchful manner.
RED II looks quite fine coupled with our tow beast but this will be our first road venture with 4000+ pounds of dry weight and it’s a little unnerving although my Captain remains confident. Total length is actually a touch shorter than RED on her trailer but RED II runs wider by about two feet.
Parking our baby at home base seemed a lot easier than parking a sailboat and the mast stepping and un-stepping process (AKA coupling and uncoupling) took no more that 30 minutes from parking to unhooking to levelling to where’s the wine. This is the type of ease of operation I was hoping for. I can see us doing this for many years to come.
So here we are, very excited, very happy and we can’t wait for our first real adventure. We have some ideas of where we would like to go…after a bit of nesting at RED by the Sea while waiting for warmer weather of course…but there is a life time of wonderfulness to experience not too far from our front door while we wait for this virus thing to be gone. Remember, in Nova Scotia, we are never more than sixty kilometres from the ocean no matter where we go.
The Ovens (photo cred Tourism Nova Scotia)
Because prime sites book up quickly, I secured three days at a nearby campsite called the Ovens Natural Park (https://www.ovenspark.com) a mere hour drive down the coast from us to begin the season with a roar. The site boasts not only of coastal hiking trails, of natural sea caves to explore, of chances to pan for gold on the beach but the best will be the spectacular view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and hearing the sounds of the waves as we drift off to sleep.
Camping with a View (photo cred Tourism Nova Scotia)
Thanks, as always, for stopping by. We love it when you do. Stay well and please drop by soon to catch up and see what’s happening in our little corner of the world.
Peace and love
Hi there sailing RED folks. Glad you dropped by because we have some news. You know by now our dear R.E.D. has been sold (story here, here and here if you missed it) and is living very happily with a lovely family in the Yukon. At present she has been put to bed for the winter months in the fashion she so deserves…in a hanger with a couple of planes. Really!
New Winter Digs
Having made sure RED was at her happy home, we set about taking a wee break. The plan was to visit family in New Brunswick…we’re allowed without quarantine because it’s a part of our Atlantic COVID bubble….at present, unlike other parts of the country and certainly the rest of the world we have no active cases of this very troublesome virus.
Road to Digby
The road trip to Digby was a mere two hours and so beautiful this time of year. To avoid additional driving we opted to take the ferry that spans the Bay of Fundy from Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick. The Fundy Rose carried us across calm clear waters in comfort and with only half capacity allowed due to that above mentioned virus and current health regulations we had more than enough space to relax inside or out. The protocol was impressively strict…we wanted to retrieve our lunch from the car but had to be escorted to and from to make sure there were no shenanigans. Even the washrooms were segregated between we Atlantic passengers and those from away.
On the return I booked us a room at one of the Grand Dame CPR hotels from times gone by – the Digby Pines. Typically small rooms but still an elegant lady with spectacular views.
Room with a View
With lots of time to tour around we visited Digby Neck – a peninsula with two connecting islands accessed only by ferry to the final – Brier Island – a popular whale watching tourist attraction.
Art on the Neck
Brier Island Light House
Capturing the View
Two-hundred and Thirty Five!!!
Balancing Rock was our final tour destination in the area because who wouldn’t want to hike the two kilometres across bog and through forest, down two hundred and thirty five steps for a photo op in front of a twenty foot, twenty ton column of volcanic rock balanced precariously on a ledge overlooking St Mary’s Bay?
What I haven’t mentioned is the ‘purpose’ part of the trip…other than visiting family. We wanted to stop at an RV dealer – you know- just to check out possibilities, never expecting to find ‘the one’…but we did. One that checked off all our priority boxes. Like Goldy Locks – not too big, not too small. Not too heavy either with all the right pieces in the right places. Just right.
The dealer didn’t have what we wanted on site but gave us a firm price and promised to search for our baby, saying not to expect a call for a couple of days but he would do his best. Well didn’t he call that very afternoon. The 2021 version, straight from the factory, same quoted price with a few extra options included. We still have an exclusion agreement that if when delivered, this isn’t what we want, we can still walk away.
Needless to say we are really excited and anticipate no change of heart. I’ve done some research (OK – a LOT!) since our first visit to the dealer, and our baby was chosen the best 2020 camper for retired couples. We should be able to meet her in person within a month or two but until then we dream and plan our first adventure. I found a brief sneak peek of what she will look like if you are interested (see here).
Thanks for dropping by. Maybe the next time you hear from us we will be proud owners of a little land trawler on four wheels. Her name is still to be determined. We’re open to ideas but for now until we get to know her , she will be referred to as R.E.D.II