21-Jun-2003 -- The confluence point. The confluence is in Grand Lake, New Brunswick in open water. It is approximately one mile from the nearest shore point, which lies to the northeast of the confluence. The confluence is unsheltered from a 13 mile reach of the lake that extends to the
For the trip we used a small open fishing boat, equipped with outboard
motor. We launched about 8 miles southwest of the confluence in a sheltered
area called Mill Cove. When we departed, around 8:40am, the lake was flat
in the cove with just ripples in the main reach. As we motored to the
confluence point the wind began to pick up and by the time we got there at
9:11am small waves and a light wind bounced us as we tried to hold position
for the photos. The photo of the GPS is blurred due the bounce. Grand Lake
itself is very easy to drive to. Canada Route 2, a brand new four?lane
superhighway, passes through open country within one mile of its shore.
The view from the confluence. To the north a small electric power plant is visible not far from the shore. Reportedly it burns coal, from local
sources that were the first sources of coal mined in North America. The
beach of a park is visible also on the Northwest shore. The nearest shore
point, called Cox Point appears undeveloped, as viewed from the confluence.
The shoreline to the southeast and south appears wooded but conceals
cottages and camps.
The trip. I drove alone from my house in Massachusetts to Mill Cove on the south shore of Grand Lake, stopping in Fredericton, NB along the way. The
boat portion of the trip was guided by Gilbert Pelletier, proprietor of
Black Bear Lodge on Grand Lake, a professional fishing and hunting guide.
Mr. Pelletier is crouching behind the controls on the photo showing the
Reflection. Decades ago, when a NASA camera returned the first photo of the whole planet seen from space, the image was captivating, giving us pause but
energy at the same time. The confluence photos as a group, more than any
other photos I've seen, seem to be a completion of that visual thought, a
counterpoise. The space image, and these terrestrial samplings, say "Here
is earth." A common feature, the absence of humankind, from the visual
foreground, and from artistic contrivance, seems to earth's sublimity as
rural night is to starlight. Thus this project, a mosaic of volunteer
pilgrimages, each meaningless individually, works its magic.
Notes for future visitors to 46N 66W. This is a large lake and the
confluence is far from shore. Mr. Pelletier tells us that on many days the
wind whips whitecaps by mid morning even on the calmest days. Safety is
therefore a first concern. Apart from that, it would be interesting to
photograph the confluence from the winter ice.
My thanks to Mr. Gilbert Pelletier for a safe and effective journey.