2018 Canada Trip travel blog

The "Hector"

Learning about lobsters

Female with eggs

Peace by Chocolate store

Learning about their refugee story

We had our regular breakfast at 6:30, luggage out at 7:00. We departed Charlottetown at 8:00 in the pouring rain for our trip to Wood Island, PEI for our Northhumberland ferry ride over to Nova Scotia. We both slept on way. Upon our arrival at the ferry queue, Kim had us play two truths/one lie. Jean's came up, her two truths we're Antartica on New Years Eve and being on Jeopardy. Her lie was running in the New York Marathon.

On the ferry, I wrote yesterday's blog entry and uploaded it. The Internet on the ferry was not able to handle uploading pictures. We then played a few rounds of Gin Rummy before the announcement came to return to the vehicles. We landed at 10:45 at Caribou, NS.

On the way to Pictou, Kim showed a short video about the Scots coming to Nova Scotia on the "Hector." When the Scots lost to the British at the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746, the Scots were oppressed, they were allowed no weapons or bagpipes.

The ship "Hector" voyage was advertised sailing to Nova Scotia. The ship set sail on July 10, 1773 with 10 passengers from southern Scotland, and made another stop in northern Scotland to pick up 179 passengers. For the 189 passengers, it was a rough crossing. The ship was a Dutch ship not built for crossing the ocean. On board, smallpox broke out in the children. 18 died on the voyage, mostly children, and were buried at sea.

Reconstruction of the "Hector" and improvements to Pictou begun in 1989. The new Hector was launched on September 17, 2000.

We arrived in Pictou and took a guided tour with Graci of The Hector Quay museum hearing some more about what we learned with the video and then went onto the docked "Hector." Fraser was our guide on the ship talking about the construction of the ship and repairs that need to be made. We were able to go down into the hold where the Scots bunked. How could 189 people fit in this small space? More power to them for taking the chance. We also saw the captain's quarters. (They sure look bigger in the movies.)

We walked down the street two buildings to the Norththumberland Fisheries Museum, where we learned abut lobsters again, although this time we saw a green lobster, baby lobsters, and a female with her eggs attached under her tail.

We walked across the street to the Harbor House restaurant for our lobster lunch. You got your bib, fries and slaw in a basket, then your plate with the lobster. Messy, but, oh boy, it's lobster. After fighting with your lobster, dessert was strawberry shortcake.

There was time for those who had not been on the ship, because it had started raining when it was their turn, to go back and tour the ship. Others could go to the fisheries if they desired or look at local shops.

Then it was a quick trip to Antigonish, NS to visit with a Syrian refugee success story. Tareq Hadhad and his family came to Canada and after living in Toronto, then Halifax, they were relocated to Antigonish where they started a business, Peace by Chocolate. The Prime Minister had talked about Tariq's success story at the UN, and from there his business blossomed. From just working from his kitchen in his house, he now has a factory employing local people.

We had parked across the road from their shop. Kim ran over and obtained a couple of boxes for us to sample (mine went to Jean), and then some of the ladies went over to the shop. Tareq was unable to join us. However, his sister came on the coach and talked to us about their journey. Their father was a chocolatier back in Syria. When the factory was destroyed in 2013 by a bombing run, they decided to flee after more bombings almost killed some family members. They went to Lebanon to the refugee camps there before coming to Canada. Then in 2016, they started making chocolate again.

Our next stop, after crossing the Canso Causeway (the deepest causeway in the world) to Cape Breton, we made a pit stop at the visitors center before traveling the final leg to Baddeck to our hotel, Gisele's Inn. The word "Canso" is believed to be derived from the Mi'kmaq word kamsok, which means "opposite the lofty cliffs."

Once we arrived in Baddock, Bob took us through the village showing us the various restaurants, etc. Then we disembarked and quickly went to our room. Most of the people on the tour went to a restaurant where Kim had pre-booked reservations for twenty for a prix fixe dinner of $60.00 CD each. We did not want too much because of the lobster lunch. So, we put our backpacks down and did not wait for our luggage and went to the restaurant at the hotel for some light fare. Jean had a bowl of mushroom soup, and I had a chicken entrée. Our dinner was less than 60.00 CD.

Then we returned to the room to unpack, and I hit the sack right away (9:00) because I was beat. I tried doing the journal entry but kept falling asleep.

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