Well it’s Monday August 29th, the beginning of our three day trip down the Bay of Fundy for our annual scallop diving trip. On board we have my son Brett, my youngest son Greg, now with the Military Police (he is going to keep us honest) and this year Doug returning as a minister after a few years at university. A few prayers never hurt for a safe trip and a few scallops.
Where should we go Campobello or Grand Manan? The decision is Grand Manan, we’ve always had pretty good luck on the island so off we go.
As usual once we get out into the Bay light winds out of the sou’west right on the nose. Too tight for the jib so we use only the main for a little kick and use the engine. From Saint John we are looking at a 6 to 8 hour trip depending on the tide and wind.
Then offshore and somewhere outside the Wolves the wind shifts from sou’west to nor’west in about a minute….hummm I thought that’s unusual, but I like it because now the wind is on the beam and we are making better time. The wind starts to build and before long the suo’west waves are starting to collide with the waves created by the nor’west waves and we have square waves, …..there is no pattern.
Now the wind is tearing the tops off the waves and water is coming over the bow and over the side of the boat.
You usually try to pick your way through the waves but in a confused sea it’s a little difficult ,think of it like skiing moguls but the moguls keep moving on you. Below deck pots and pans are flying, cushions are on the floor and everything is soaked. Not dangerous but messy. A couple hours of what I would describe as ” not fun”.
As get closer to Grand Manan we as somewhat in the lea and the wind drops off and by about 8:30 pm we tie up beside a fishing scow and kill the engine. We learn later that it was a fast moving front blowing 35 to 40 knots.
Someone says; “Boy, I could really use a hot coffee” followed by a choir of voices. We jump in the tender and head for the dock at North Head. Once ashore we make our way to our favorite restaurant only to find a CLOSED sign, a short distance down the road I see a flashing OPEN sign, so down we go and are greeted with a; “We close at nine” and with a look that says don’t you see I want to get out of here.
As we head back to the wharf I notice a lot of lights on at what looks like the Post Office,…..what the hell let’s check it out. We learn that the local decommissioned Post Office has become a pizza parlour, ice cream shop and gift shop.
Now we’re in the mood for an ice cream, I choose cherry cheesecake. The owner. Walter Colbey smiled and asked; “regular or sugar cone (no difference in price) I go for a single scoop on a sugar cone. He turns to the freezer and I wonder if he is digging a trench or scooping ice cream. He smiles and presents me with a mountain of ice cream that could hardly be considered as a single scoop. To boot he is personality plus. I would say he’s Grand Manan’s equivalent to Pete Luckett of Pete’s Frootique fame.
The next day diving is a wash, it would seem that our secret spot has been discovered and picked over…..after 4 or 5 hours back to the wharf and vote for another ice cream to make up for our diving disappointment. We spend the better part of an hour eating our ice cream and chatting with the owner before we went back to the boat and back to Saint John the next day.
You know we may not go back to North Head for scallop diving next year ……but we may just drop in for an ice cream and possibly some pizza on our way to another dive site.