Canoeing on the French River (video)

We acquired a second-hand Go-Pro camera from my brother this year, and the kids have been having a lot of fun with it. When we went camping in Tatamagouche last week, we mounted it on the front of our canoe as we explored the tidal French River in Tatamagouche. At around 2:20, you will see footage of our bald eagle, “Joe”. Thank you to our son, Alex, for editing all the footage to make this five minute clip. Swansburgs, this one is for you!

A night away

Historically, bookings during the first week of July have always been slow. Earlier this week, we had a night without any reservations, so we closed out our online booking calendar, and packed up the van to spend the night at our property in Tatamagouche, on the Northumberland Strait.

What a wonderful getaway we had, spending time together as a family without distractions. Our property has a bunkhouse and an outhouse, with no power nor running water – unless you count the river! We chatted, played cards, went exploring the riverbed while the tide was out, had a bonfire, made s’mores, stargazed, canoed, swam, set off bottle-rockets, had a washer toss tournament, drove the van up & down the lane (a 14 year-old-boy’s rite-of-passage), skipped rocks, and laughed. We ate well – everything tastes better outside! We had risotto with asparagus, sausage, and cheese cooked on the campstove for supper. (Along with some local wine & beer for the parents.) Breakfast was bacon, fruit, yogurt, and homemade brown-bread toast made over the campfire with homemade jelly.

We have eagles – now named Joe & Josie – who were quite interested in what we were doing and circled around often. When we were canoeing, “Joe” was swooping down close to us and then perched on the treetops, watching the kids swim. I was hoping that he didn’t think Olivia was a fish!

We don’t have any more nights without bookings in the coming weeks, so we won’t get another overnight for awhile. However, we’ll try to get back for a few hours during the day again soon.

Summer fun, hanging out together

Summer fun, hanging out together

Playing cards and laughing together while catching some shade in the tent

Playing cards and laughing together while catching some shade in the tent

Exploring the river while the tide was out.

Exploring the river while the tide was out.

Relaxed

Relaxed

Sibling fun around the campfire at dusk

Sibling fun around the campfire at dusk

Alex's charred marshmallow

Alex’s charred marshmallow

Early morning washer toss tournament

Early morning washer toss tournament

Making toast on the fire

Making toast on the fire

All food tastes better outside!

All food tastes better outside!

Canoeing on the French River

Canoeing the French River

The 2015 McDonah Family canoe photo

The 2015 McDonah Family canoe photo – we’ll soon all be too big to travel together

A happy & relaxed dad, paddling in his handmade canoe

A happy & relaxed dad, paddling in his handmade cedar-strip canoe

Flooding in Truro

Many people who follow the news have heard that yesterday in Truro, we had the “perfect storm” which created massive flooding in our town. Hurricane Leslie, which hit Newfoundland today, was feeding a low pressure system which stalled over our area. The heavy rain (145 mm+) combined with high tide in an already swollen Salmon River, caused the dykes to be breached and the water to flow into town.

Luckily, at the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast, our guests were warm, cozy & dry and our home was not affected – which seemed amazing because streets very close to us, and the golf course in our neighbourhood were closed. We’ve heard stories about one friend who was rescued from her home by a canoe, other friends who were rescued from their homes in the bucket of a front end loader, and another friend’s son, who was wakeboarding in the flood water in their backyard!

I am happy to report that although this amount of water was a huge inconvenience to many, I have not heard of any injuries or worse – fatalities as a result.

Thank you to past guests, friends & family from away who have contacted us to inquire about our safety – I’m happy to report we’re all just fine!

The Joe Howe Falls in Victoria Park, Truro. Photo Credit: Truro Parks & Recreation

Fletcher’s Restaurant, located just down the street from us. Photo credit: Robb Scott

A lake at the Truro Golf Club – located on the other end of our block. Photo credit: Truro Golf Club

The first time I’ve ever seen so much flooding at the Truro Golf Club – located at the opposite end of our block. Photo credit: Truro Golf Club

Lorne Street looking South. Stanfield’s Factory on the left, the Stadium and High School on the right. Needless to say, all were evacuated! Photo credit: Tim Roland

The parking lot of the mall on Robie Street last night; this is the main artery in and out of Truro. Photo credit: Bobby Harroun

A friend’s son, wakeboarding in their backyard. Notice the water is as deep as the trampoline is high. Photo credit: Susan MacQuarrie

Penguins and a Boat Ride Around Snake Island

I chatted with Evan briefly via Instant Messaging yesterday afternoon, but we did not get to Skype in the evening. He sounds like he is minding the heat, which we expected could be a problem. (He’s like his father that way!) He had been swimming in the afternoon which he said helped – that, and the fact that the temperature was down to *only* 28*F! He’s also finding the 7:30 school start time early… Otherwise, he was in good spirits and reports that he’s having fun!

Yesterday’s update from Brazil comes via Erin and, unfortunately, does not include a photo.

“Hi everyone,
 
yesterday we went to a aquarium with like different fish and sea lions and PENGUINS!!!!!, also sea museum with really weird dead fish and sharks and a boat ride around snake island. it was all really fun, we met up with the brazilians and then got on the boat, after a couple minutes when we were behind snakes island we got to jump off the boat and into the water that was like the best part out of everything yesterday for me anyway. i had a lot of fun!!!
 
having fun in Brazil!!!
Erin”

Victoria Park – Exposed & Untouched

I received the link to the following video of Truro’s Victoria Park from Shannon Blaikie-Antonucci, a former schoolmate and friend of mine.

In her own words, she describes,

Nestled in the beautiful town of Truro, Nova Scotia, Victoria Park, a natural woodland park of roughly 400 acres, remains a glimmering jewel of untouched paradise in the center of town. Two magnificent sets of waterfalls flow through a steep, tree-covered, rocky gorge, and several walking trails follow closely along the brook, allowing a unique view of this ancient setting. The park boasts interesting geological formations in the gorge and river bed area, and beautiful stands of hard and softwood trees, particularly hemlock, on the cliffs and uplands. The upland area beyond the gorge contains a walking trail, approximately 1.6 kilometers in length. The ravine area also contains the Holy Well, a replica of a well in the neighbouring Bible Hill area where early Acadian settlers baptized their infants, and a Wishing Well. Victoria Park is a truly magical and mystical place for all to enjoy.”

We are so lucky to have this beautiful park right here in Truro for all to enjoy, and we always encourage our Bed & Breakfast guests to visit while they’re here.

Thank you Shannon, for putting this together – it’s beautiful!!