15-Sep-2002 -- In planning to come down to Cape Breton this year, I checked the map and saw that there were two confluence points on the island, one of which was quite close to our family home.
For some reason I had procrastinated ordering the Canada maps I would need, but luckily they arrived just in the nick of time before I had to leave from Washington to fly up to Halifax, via Montreal. Arriving at the airport in Nova Scotia, I got one of the shuttle vans that would bring me down to Cape Breton Island.
You'd think one would have an easier time getting to a point less than a mile away than to one about 60 miles away, but this was not the case for us with points N46 W61 and N46 W60. In short order, Bev and I visited the latter point not far from
my remaining time in Cape Breton was fast disappearing,
we still hadn't made it out to closeby 46-61. The canoes and sailboats that we could borrow were miles and miles away, too large to bring here on the vehicles we could use.
So around noon, on a pleasant but overcast day, with Bev off to Baddeck, I decided to go down to the nearby Little Narrows ferry and hope that I might run into a boat there, not that I ever had before. When I got there I saw a car parked with an empty boat trailer behind it. I thought, "If only I had gotten there when they had first arrived..." I then realized the lights were on in that car. I was about to report it to the ferry operators, but then saw that its engine was also running. At about that moment, I saw a couple of fellows in the vicinity.
I approached one of them and asked if he had a boat. He said it was right over there, hidden all but for a flag because of the bank of the channel. I became hopeful. I told him I needed a boat to get out to a point just half a mile or so away, and told him a bit about the DCP. They were actually about to take the boat out of the water, but he called over to his friend and asked if he needed to get home right away or whether he could go back out on the water for a bit. It was okay with him, so we proceeded to get ready to go out on the boat. They introduced themselves to me,
Wayne Hopkins and Harvey LeBlanc.
It was Wayne's boat and it was the first time Harvey had gone fishing despite being a native Cape Bretoner from North Sydney.
It turned out that they had just come from Dena's Pond, the area of the Bras d'Or Lakes where the confluence point is located.
who live in the area, had told me the name of the pond but said that it's known to fisherman as Dino's. It was named after an Italian lady, married to a Cape Bretoner, who lived just across the road from the pond. The topo map I later looked at said Dena's, while on an old navigation chart, it's marked as Narrows Pond. So Wayne headed the boat back towards the pond, slowing down quite a bit at its entry where the water was only about 3 feet deep.
We aimed for the point and were able to get the GPS to
read nearly all 0's.
We spent a bit more time back and forthing but felt it might take quite some time to get that last 0, so I decided it was close enough. On our trip back, we were treated to a black eagle soaring overhead.
Back at the ferry ramp, I helped Harvey and Wayne with getting the boat back on the trailer and out of the water. And I gave them the URL of the project.
Thanks you Wayne and Harvey!!
Note: The new ferry has a folding ramp to keep cars from going off. The old ferry had a chain.
Musical Notes: The music is great in Cape Breton. There are so many places to hear traditional music and to go to dances.
Mabou is one of the major centers of music. They've got a wonderful pub there, the Red Shoe, and regular ceilidhs at the community center. There are festivals all over Cape Breton in the summer, and then the stunning fall colors are celebrated in October at the Celtic Colours Festival. If you go to Cape Breton, buy a copy of the Inverness Oran to find out what's going on.