Good fun on the water today!! I was able to make arrangements with one of the local fishermen to take me and a couple of my workamper buddies for a ride around the Five Islands. It was a perfect day ~ bright sunshine, blue skies, puffy white clouds and just a gentle breeze. We had some concerns about getting chilled on the water, but my windbreaker rode in the bow of the boat all morning.
We left from the floating wharf in the village of Five Islands at high tide and slipped out of the cove, giving us a close-up view of the peninsula of land that is in so many of my pictures of the campground area. We were told that the rock formation is known locally as either “The Old Mrs.” or “Old Woman Rock” because it looks like the profile of a woman lying down ~ her head is at water level and her body goes uphill. Exiting the cove, we crossed the channel and motored across the front of the islands. Our captain and guide, Danny Yorke, was born and raised in this area and entertained us with stories about his many adventures; local folklore about the islands; and some geography lessons.
When you look at Moose Island from our shore, it appears that it is just heavily wooded. Up close, you can see areas of rock slides, small coves and sea caves along the front. Danny told us that it is a prime destination for “rock hounders” due to the amount and quality of the amethysts and other minerals that can be found there. He has also flown his ultra-light glider onto the top of the island and hiked its ridges but that the terrain is ever-changing. He was seeing new rockslides today that weren’t there a month ago on his last visit. The constant movement of the tides and winds is always sculpting new sights. It was also interesting to look back at our shore from the island and see the vibrant red cliffs below the roads we drive over.
Diamond Island also had crags and coves carved out of gray sandstone that resembles concrete. Approaching Dick’s Island we saw a couple of red sandstone rock formations that are not visible from land. The larger one is called “Queen’s Crown” because it resembles a woman wearing a crown. I’m not sure, but there did seem to be a slight resemblance to Queen Elizabeth in her younger days. :-)
Through the trees on Dick’s Island we were able to see a lighthouse on the seaward point, the electronic chair lift, a stairway (224 steps) that is covered to protect guests from falling rocks and a wooden platform with a winch that is used to pull supplies from supply boats up to the top of the cliff. The island has a main house and several out buildings ~ including an artist’s retreat ~ that can sleep a total of 14 people. Everything is powered by solar energy and the entire package could be yours for a mere $5 million. Cruising on down to the hole in the opposite end of the island we could get up close, but could not float through the hole. According to Danny, it was possible to ride through at one time but the hole is silting over and getting smaller.
On to Egg Island which was really amazing. Because this is the smallest of the Five Islands, and furthest from shore, you can’t see much of it normally. I had been told that it got its name because of its small oval shape. However, upon closer inspection, it is a bird sanctuary and rookery for sea gulls and cormorants. Before it was declared a sanctuary, locals would go out to the island to collect sea gull eggs and eat them. The island is covered with birds ~ flying in the air and roosting on rock ledges and outcroppings. We even saw a bald eagle roosting in the trees.
After cruising around Pinnacle Island we reversed direction and went down the backside of the islands. It was fun to look back through the hole in Dick’s Island and see land. I was even able to get a picture of a clearing on Blue Sac Road where I had stopped the car and taken a picture of the hole on one of my previous “wanderings”. Kind of a new version of “me taking a picture of you taking a picture of me”. :-)
The back of the islands is the windward side, facing the main body of the bay, and the most eroded. It is a completely different landscape from the sheltered side, with millions of years of geological changes laid bare for you to see. The red sandstone, granite, basalt, and ribbons of calcite and other minerals all adding their own beauty to the scenery. Some of the trees at the top of the cliffs look like dancers with their trunks twisted by the wind and the sun reflecting off the silver bark of the birch trees glimmered on the slopes.
While we were reversing direction, so was the tide. The Fundy tides are not only the highest in the world, they are extremely strong. As we left the shelter of Moose Island and crossed the channel, Danny idled the engine so we could feel the pull of the tide on the bottom of the boat. It was almost scary strong ~ kind of like someone had pulled a plug in the bottom of the bay and the tide was draining out. Hugging the coast to avoid the ever-increasing waves we motored down to Soley’s Cove ~ about 3 miles from our campground, in the village of Economy. This area is even more beautiful with hidden coves and waterfalls. We saw all the places where Danny used to take his dates in high school and now hikes with his kids at low tide. We skirted back across the land bridge between Old Woman and the rock outcropping off her head with just barely enough water to carry us through. (In another half hour or so it would be all mud again). Safely back at the wharf we bid Danny adieu, and grabbed some lunch before Doc and I had to report for work.
Believe it or not, there are more pictures of this excursion. To view more, visit my online web album
. I apologize in advance for the quality of some of the photos ~ it was hard to keep the sea spray off the lens. Have made a note to self to take several lens cleaning cloths next time!