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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Singing The Anthem

Campobello Island is Canada’s youngest and smallest incorporated community. Nevertheless has it always been a fun thing to celebrate Canada Day out here. And NO we do not have the most fancy Canada Day Parade in the country. but what counts is the engagement of the people being here.
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This year Canada Day is on a Monday. The local Canada Day Committee has been planning this long weekend with all kind of activities, most of these taking place in our Herring Cove Provincial Park. Whether it is the fact that July 01 is a Monday or whether other reasons have been weighing in – I don’t know, but I was sure surprised to find out that our National Anthem “O Canada” had been sung 2 days prior to Canada Day on Saturday June 29. Of course we missed it as we would never have anticipated this. Personally I do not like to take a celebration 2 days earlier just because people happen to have free . What is it gonna be next year when July 01 is a Tuesday. Would we have to sing O Canada 3 days early?

I don’t either like to celebrate Christmas two days early or 3 days late just because it coincides with people having free. But then I am probably way too conservative to understand this new fashion. I will still hang our flag out tomorrow, July 01 CANADA DAY, and maybe I will stand behind it and sing the anthem for myself.
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O CANADA

O Canada! Our home and native land
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The true north, strong and free
From far and wide, O Canada
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.

 

Canadians where ever you may be on this Canada Day, celebrate it and be happy to live in a truly free country.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Storm And Rain

When I last checked the weather forecast I saw a big green blob moving north towards Atlantic Canada…. and now the blob is right on top of us meaning it’s raining and blowing like crazy. Presumably it’s going to last over the weekend. If we are lucky enough we might see the sun again on July 1, Canada Day.

As it wasn’t really attractive to get up this morning Molly found herself a nice place on my pillow after I had vacated the bed. Couldn’t but marvel over how smart this dog is!
She stayed in bed all the while we had breakfast.

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It’s raining today, right?

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Why..I had a good time!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Whales And More

When I woke up it wasn’t because of the daylight shining through the window but because it was too hot.

A look to the thermometer showed 20C (68) and it was only 7:00am! Wow, we were going to get a hot day.

We had a few complimentary guests on the boat today and departure was set to 11:00am. So I went over to the harbour doing some cleaning-up in the cabin.

I had barely started when I was totally wet of sweat. The sun was burning down and with the natural humidity out here I was glad when I got back home for a while to freshen up.
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 Ready for departure…                                            and the excitement is building!

1-DSC_0185Our guests arrived on time and with a can of fresh coffee/tea and a few muffins we were ready to get out on the water to look for whales. This time of the year we mostly see the smaller (25-30ft) Minke Whales. The huge Humpbacks are usually not in before later in July. August is a really good time to see the 50-60ft large humpbacks and the even bigger finbacks pop up.
 
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We even visited the “Old Sow” the biggest whirlpool in the world. It becomes visible 2-3hrs before full high tide. We were not quite within that time range but close enough that our boat was swirling around for a while, before the Captain gave full throttle and escaped the vile current.
Our guests were from Ohio and they had never been in our area before, let alone seen whales or such a giant whirlpool. It sure was a great experience for them.
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A Whale Watch boat from St.Andrews and the whale right behind them!

It turned out to be a great morning and we were back at around 1:00pm.
I spent most of the afternoon on the phone with people calling from all over for our tours. It has become clear that these tours are going to be extremely popular.
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For a while we had a new Captain            and here’s a bit of the “Old Sow”

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Crossing in front of a huge freighter coming to Eastport

Right now, it is 7:00pm, a thunderstorm is moving along the coast of the mainland, but just skirting the islands. The distant rumble of thunder has finally alerted Molly. She didn’t mind so much as long as she was busy watching squirrels behind the garage. :-)

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Runners Coming Up The Road

It’s Marathon weekend over here and I positioned myself right at the main intersection where runners are coming up from the border. It’s actually a “lighthouse to lighthouse” route the runners are following. Starting at the West Quoddy Lighthouse in Lubec, ME, the route goes through the town of Lubec, proceeding across the International bridge before it’s running up to the north end of Campobello where the runners turn around at the Head Harbour Lightstation and running back to Lubec. The weather started out friendly but when dark clouds came up, a slight rain started.
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The logistics of this Marathon must have been huge as people are doing this for the very first time. In order to make this event as safe as possible we are having 8 police cruisers of the RCMP on the island.
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I have also seen a few “Gold Wagons” over the past days distributing their mobile restrooms along the route.
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There are celebrations with seafood dinner scheduled for tonight in Lubec.

Thanks again for dropping by!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

We Lost A Very Good Friend

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We are mourning the loss of our RVer friend EARL. Earl was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. He fought the cancer for one year but was called home last Monday.
We met Earl and his wife Carol in Holtville during the winter of 2005 and have been visiting them in Saskatchewan several times. They had always an open house for us and a bed to sleep in when we came without our RV.

How many times did we sit around the camp fire with them chatting and laughing? How many camp parties did we visit? The winters with Earl and Carol around were the best. And when they did not come one year, something was amiss.

We will miss you big time.

Rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Quick Update

Campobello is going crazy!
Have you ever participated in a Marathon? Maybe you have, but probably not in a Marathon crossing International borders.
The Fundy Bay Marathon is going to start in Lubec and has a 10 mile course within the U.S. and a 26mile international course. The amazing part is that expectations estimated about 200 runners to participate, as this is the very first time this Marathon is arranged, but this coming weekend Campobello is going to be “invaded” by 800 runners from 37 States and 17 countries. With accompanying family and friends approx 5000 people will get into our area. Accommodations have been booked solidly all over southern New Brunswick and “downeast” Maine. There is not a bed to be had this weekend. Restaurants are going to be “packed” and we’ll probably see a traffic jam we’ve never had on Campobello. Talking to a neighbour who has lived here all his life he said that this will be the biggest crowd ever since the Queen Mother had been here in 1967 visiting the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.
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Hopefully I can come back later with pictures of the event

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Great Day

Some of you figured it out by reading Bea’s comment and/or saw the pics she had put on her blog. Yes, it was my birthday yesterday. It’s just so that I started on another decade of getting older. When I was 25 I was not spending a single thought of getting that old EVER. The topic was non-existent for me. And now I’m there….hard to believe.
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But let it be, there is just nothing we can do about it.

But I had a great day yesterday. Bea ramped it all up with her wonderful but oh-so-mighty-rich birthday cake. And besides of that we had our very first official day of business. We had invited key staff of the Tourism Industry to join this tour. The weather was just outstanding and big smiles were all around.
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After arrival at the float dock of the Roosevelt Park we had invited for lunch at the Golf Course Restaurant and boy, the smiles grew even bigger. This was so much fun – I could do that 12 months a year if just the summer would be long enough. :-))
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Heading home after a great day on Campobello

Seems like the good weather is gonna hang around for a few more days. And that is good as we have more trips coming up.
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Captain Brandon 
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On the Roosevelt Park Float Dock

I’ll keep it short today and just hope everyone is having a great Sunday.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

What Shall I Write About?

A question every blogger is facing from time to time, is what he can write about. I usually try to look back to the past day or the one still being in the future. And sometimes I conjure up a topic from the news or, opposite, from history.

So let’s see what it will be today.

So what’s up out here? Besides of  a whole lot of business preparations nothing of essence has happened. But those business preparations have sure kept me running and it’s just about starting to go into the even more serious phase of cranking up operations. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been too friendly.
Where is my favorite Campobello summer weather? It is now that we realize how fortunate we have been those past years when summer started in the beginning of May. Bea’s garden is about 1 month behind, and she has been nurturing tiny small plants of peas and tomatoes by bringing them inside the house overnight. I wonder what the hummingbirds are thinking of all this cold weather. I know that if I was a hummingbird I would probably stay farther south and maybe never come back.

Surprisingly, the first tourists have arrived, well not really the first but at least the first in noticeable numbers.
Down at the International Bridge there is a lot of work going on. Last time I got across,  they had rigged up a giant sandblasting unit, mounted it on a long semitrailer. They are actually working UNDER the bridge, and I really wonder how the weather is impacting their work. Winds can get pretty strong along “The Narrows” and for the life of me I can’t imagine hanging under the bridge doing some sandblasting. But then i guess these brave souls are paid a little more than minimum wage. :-)

Tonight I have no pictures of these guys, but I will see whether I can get some in a few days. I wonder whether they work on Saturdays?
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Hanse Port, Lübeck and the city in the 17th century        Office building Antwerpen
     
Anyway, since the bridge leads over to Lubec, ME I remember that I wanted to tell you about the name of this town. Even though it looks like Lubec is a French name they say it is not. The mother town of this little coastal “Downeast” community is in northern Germany and called Lübeck. That makes me having a special relation to it, as I was born just about 70 or so kms north of Lübeck. Lübeck, Germany is a very old coastal city chosen by medieval merchants for its ideal location at the Baltic Sea. To secure their trading area they founded the Hanseatic Trade and City Union. German cities like Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, Stralsund, Rostock belonged to it. But also Riga,(Latvia) Brügge and Antwerpen(Belgium) and even Bergen, (Norway) were cities belonging to the Trade Union. Securing their trade interests around the coast of the Baltic Sea was the main reason. History speaks of about 200 towns and cities, everyone located at the coast, belonging to the Hanseatic Union. From being a pure trade union it emerged into a powerful political union using the seas as their playground. To me this union has a clear parallel to today’s EU or European Union, which began as a trade union after WWII.
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Old Hanseatic buildings in Bergen, Norway

Let’s get back to Lubec. The settlers who finally founded this town were not German. They were French. And here history blurs the picture a bit. Lubec is missing the “k” at the end. If a Frenchman would write the German town name he would probably have it end with a “c” only. It’s like “Quebec”.

But there is more to it.

The area contains many French names like Calais and St. Croix River.
French settlers may have had a different understanding of the German name and made the name into “LeBec” which means “The Beak” or on a map a protruding point. Other names supporting this theory ending on “bec” are Kennebec and Sebec (lakes in Maine).

Very old town papers of 1811 contain “Lübeck” as the town’s name.

A sailor on the Barque “Abo” which was engaged in the Baltic trade, said the town looked very much like Lübeck, Germany, where the Barque had called on it’s voyage coming from Finland.

While the town generally has accepted the German version as their original name the real root of Lubec remains as a topic open for discussion.

Whatever it is, the town, formerly dependent on fisheries, has morphed into a place of interest for tourists seeking to escape the heat of more southerly locations.
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And that should be enough for today’s post, otherwise you’d be falling asleep again.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Real Shitty Day

We had expected a lot of rain today, but what we got coming was far worse. Not only was there a biblical rainfall but it came together with an incredible storm. The recent visit of “Andrea” was pure peanuts compared to this.
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These pictures were taken on Saturday

We had already cancelled a FAM-Tour for today but had to cancel for tomorrow as well. The storm really brought up the sea and the swell is by now at least 6 feet. That swell is gonna last for 2 days until the sea calms down again. So in order to do some damage control I was on the phone and on my email all morning. The decision to cancel was made by our partner and me. The comfort and safety of our guests  will always take priority.
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When I opened the door this morning to let Molly out she just did 3 steps and turned right back. Somehow she can hold it for a few more hours if the weather is that bad. Smart dog, I must say.

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It is now 7.50p and the wind has died down to a breeze. It is still raining, but not too much to take Molly out for another walk. Bea had one earlier with Molly.
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In the late afternoon we went down to Herring Cove Beach to watch the surf rolling in. Approaching the beach, we already heard the crashing waves. From an elevated viewpoint we took in the scenery. Lots of spray and mist was hanging above the surf zone. Here they came, hitting the sandy shore line with full force, then collapsing in a heap of white foam.

Today’s storm had the power of a usual winter storm. It just gave us an impression what it would be like to stay around all winter.

I’d just as well prefer the sands of the California Desert.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gettin’ Curious - Still Learning

Got another mail from northern Europe. Still written in Finnish, I have to put that text into the translation engine. Some words are so long that even Google can’t do it. Or what would you think of a word like this: määräaikaistehtävi

Some people say it’s like Japanese spoken backwards. That might just serve to illustrate how difficult it is. So all this Finnish made me curious. I wanted to know where this language comes from. Are there any related languages around which at least sound or look similar?

Hopefully, this is not too boring for you:

Fimageinnish ( suomi, or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a Finnish dialect, are spoken. The Kven language, a dialect of Finnish, is spoken in Northern Norway.

Finnish is the eponymous member of the Finnic language family and is typologically between fusional and agglutinative languages. It modifies and inflects nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and verbs, depending on their roles in the sentence.

Finnish is a member of the Finnic group of the Uralic family of languages. The Finnic group also includes Estonian and other minority languages spoken around the Baltic Sea.

Several theories exist as to the geographic origin of Finnish and the other Uralic languages. The most widely held view is that they originated as a Proto-Uralic language somewhere in the boreal forest belt around the Ural Mountains region and/or the bend of the middle Volga. The strong case for Proto-Uralic is supported by common vocabulary with regularities in sound correspondences, as well as by the fact that the Uralic languages have many similarities in structure and grammar.

The Finns are more genetically similar to their Indo-European speaking neighbours than to the speakers of the geographically close Uralic language Sami. It has been argued that a native Finnic-speaking population absorbed northward migrating Indo-European speakers who adopted the Finnic language, giving rise to the modern Finns.

The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, classifies Finnish as a level III language (of 4 levels) in terms of learning difficulty for native English speakers

Finnish is spoken by about five million people who reside mainly in Finland. There are also notable Finnish-speaking minorities in Sweden, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States. The majority of the population of Finland, 90.37% as of 2010, speak Finnish as their first language. The remainder speak Swedish (5.42%) Sami (Northern, Inari, Skolt) and other languages. It has achieved some popularity as a second language in Estonia.

The Finnic languages evolved from the Proto-Finnic language after Sámi was separated from it around 1500–1000 BCE.[citation needed] Current models assume three or more hypothetical Proto-Finnic proto-dialects evolving over the first millennium BCE.  The greatest divergence between Finnic languages is centered south of the Gulf of Finland[citation needed]. Thus, linguists agree[weasel words] that the Proto-Finnic language itself was never spoken in Finland[citation needed], but in an urheimat somewhere south of modern St. Petersburg[citation needed]. Its daughter languages, which spread north, then developed into Finnish. The Finnic languages separated around the 1st century, but continued to influence each other[citation needed]. Therefore the Eastern Finnish dialects are genetically Eastern Proto-Finnic, with many Eastern features, and the Southwestern Finnish dialects have many Estonian influences.
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Medieval period

Prior to the Middle Ages, Finnish was an oral language. Even after, the language of larger-scale business was Middle Low German, the language of administration Swedish, and religious activities were held in Latin, leaving few possibilities for Finnish-speakers to use their mother tongue in situations other than daily chores.

The first known written example of Finnish comes from this era and was found in a German travel journal dating back to c.1450.

Looking around, I found another blog with a posting about the Finnish language.

You should check it out. It is quite funny, – and thanks for trying to hang in here!

 

 

 



Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Day “Andrea” Dropped By

We had us a windy and rainy day over here. Tropical storm “Andrea” was dropping by. She arrived in the wee hours and was pretty much gone by 1:00p.
However, the rain continued off and on for the rest of the day and we were just so lucky that Andrea waited with all this until today. It would have been a sad performance under yesterday’s boat launch.

The Captain  dropped by our house today, and we consumed a few tarts with strawberries and whipped cream. Nice stuff on a stormy day!

Worked a while on a new poster today.
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Looks like the weather is clearing up for tomorrow. Guess, we’ll have a boat ride across the bay. Need to make sure everything is functioning according to the book.

Tired now, so I’ll keep it brief.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Blessing

Today, Friday June 7 was the day when the “Island Discovery” was ready to meet her right element the cold waters of the Bay of Fundy.

It was a great event, many people showed up for it. The Flynn family’s minister did the blessing and we all cheered when she finally was floating in Head Harbour.
The ship is not new. It has a past as a lobster boat, but has been sitting ashore for several years as she was in need for major repairs. When the need for a passenger vessel occurred she met a new future. Hopefully, she will be bringing thousands of new visitors to this island and be the pride of our very own tourism industry – homemade on Campobello Island.

May she always have water under her keel and provide a safe journey for everyone aboard!

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The Captain and his son

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An osprey was watching over the ceremony