SUMMER VISIT TO NOVA SCOTIA
Eben, Eric and I made our summer trek to Nova Scotia last week. Like all of our summer visits to NS very enjoyable, and filling. The order of events is approximate, and may be out of order.
One of the major events for me was a visit aboard the Atlantic Destiny. Howard Garlands brought us for a tour of the ship he captains on the days he is not on the ice. An amazing ship and crew we got to see in action. The boat goes offshore for scallops for 3-4 weeks at a time. The catch is shucked and then frozen at sea, so the ship has many systems that are required to catch, and process the catch. The scallops are dragged, and the dragging equipment gets damaged some. The catch is processed and frozen. The compressors that are needed to freeze the scallops and keep them frozen are substantial, so need maintenance and sometimes repair when at the dock. From what we saw every piece of the Atlantic Destiny is ready to go in I believe 24 hrs. An impressive crew all of them. One more fact that is interesting, 5 tanker trucks of diesel fuel were pumped into her. These were not heating oil delivery trucks, but the fifth wheel type trucks that hold 9,000 gallons (per wikipedia). WOW 45000 gallons. I probably should verify that number, and if it is not accurate I will try to post the accurate number. That was a good tour, Howard showed us the entire ship from the bridge down to the area where the catch is shucked and frozen. I believe that he said when fishing there are 31 men aboard, when we were there I guess about 20 men, technicians were hard at it.
The next day was the club get together at Howard’s place. It was raining in the morning, but Howard had arranged for a giant tarp to be dropped off first thing in the morning. We were out there just after noon I believe setting that up with ropes, 4/4s, 2/4s etc. The wind and rain were quite formidable but we got er done. I believe about 1500 Howard started the hardwood cooking fire. When the fire was roaring as it should, large salmon filets attached to tinfoil covered boards are stood up near it. The radiant heat cooks them to perfection. We had scallops as well, potato salads, and much more. The wind, and rain continued, but the tarp held, and we all had a feast.
We partied and talked all evening and into the night. Oh, and did I tell you yet? We drank a bit of rum, I think later in the night we were in Howard’s bar/pool room, talking, shooting pool. I am not certain exactly what time it was, but we were late to bed.
The next day was Sunday, we went to Lunenburg, it was a perfect day, blue sky, light breeze, what a difference a day does make. We saw old schooners, many tourists Canadians from other provinces and I think some locals. It was a good crowd, and a really nice shorefront. Oh, I almost forgot, I saw the CIBC Banking Center, see picture. We drove back to Howard and Claudette’s place to pick her up for a drive back to Lunenburg (I think), for a lobster feed. It was a cool place, all the mussels you could eat, and blueberry shortcake for desert. If I remember correctly, we did not stay up too late because we had to get on the road to Yarmouth before 0600, 2.5 hour ride.
The drive went well, the roads are good and the traffic was light. Once again, we drove aboard with many others. The ship may not have been full, but it was close, most passengers traveling with cars, or trucks, advertised to hold 200. After a bit the ALAKAI left the pier and we hung out on the poop deck waving goodbye and watching the scenery. We also observed the jet wash out the stern, and I was able to see that the starboard side was the one missing an engine. I think with all engines and good weather it is a five hour cruise, with three engines about six and a half.
We then went up to the forward cabin/bar area and claimed three good seats so that we could sit together. Good seats, and very comfortable even though a blanket is needed because of air-conditioning if you want to get some shuteye! On the way to Nova Scotia on Thursday afternoon we were treated to some really talented folk musicians. They played songs about NS and PEI, and knew much of the history, they shared it well. Everything went well traveling in both directions, but the trip back we had breakfast sandwiches and other good stuff that Claudette the super hostess prepared for our trip, very nice.
Once again when we arrived in Portland disembarking went well and that was good because Eric was hoping to make it to a meeting in CT. We drove from Portland to Biddeford posthaste and quickly split our booty (Howard had given us a couple of bags of frozen scallops) I quickly found a cooler so that might keep the scallops frozen for the remainder of their trip, and off they went.
I know I had a full-fun five day weekend, and believe Eric and Eben did as well. Thanks to the Nova Iceboat club, and wish you had been there as well Bob C.. Thanks so much Claudette and Howard for the hospitality.