Saturday, 6 August 2011

Northern Cape Breton On Film

Whales with Northern Cape Breton Nova Scotia'Highlands as the Backdrop

We purchased a video camera for Oshan Whale Watch and the First Mate Cheryl Fraser, has been taking some lovely videos and I have been uploading them to YouTube (above). You know how it goes, you buy a Volkswagen  so all you see on the road is Vokswagons; naturally, I have been watching more videos than I have been uploading. Here are some the treats I found when I was supposed to be working.

Above is a video of setting Lobster Traps in Neil's Harbour.

 I like this video a lot because, well, I'm a fishermen and because they use similar lobster traps to us, so it easy for me to be biased.  Further, I went to high school with the gentleman who uploaded the video.  We haven't talked in a while, but if I saw him on the wharf we'd lean against the traps and have a nice chat about hockey, fishing, and the weather - which is not idle conversation when you work on the sea.  It would be just like it was fifteen years ago, except back then it was hockey, girls, and the weather.

The next video I liked is one by Eagle North Kayak 

I am extremely biased towards Eagle North Kayak because their owner, capebretonmike on youtube, and I were both in the Drama Club together at Cabot Jr/Sr High (I was the junior at the time), and capebretonmike was a founding member of the Cabot Jr/Sr High Environmental Club; I joined shortly after it was created.

When I planned to write this blog, I figured I would just showcase videos by people that I know, because, well, I am biased.  But, the following video was too cute for me to pass up.

Did John Cabot get that reaction when he landed?

Now, how do you get to the Aspy Bay Dive Bomber's location? How the heck should I know? I am a whale watching fisherman with no time for hikes in the summer, but guess what? A friend of mine, Dennis Doyon, runs a guided adventures business, Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures, and he would gladly take you to places like this. Since I mentioned Dennis, he would be upset if I didn't include some winter videos, which is his favourite time of year.

It's Spring-time in Northern Cape Breton, which to us is still Winter!

Lastly, I will post the two most biased videos without commenting on them, because even I have to admit these videos are added because they are personal to me. One is of my mother's home village of Meat Cove, the other is of a sunset filmed above my house.

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed looking through some videos of Northern Cape Breton, I really should be working and I shouldn't be looking forward to winter, but I love winter and all its frigid glory.

I know, this is a blog which ended up being more biased than I planned. But what can I say, when you live at the Top of Nova Scotia you might be biased, but you are also blessed.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Bay Saint Lawrence Fishing Derby and Crab Fest 20th Anniversary

Tomorrow—17 July 2011—is the annual Bay Saint Lawrence Fishing Derby and Crab FestThe Bay Saint Lawrence Fire Department organizes this unique event, which is embraced by the residents’ of Bay Saint Lawrence and the surrounding communities of Northern Cape Breton. For twenty years, locals who have moved away to work and travellers from away plan their vacation around this date.

Twenty years ago I was twelve years old and was an eager participant in the Derby. Tomorrow, I will be responsible for tabulating the results of the fish with my good friend Amy.  Twenty years ago I was so excited to use the jig and pull in fish, after fish, after fish in our old wooden boat the Nancy and Sherry. Tomorrow, I will be on shore with my volunteer fire fighter pager. Times have changed, but the fun in the fishing remains the same: the best part of the Derby is watching the kids win.

 Nearly every local business donates a prize, so the Derby is a wonderful fundraiser for the Fire Hall. However, though the Derby is a local treasure, what most people travel to Bay Saint Lawrence for tomorrow is the Snow Crab Fest. All of the snow crab for the Festival is donated by local fishermen. The fishermen take pride in both catching and donating the crab. Volunteers at the Fire Hall take pride in preparing and serving the crab.

The Bay Saint Lawrence Fishing Derby and Crab Fest offers you a unique home-cooked experience:

Home-caught fish for a home-run Derby.

Home-caught crab. Home-cooked crab.

Home-served cab. Homemade volunteers.

It is a great day and I hope to see you with some fish and eating some snow crab.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Arts North Anecdote

I didn’t make it out to the boat today, which makes me cranky, but I was happy to read the following tweet this morning: 

"Everyday we will try to feature a local business today check out Art’s North" via northcapebreton 

I wasn’t clever enough to come up with a 140 character reply to express why I am happy; instead, I'm going to tell a little story. 

Last year (2010), my childhood friend David Goldberg battled leukemia and won. I have known David for virtually all my life. A native of Philadelphia, David and his family have been coming to Nova Scotia, in particular my home village of Bay Saint Lawrence in Cape Breton, since David was a child. Each summer David and I explored the lakes of the Aspy, the hidden hiking trails of the highlands, faraway swimming holes at Neil's Harbour, the pristine shores of Cabot's Landing, the twists and turns of the Cabot Trail, and the many cliff-bound beaches throughout Northern Cape Breton. Needless to say, David and his family were devastated over David's battle with cancer and heartbroken when they couldn't make it to Cape Breton because of  his illness. 

Enter Naomi.

moose vase, linda doyon, moose, vase, pottery, cape breton,
David's girlfriend wanted to get something authentically Cape Breton for David. She called me (I had never spoke with her before) and asked for my help. I immediately told her that if she wanted something truly Cape Breton, Arts North was the place to go. The owner-operator, Dennis Doyon, quickly found an item that fit Naomi's budget, was easy to ship and was something David would love. It was easy for Dennis to help pick something out for David because our community is so small; Dennis has also known David for over twenty years.  David loved the gift. Dennis loved helping out. And now, the wonderful piece of  pottery, crafted by Linda Doyon, is a centerpiece in David and Naomi's apartment.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

I Love Fishing

The lobster fishery is in full swing on the shores at the top of Nova Scotia. I have been a lobster fisherman all my life and have no plans of quitting anytime soon. I fish on the shore's of Cape Breton out of the lovely port of Bay Saint Lawrence, the most Northern fishing port in all of Nova Scotia. Our little port is also home to a lucrative Atlantic snow-crab fishery, which opens in July, a trawl (long-line) fishery, which targets delicious Halibut, and a mackerel fishery that starts in the fall. The dragging in our area has dwindled, but some boats still catch grey sole or flounder. Aside from the dragging, I have participated in every fishery that our region currently offers and I love them all!  I love the challenge of the North Atlantic waters and our famous tides. I love the last light of the sun, after it sets, when you are trying to squeeze every moment of work in you can before the day turns to dark. I love working with my family, whether it be with my father, mother, sister and brother aboard the Oshan, or my cousins when I help on other boats. Simply put: I love fishing. Do you know what I love the most about fishing? Eating my catch. Yes, in 2004 after graduating on the Dean’s list with an Honours degree, I turned my back on the academic world because I love eating fresh fish. There is just something special about catching it, cleaning it and then cooking it yourself. I love pan-fried lobster, crab keish, smoked mackerel and barbecued halibut. The next time you are in my area, stop at one of the many wharfs from Neil’s Harbour to Bay Saint Lawrence and ask a local “where can I get some fresh fish?” You will be surprised at what you find; afterwards, ask the local “how can I cook it?” and you will be amazed.