A New Season

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I was working on a post about the “Big Dig” here on the Island. They are putting in new underwater power cables from Deer Island to here, and then on to Grand Manan. To ensure that they keep to schedule the drilling work on top of one of the local hills has been operating 24 hours a day.

This will soon go back to daytime only which will be a huge relief to those who live in the houses around those bright lights.

Well, that’s what I was working on. 🙂 Then one morning summer arrived. This sudden shift brings new challenges and one big dark cloud.

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The forecast was for temperatures over (gasp) 70F (21C) or, as we refer to it, “hot!”. You don’t want to hear the language used when it gets over 80F (27C).

I went with a friend to move his boat to another area of the harbour. People pay a lot of money to sit on a deck, in the sun, on the water, and take photos – I just had to help with some chores.

The Spring lobster season ends in a few days and the focus has turned to herring. They and the whales have been tracked up the coast for weeks. Fishermen are talking to other Islands, driving around looking for schools of fish, estimating numbers and guessing at the date they can start the work of catching them.

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Summer on the Island means a few more changes. There are tourists here now and, cross your fingers, there should be a summer ferry to Deer Island which will bring more. The big marathon happened yesterday and no I didn’t run. I don’t care how many mechanical parts they give me, I will never be a jogger.

One of the highlights for visitors would be the previously mentioned whales. Humpbacks, minkes, and (my personal favourites) the finbacks are making their return to these waters. So are the whale watching boats. 

Unfortunately for my peace of mind, I don’t have to go to sea to witness the behaviour of some of these entrepreneurs. My front porch gives me plenty of opportunity.

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Whale watching always sounded (to me) like a fairly benign activity. A small boat heads out with eager passengers to try and get a glimpse of some pretty amazing creatures. Oh I had heard news reports when I lived on the other coast of boats harassing the whales and it sounded like something that was both unnecessary and cruel. I didn’t really understand what it could involve.

It’s not a single small boat that results in invective/disgust from even hardened fishermen. Imagine watching from the shore as a group of boats surrounds a whale and then herds it as they close the circle ever tighter.

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The boat Captains coordinate their actions on the radio while the animal wants to get on with its life – you know, eating/taking care of of its young/just moving around. It goes on for hours. As a bonus downside the whale gets used to the sound of boat engines – not something that ends well.

The boats are not supposed to be allowed to do this. There are Fisheries personnel on this Island and all over the Bay – they need to step in. These vessels come from some distance to carry out their organized harassment (*cough* St Andrews) and the people here are getting more and more pissed off all the time.

We have local operators who don’t behave this way. We also have miles of beautiful shoreline from which you can watch the big mammals feed and play. Come be a tourist, we’d love to have you. Just don’t enable the a**holes.

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