Exploring Canadian Backroads Coast to Coast 2007 travel blog

Waiting for the Ferry to Nova Scotia

Rough seas crossing Northumberland Straight

And we thought it was rough in a big ferry boat

Landing in Nova Scotia

The Ship Hector - Pictou, Nova Scotia

The cosy little cabin Frank suggested at Pictou, NS


One of the great things about this trip is no agenda or time line. We make and change our plans daily or sometimes hourly. Today was one of those days.

The wind and rain turned into a gale as we were going off to sleep, shaking the windows and even the building itself at times. In the morning the wind had stopped, or so it seemed, but it was still raining. We had breakfast in the motel dining room and wathched the wind start again and the rain comming down in sheets. Needless to say we lingered over our coffee hoping it would subside. It did not.

We were basically in the middle of nowhere and the room, in original 1970 decor, was unispiring as far as a place to hole up for the day. We assured our selves the weather must be better down south (even though down south was only about 50 km) so we headed out to brave the elements.

The cross winds were very strong and we were riding at a 45 deg angle except for the gusts, when we really had to lean over. After a while I began laughing to myself when I recalled Janine saying as we left on this trip that she was looking forward to a little adventure. I was wondering if this iwhat she had in mind since I could feel her tense up and hang on tight every time a big gust hit us. Next thing I know I can hear her laughing too!

We arrived at a town with a MacDonalds so I pulled in and asked her if she would like a coffee. She just grinned and said sure.

I brought in the remanents of the soaking wet map as well as a dry Nova Scotia map I had in the cases. After very little deliberation we decided, quite logically, that since the Nova Scotia map was dry we would go to Nova Scotia.

I asked a local guy in MacDonalds about the ferry to Nova Scotia. He said the Confederation Bridge was closed because of the 90 km/hr winds and he though we should call to see if the ferry was running. 90 km/hr! No wonder we were leaning over on the road.

I tried calling the ferry but only got a recording with the schedule. It was only about 15 minutes away (it seems everything is only 15 minutes away in PEI) so we headed to the ferry dock.

It was running and we could get on the next one in about 1 1/2 hours. Sounded good so we paid our fare and waited. And waited. And waited.

About 2 1/2 hours later the ferry arrived. As we were boarding the ferry guy said he would put us in the back corner since that was about the dryest spot on the car deck. I did not quite understand what he meant until we were underway. Boy was it rough. The car deck is open on the sides and the waves were splashing right onto the car deck.

It was pretty comical watching everyone trying to move around on the ship. I f you did not know better you would think they had all just left the bar on saturday night. Walking a straight line was simply not possible. There were a few times a wave hit and the whole ship suddered.

About half way across things suddenly smoothed out. The wind died down quite abit and the sun came out. It was like the dawn of a new day only it was 5:00 PM. The rest of the trip was pretty smooth sailing.

After getting off the ferry in Nova Scotia we stopped at Time Hortons a few miles down the road. The sun was shining and the wind was gone. The dry map theory worked!

While looking at the mapping and deciding what to do next several people came by to chat including a local fellow riding a 750 Honda Shadow. Frank asked what our plans were and we told him we were thinking of staying here in Pictou and just starting to look for a place to stay. He quickly gave us the low-down on the local motels and some of the sights.

Next thing we know we are following Frank through town. He points out the motel options then takes us downtown to show us the waterfront, the cafes and the Ship Hector replica, a beautiful sailing ship built in Pictou to the exact specifications of the 1776 ship that brought the first Scottish settlers to New Scotland (Nova Scotia) at this very location.

He then leads us back to the motels and a gives a wave. Shortly after we checked into the cabin that he recommended he came by to make sure we got settled ok. What a great guy to run into 5 minutes after arriving in Nova Scotia.

After settling in we went back downtown to one of the resturants Frank recommended and had a great supper begining with a big plate of steamed mussels. So far Nova Scotia is just what we pictured it to be; especially the people.



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