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Sailing the Bras d’Or

Published August 13, 2010 - 8 Comments

As much as I love the sight of water.. a lake.. a river.. the ocean.. whatever…  it’s purely from an emotional point of view.  I can’t swim a single stroke.  I sink like a stone, and I’m very much aware of that fact any time that I’m in a situation where I’m near water that is over my head.  Learning to swim is still on my Steve 2.0 list, but everything on that list seems to have taken a backseat to reality lately.  Still… it’s part of the plan… someday…

I was pretty sure that the “surprise” that we needed to head back to Baddeck for would involve water to some degree.  I wasn’t sure what, and I didn’t want to try to think about it too much.  I just wanted to let it happen, and enjoy it (or not) based on what it was… not what I thought it would be.

So I wasn’t overly surprised when we drove to the dock.  But I was surprised by where we went as soon as we got out of the car.  A sail boat!

As I stepped onto it and found a seat, I thought “This should be fun”.  You decide how much sarcasm should be included in that statement. This entire trip was meant to experience new things.  This would certainly be one of them!

The Captain of the Amoeba was a charismatic character.  He kept his 40 passengers entertained with stories of the area’s history, interspersed with plenty of humour.  I don’t know for sure how long we were out there, but it was easily an hour.  During that time we sailed down an area owned by Alexander Graham Bell’s family.  I was unaware that Bell had a vacation home in Baddeck, and his family still has a presence there today.  It was quite something to see his home away from home.  If this blogging thing works out, I’ll have a little shack like that… someday!

One of the most interesting aspects of the trip… the eagles.  When we first got on the sailboat, the Captain told us that we should see at least one, if not two, bald eagles along the way.  Apparently there are two pairs of eagles that he has been feeding during his tours, and these birds know the sailboat now.  One of each pair will stay with the nest, while the other will hunt for food.

I’m not sure that I would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.  Twice during the trip an eagle appeared soaring high overhead.  It seemed to hang there until the Captain called it, and held out a fish.  Sure enough, the bird came down to snatch the fish after the Captain threw it into the water!  This is a picture that Karen was able to snap with her camera.

You can see from this picture, and the one of Bell’s home, that the weather that day was perfect.  It was sunny and warm.  You couldn’t have asked for any better.  I was still a little uneasy at times, but for the most part, I survived.  I sat my ass down, and didn’t move until we got back.  The only time that I got a little worried was when the sailboat turned around at the midway point.  I know that’s part of their design, but I really wasn’t happy with how far the boat tilts to one side as it makes a turn.  I was extremely thankful that I was on the side that went UP rather than the one that went DOWN.  I gripped the seat tightly and tried not to panic.  I’m not sure that I would have been so calm had I been on the opposite side, and been leaning heavily toward the water.  Luck of the draw, I guess.

It was a shame that it had to end.  Other than the turn, I had a great time!