Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rain Storm

There had been a lot of warnings against what was about to come. And it sure looked scary. A huge green blob on the weather map was moving up from the south. And it meant RAIN. Lots of rain!
Yet, despite the warnings, we were hopeful that the brunt of it would move north over the mainland. But during the afternoon it started pouring down. I heard the rain playing the drum on our roof.

There were breaks in the rain. 30 minutes – enough to take a quick walk with Molly. Then it started all over again.
Yet we don’t complain. This is only the third big rain this summer and sooner or later it was bound to happen.
But what’s coming after this might turn out to be of a much bigger impact. They have called it Joaquin and it is a hurricane.
It might hit the Maritimes Monday or Tuesday.
1-DSC_02561-DSC_0259The tide was very high today and we ventured out to North Road Harbour to see the fishing vessels. They were almost to the top of the dock.
1-DSC_0264Then we went to the ferry landing and where there usually is a beach 60ft. wide there was nothing left today.
1-DSC_0270We drove down to Mulholland Light and from there we looked over to the Lubec breakwater.
1-DSC_0272Water was freely flowing over the top. I had never seen so much water in the “Narrows”.
1-DSC_0271-0011-DSC_0278                 Harbour Seals waiting for a meal coming with the current
1-DSC_0281                   International Bridge between Lubec,ME and Campobello

The Fundy Bay Tides

Each day 160 billion tons of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one tide cycle — more than the combined flow of the world’s freshwater rivers! 

The time cycle between a high tide and a low tide is, on average, 6 hours and 13 minutes. As such, you can reasonably expect to see at least one high and one low tide during daylight hours.

Tide times move ahead approximately one hour each day, and tide times vary slightly for different locations around the Bay.

Are the Bay of Fundy tides a 50-foot wall of water?

The Bay’s tides do officially measure 50 feet in height but the tidal bore (just one of several ways to see the tides) is not a 50 foot wall of water twice a day. A tidal bore appears as a backflow of water into a river. A tidal bore can be around 10ft tall and people are rafting (or surfing) it.

Here, at the Passamaquoddy Bay, we are seeing an average daily change of about 24ft-27ft (between the tides.

So why are tides different in different areas?

It's not related to latitude. Tides are caused by the gravity of the moon, which pulls the water away from the surface in what is essentially an extremely long-period wave (the period of a wave is the length of time it takes the entire length of a wave to pass a fixed point) that follows the movement of the moon.
I won't get into the more gradual patterns such as spring tides and neap tides, but the differences in the tides that different areas get are actually a function of the geography of the area. As a result, there are two general patterns of tides: diurnal tides, meaning an area that receives only one high tide and one low tide each day, and semidiurnal tides, which are observed in ares that recieve two high and two low tides every day. Also, coastlines that are exposed generally have less difference between high and low tide, while enclosed coastlines like the fjords of Iceland can have up to fifty feet between high and low tides.

Factors such as the depth and breadth of the bodies in which tides occur and the configuration of shorelines affect the tides. Tides are also modified by the friction of the water against sea bottoms.

Today, on September 30, we have a max. high tide of 26.8ft and a low of just 1.8ft.

A local photographer took the pictures below. It illustrates the tidal effects along a building.
lubec landmark001

Lubec Landmark002

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Freighter Arrives To Eastport

I was busy with our WEBER grill preparing Italian sausages when I saw a freighter about to arrive at Eastport. He was pretty close our Canadian side of the bay before he took course right through the sunny glare towards Eastport.
Hoping for a great sunset after supper, I drove down to Friar’s Bay, but the sun disappeared behind some dark clouds. I still got a half decent picture of the illuminated sky. Met a lonely periwinkle – gathering old guy. This kind of snail gathering has been done out here for generations. Periwinkles are considered a delicacy, but I have never tried it. I kinda think that snails, frogs and other uncommon food sources should not be ending up on MY plate.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Not only are we gonna see a Super Moon tonight but also a Lunar Eclipse.
When the moon had appeared above the Bay of Fundy we were standing on Herring Cove Beach ready to take pictures.

Moonrise over the Bay of Fundy and a small light on the horizon from the Grand Manan ferry

A super moon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra (shadow). This can occur only when the sun, Earth and moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can occur only the night of a full moon.

Also called a Blood Moon this eclipse will last for about 1 hour and 12 minutes.







          Moonset and first sun over Eastport, America’s eastern-most city

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Dark Side

Finally the end of September is here, and despite of sunny days we are back to much lower temps. Indeed the last two mornings temps were down to 5C (41F) which causes me to start a wood fire in our stove.
Naturally, sunset is now early at 7:15pm and 40 minutes later it is pitch dark. I have always liked the days of early fall when summer hangs around for a few more daylight  hours. Out here at the coast, some days can get quite windy, then again a totally quiet day comes along.
From time to time I am hanging out in the blackberry patch (not the cell phone…!!) where berries are truly plentiful. On my way home, I am picking a few red apples. Bea has made apple sauce, grape jelly (grapes grown on the island) and blackberry jelly. Yes, it is harvest time.
Yesterday evening was the last “Music and Java” session at “Jocie’s Porch” and many had come to celebrate the end of summer season. Some extra fine musicians performed and it turned out to be one of the best entertainment evenings of the season.

We are still having island visitors around and I am keeping busy going on tours with them.
Another 4 weeks and the Roosevelt Park will close for the season. In fact, the Roosevelt cottage will stay closed for the winter after October 15.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Operation “Apple Tree”

Finally we got the cooler but oh so comfortable days of September. With my spirits soaring I started a major project we have been talking about for a while. I started operation “Apple Tree”.
It’s probably a 100 years old, our front lawn apple tree, but it is growing into the sky and produces a huge mess every fall. Apples are worm-eaten and when they fall they need to be removed as they are an obstacle for the lawn mower and also attract a lot of wasps.
1-DSC_0089 1-DSC_0091 1-DSC_00921-DSC_0093
So today it was cutting time. the biggest branches had grown way out to the side and made it difficult to get close to the tree without “crawling” along. Long shots had grown right “to heaven” and if we ever should want to spray the tree against the larvae it would have to be a lot shorter.

So this morning I got the Husqvarna saw ready for work. With a new saw chain this wouldn’t take too long.

Right and wrong!

The cutting down is done quickly but of course, I got a huge mess on the lawn. Branches, saw dust leaves and apples – it all littered the ground and needed to be removed. When Bea got home she helped picking up whatever was left on the ground.
We had no intention to take away the entire tree, but wanted to reduce it to a workable size.
The tree looks quite different now and no doubt it needs a bit fine tuning. One of the stumps has already been adorned with a flower decoration.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Crazy Busy Saturday

I knew that we had a great day ahead of us. A boat with 29 people would be arriving from St.Andrews and I was booked for transportation of all these people, taking them on a tour of the island.
Trouble was that the island was shrouded in fog once again.
In order to get this show on the road I had planned to split the group into 2 parties. One would be touring the Roosevelt Visitor Centre and Cottage while the other would be going on an island tour. Then we would swap. I had done similar tricks before and knew it to work.
Arrival of the boat was set at 9am. At 9.10am they had arrived.
The group was on a tight time line as the boat was to depart Campobello again at 12:30pm. Included in the tour was a 1hr. lunch at the FIRESIDE Restaurant. Lunch sessions have the potential to delay every time schedule, but today it was all working out. A second van from the Roosevelt Park did some shuttling between the park and the restaurant and everyone was back on the boat at 12:40. As I had okayed the schedule I was more than happy. Our team had performed great.

Back home I was ready to relax when the phone rang. It was the Roosevelt Park. A couple from New Hampshire had appeared asking for our tour. I turned around and flew back to the park where I was expected by the said couple. An almost 3hr. tour followed.

Finally back home for the second time the phone started ringing again. This time it was from the U.S.
Another couple was asking for a tour….and could it be Sunday morning?   Absolutely!

It was at that time that Molly came in the door and she had a problem. Something seemed to bother her in her mouth, which she kept halfway open. Investigating the problem, it seemed like something was stuck in her throat and that she was choking. OMG….OMG…Bea grabbed the phone to find a vet on duty, while I was desperately trying to get my fingers in Molly’s mouth. But every time I tried she tried to bite. The poor dog was fighting to get rid of whatever bothered her. By now Bea had found a number to dial and was done with the area code when suddenly a piece of bone appeared on the floor. Molly had managed to rid herself of a short piece which had been stuck across the rear of her mouth. We got it! We got it! And Bea placed the phone back in the cradle and we kinda sank to the floor in pure relief.

2 hours later, we had enjoyed a nice supper with home-grown veggies and a nice pork roast, I was checking my email. And that’s when I found the next 4-persons tour reservation for Sunday afternoon.

I just wish that the previous months would have been that busy, though I might not have gotten around to fix up a few windows and painting our east gable.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gone Fishin’!

September is our busiest month. That’s when all the retirees are coming to Campobello and..strangely, it seems they are the only ones having any interest in learning about the places they are actually visiting. Yup, young families have no desire to “GO ON A TOUR” with a sightseeing company. But that’s fine with us. We like retirees coming, probably because we are close to retirement ourselves.  We appreciate their questions and interest in history and their open admiration and appreciation of a beautiful place.
1-DSC_0003             Coast Guard having an exercise right in our front yard

So 2 days ago, I had 6 people on a tour and we had been going to Liberty Point, which is the southern-most point of the island. It also happens to be the “coolest” spot on the island. And by “cool” I don’t mean “hip”. I really mean cool as in low temperatures.  And on that day we actually had a pretty strong wind. We were all gathered at one of the observation decks when a sudden gust blew away my cap. I tried to grab it, but it was too late. It fluttered over the rails and landed down below on a rock.  And there it was inaccessible, so in effect, I had lost my cap.

Today I got to the same spot with different people. I told the story of loosing my hat and they discovered the hat – still in the same spot down on the rocks. And they came up with an idea of a hat-rescue.

So being home again I pulled out my fishingrod and went back to Liberty Point for fishing.
I lowered the fishhook down over the rails and managed to get the hook into my hat. Then all I had to do was reeling in my catch. There wasn’t much resistence and before I knew it I held my hat in hands. It was still in perfect condition, not even dirty or wet of spending 2 nights in a hard place on the brink of the Bay of Fundy.

The entire fishing maneuver had been watched by a couple from the window of a pickup truck. When I got back to the parking lot they asked the unavoidable question. So I had to tell them about why I had been fishing up a cap from the rocks. We all got a hearty laugh out of this.

With temps reaching 84F (29C) It has been an incredibly hot day again.  When an evening breeze sprang up we all enjoyed the cooler air. And for the third day in a row we had a great sunset.  Finally, I did get some pictures out of it. (see below)
1-DSC_0031 1-DSC_0022 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September–Another Month Of Full Summer?

This is not normal.

I mean our day temps are still way too high for September.  Today was just another day like cut out of Mid-July or Mid-August. Gone is the morning-crisp air we had for a few days. Again windows stay open all night long and heating season is suspended until further notice.

We are having gorgeous sunsets which I wanted so badly to take pictures of but botched up everything.

Yesterday I was over at my neighbours property to take some nice shots, and the pics turned out nice. Then why can’t you see them here?  Because I deleted them accidentally! When I wanted to delete ONE pic only, the whole thing was wiped out. BANG!

But fear not! Another sunset was showing tonight. Off I went again. When finally zooming in on focus  pressing the button, you know, I get this stupid message that the battery was empty. BANG AGAIN!

So after two evenings with really gorgeous sunsets I am still without the desired pics.

So what you see today are just some old pics from the archives. And here is still hoping for a 3rd. chance tomorrow evening.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Weekend Blues

As time flies by we are in the middle of yet another weekend and it seems to me that a week is only 2 days before I am hanging the flag out front again.
But let’s start a few days prior. My initial thought (that is the beginning of this month..) was that September would bring some cooler weather, kinda like putting a little crisp in the morning air. Well, I was wrong. Hot days came back before I knew it and having more work on the home-renovation front made me run for the shower as soon as the daily work-task was finished. Gawd…could this be true? The humidity was not helping either. Heavy humid air masses were upon us with the southern winds.
Meanwhile it was bone dry on the ground and rain would have been a blessing.

Well, the rain prayers were finally heard, and we got a full Friday with about 12hrs of mostly heavy rain. It was one of those downpours which would make you scream for bigger gutters, and it flooded the city of Saint John. (happens every time)
1-DSC_1451Today it was all over and after a cloudy start, good old sun was back. But I made use of the somewhat cooler day by starting up my disc-sander to wipe off the old red paint of our east gable. And when Bea got home from work she grabbed the camera when I was up the ladder.

We finished the day by sitting on our balcony looking across the bay and watching the sun go behind some clouds.
1-DSC_1457And after sunset we watched the Eastport fireworks as the city is celebrating their annual “PIRATE DAYS”. In fact I video-taped most of it, and if I manage to make a little video sequence of it I will put it on later.
1-DSC_1470       Flight to Halifax?
We had a couple of tree-cutters visiting our road. They were looking for trees growing into the power lines and found one of our maple trees to be a suitable victim.
A short conference with Bea and before we knew it, they had a basket up cutting off branches. All the thin branches were fed into a shredder, only leaving us a small pile of firewood with the thicker parts of the tree.
Of course, now the poor tree looks terrible, especially from the road.

And that’s all for this Saturday.
Thanks for looking.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bluebloods, black market

Today I am re-publishing this article from Saltscapes Magazine. Adjustments have been made to make the article which first was published in 2014, more up-to-date.

Written by by Janet Wallace. Photography by PANB FONDS DU PÈRE JEAN-MARIE COURTOIS, EUDISTE.

Franklin D. Roosevelt with a group enjoying a picnic on a Campobello beach in 1906.

Campobello is known as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s beloved island. But for centuries, its secluded coast was a favoured destination for other visitors—smugglers and rum runners

On Campobello Island, Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote, “I had a feeling of remoteness, which I rarely experience anywhere else.” In her “My Day” syndicated newspaper column, she often described how much she enjoyed Campobello Island’s isolation and beauty.

Fifty-year friendship

During the summer of 2014, the anniversary of North America’s only international park was celebrated. 

The Roosevelt Campobello International Park, which was founded by both Canadian and American governments in 1964, marked its 50th anniversary in 2014.

The park’s popular history series, Tea with Eleanor, was expanded this season, and guests will receive a Cookies by Eleanor cookbook, compiled by Chandler Roosevelt Lindsley, full of the Roosevelts’ favourite family cookie recipes.

The sentiment was shared by many high-society Americans. Each summer for decades, bluebloods like Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor visited the small New Brunswick island, which straddles the Canada-US border. For them, Campobello was a summer vacation spot akin to Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard, but more remote and less populated.

The remoteness drew Americans like Eleanor who wanted to escape city life. It also attracted others who travelled to and from the island in the dark, or under the cover of fog.

For centuries, smugglers and black-market profiteers valued Campobello’s secrecy, using the island as a way station between Canada and the US. Historians even say that dating back to the 1880s, islanders had a saying about smuggling: “That’s why fogs were made.”

According to doctored log books, Eastport schooners were the fastest in the world: some were recorded as travelling to and from “Sweden” twice a day

Getting to Campobello Island—which sits in Passamaquoddy Bay between New Brunswick and Maine—isn’t easy for Canadians. For much of the year, the only route to and from Canada to Campobello is via the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Bridge from Lubec, Maine. In the summer, you can catch a Campobello ferry from Deer Island, NB, which is linked by another ferry to mainland New Brunswick year-round.

In 1881, much of Campobello was bought by a group of Boston and New York businessmen who invested $1 million to develop the island as a summer resort. They built three luxury hotels, including The Campobello Inn, which advertised its ballroom, billiard parlours, electric or battery-operated servant bells, and horses and carriages for hire. Campobello was described in a souvenir publication from 1908 as “famous for the natural and extraordinary landscape as well as for the health-restoring qualities of its salubrious climate.”

Time on Campobello was prescribed as a treatment for weak nerves and hay fever. The cool breezes, clean air and peaceful environment allowed visitors to escape the stress of urban life in the 1880s.

It was around this time that President Roosevelt’s father James first visited the island. He fell in love with the place, bought land and built a cottage.

Bunny Hodgson, a former Campobello summer resident, who now lives in St. Andrews, NB, played with Eleanor and Franklin’s grandchildren when they stayed at the Roosevelt’s neighbouring 34-room “cottage.” She was best friends with the Roosevelts’ cousin, Laura Delano Adams. “We would play hide-and-seek and drop-the-hanky,” says Hodgson, describing a game similar to tag. “The summer people would hold scavenger hunts for all ages.”

“And when FDR was a young man,” adds Hodgson, “he and Daddy used to go sailing and fishing together all the time.”

But hiding behind the island’s glossy veneer were secrets: under the cover of fog, smugglers slipped on and off the island with black-market goods.

According to Stephen O. Muskie, who wrote a research paper on Campobello Island for the University of Rochester, smuggling on Campobello started around 1807, during the Napoleonic War. Britain had blockaded all of Europe, cutting the US off from trade. The US retaliated with the Embargo Act, forbidding American ships from traveling to foreign ports.

Rum running started in the late 1870s during an economic downturn, and warehouses on Campobello were soon stocked with rum, Holland gin, Irish and Scotch whiskies and French wines.

Bootlegging resurfaced during American Prohibition of the 1920s. During daylight hours, high-society summer people took their yachts to isolated islands to enjoy picnics and bonfires on the beach. At night, the secluded coves saw other action. Barrels of rum were transferred to local fishing boats, and the fishermen later brought the rum to Maine.

“Elderly Campobello fishermen tend to change the subject when asked about the rum running days, when Black Diamond rum could be bought in Jamaica for 17 cents for a five-gallon keg that could be sold in the United States for $40,” Muskie wrote.

Eighty-year-old Vera Calder grew up on Campobello, and her grandmother, Anna McGowan, was a housekeeper for the Roosevelts, first at their cottage and later at their house in Hyde Park, NY. Even after Prohibition, she says, “When I was a child there were always police boats in the water checking the boats that were coming and going.”

The era of the “summer people,” as wealthy Americans were called, is past. Instead, thousands come to the island to tour the Roosevelt Cottage, explore the beautiful beaches and parks, and discover why FDR called Campobello his “beloved island.”

Monday, September 7, 2015

Got Into Labour Mode On Labour Day

Some days I get up in the morning and I am full of energy which then needs to be put to use. So happened this morning on Labour Day.

It was time to get another window in our house replaced. Bedroom window #2 was in bad shape and once the strong eastern is startin’ to blow our curtains would stand off the wall like a sail on a sail ship under full speed.

Replacing any old windows can be a job full of surprises – mostly bad one’s.
After setting up ladders to the roof, (the window in question is on a gable above the roof of an addition) I carried all my hand tools up, stretched the extension cords, one into the garage for the saws, another on top of the roof for a drill.

But even before I started all this I took the garden hose and sprayed the whole façade with water, hoping to flush out any remaining wasps and/or hornets. Turned out not a single insect showed itself. It was safe for work.
Luckily, the old window didn’t offer much resistance and within 30 minutes I had tossed the window frame down on the lawn. Now, windows are quite heavy and this one was no exception. So I leaned the new one against the ladder, tied a rope around the frame and threw the other end of the rope up on the roof. With a second ladder I clambered up and pulled as hard as I could. And the new window was now sliding up the ladder. When it reached the roof edge I grabbed it and pulled it the last bit onto the roof.
Mission accomplished.
I positioned the window in the opening and used construction foam to mount it in.

Now I had a break until the foam would harden enough to start putting outside trim all around. Time for lunch anyway.

Now I made a bread dough, and when Bea got home she put it in the oven. Bread turned out great for morning toast.

It is making the window trim which takes the most of the time. Many times up and down the ladder, to get it all right.
But before coffee time everything was finished. No more rattling windows in our bedroom!
1-DSC_1422I still have to “feed out” the cedar shingles as the new window is a bit narrower than the old ones.

Made some more ice cream this afternoon. We are getting serious symptoms of ice cream addiction, which reminds me of a conversation I once had with a Canadian border guard.
I was re-entering the island when the border guard inquired about whether I had purchased anything in the U.S.  As true was I told her I had bought ice cream. “Enjoy” was the friendly answer I received before she sent me on my way.
4 days later I went back and bought another pot of ice cream. Driving back across the bridge I get to the same female border guard. Again she asks the same question and truthfully I tell her about my new ice cream purchase. This time she laughs and says: “You are some ice cream junky”.

Yesterday I drove our convertible through the border when I saw that a drug-detection dog was on duty and all trunks had to be opened. That I had never seen before on our border crossing, so when it was my turn I shut off the engine right away and held up the keys for the officer to open the trunk.
”Nah.. “ he said “I have been in there before. Looks like a huge coffin. Get outa here”.

I was still snickering when I reached the grocery store.
Took a walk with Molly during pre-sunset, had a chat with a neighbour (I love that) and took a photo shot into our apple tree.
Even though these apples look good they don’t taste very good and they are worm-eaten.
1-DSC_1425This fall we will reduce the size of this tree drastically, as it starts to block our view from our living room.

Last task was doing this blog posting. It was a laborious Labour Day.