many of the photos have been removed to make room for more recent ones
There was some drama on the foggy seas Friday – but wait, that actually came later in the morning, and so although less exciting, I’d better keep on track and tell what happened first, then explain the drama. We decided to ride the bike along the Digby Neck and take ferries to ride down Long Island and the smaller outer island, Brier Island. Although the entire route was only 140 miles, we figured it would take us all day the way we like go on all the tiny roads to investigate all the coves, lighthouses, and beaches. We had been advised to go all the way out to Brier Island and then work our way back to the mainland from there, so that’s what we did. The ferries were fun, and the ferry workers were very friendly. We arrived at the first ferry just before it was leaving, and the guy collecting the ferry fees stayed and talked to us while we crossed Petite Passage from Digby Neck to Long Island. Long Island itself has one main road only, with a few tributary roads going out to coves and beaches. Tiverton is the one small village on the island, located at the ferry landing where many whale watching tours begin, but homes were also interspersed intermittently along the main two lane road. Yellow and white wildflowers stood like sentinels all along the rural road, and we traveled through a lot of forested areas, mostly evergreens like fir, spruce, and cedar, plus some meadows, many with what Fred and I called “seashore shrubs,” since we had no idea what species they really are. The island is not flat at all, but has quite a few hilly regions. Much of the time we could not see the water due to the trees, which was disappointing to me, but sometimes we could see either St. Mary’s Bay or the Bay of Fundy, depending on which one the road was closer to. We noticed roads off to several coves and we knew we would explore them on the way back.
We also arrived at the 2nd ferry just before it left, so luckily were permitted to get on it as well. Again, the ferry fee collector on this ferry shared a lot of local information with us as we traversed the larger Grand Passage between Long Island and Brier Island. The fog was pretty thick on this passage, and we wondered if the ferries ever had to stop, but the guy told us they run pretty much all the time, especially in the summer months. Little did we know what would happen to the first ferry we’d been on only a few minutes after we’d ridden it. Oblivious to what was happening back at Petite Passage, we stayed for about an hour on Brier’s Island, much smaller than Long Island, only about 4 x 1.5 miles in area, and home to Westport, a major little fishing town for the region and where lots of whale watching tours commence. We rode to two working lighthouses and wandered around some of the areas near them – looking at the lighthouses, watching the fog rolling in and out, seeing lots of rugged basalt rocks and crashing waves, and smelling the lovely fragrant beach roses – all this made me very happy!
As we rode back to the ferry dock, a guy in a pickup was racing behind us with his flashers on. He didn’t have an official car, though, so Fred thought he was just being rude. Back at the dock, however, we found out he was an island volunteer and we learned about the unfolding drama. Seems the fog had gotten much thicker on Petite Passage, the ferry captain had run into a submerged rock, and the boat, loaded with cars and passengers, began to take on water. They were successful limping back to the dock, but now there was a problem – how would the folks on Long Island get back to the Digby Neck mainland? The ferryman told us to get right on or we’d have to stay at Brier Island a couple more hours. He told us this was the last load of passengers he’d take back from Brier to Long, because he was going to relocate to the other end of Long Island so he could get the stranded vehicles back to the mainland. In the meantime, a smaller, reserve ferry was going to come to Brier to replace the one leaving, but it would also take awhile to arrive. The ferryman told us we might as well enjoy Long Island for a couple hours, since it would take two hours for the ferry to get to the other dock.
So that is exactly what we did! We took a little side gravel road to a cove labeled Beautiful Cove to see if it indeed deserved such a name, and it truly did! We climbed up the rocks to a high spot above the cove and ate our picnic lunch while the ferry chugged by on its way to rescue the stranded cars; we enjoyed watching skimming birds, diving birds, and a seal fishing in the bay. Fred said this was a true “seal of approval” for this lovely secluded cove. Next we stopped at Lake Midway, aptly named for its location, and found it to be quite pretty. We arrived back at the Tiverton ferry landing just as the relocated ferry arrived. The line of cars had been waiting now for two hours to cross, but since we were a motorcycle, they squeezed us on the first group to leave; sometimes it is lucky to be small!
We were back at East Ferry now, a village perched high atop a cliff at the end of Digby Neck. A little café was conveniently perched right on that cliff too. The deck looked so inviting, so I enjoyed a cup of their fresh seafood chowder, while Fred took pleasure in a piece of homemade blueberry pie. The line of cars waiting to go TO Long Island was also backed up a long way, and one truck in line was quite intriguing: it was a Google Streets truck. It looked like it was filming the road leading to the ferry, and was headed to Long Island to film there. In a few months, look of Google Streets and see if our motorcycle is outside the Petite Passage Café in East Ferry – there is only one road in the village, so if the cameras were indeed running, we should be on it.
By now it was late afternoon, but we still stopped once more at Sandy Cove where we visited with several fishermen who were working on their boats. They explained about the boats and apparatus, and what each boat did. So far this week we have seen salmon fences, scallop trawlers, lobster boats, and boats that fish for herring, haddock, cod, herring and mackerel.