The In-Between Times

One of the odd things about living on this Island and traveling over a short bridge to Maine is that the time of day changes. We use Atlantic Time and the US coast is on Eastern (Standard or Daylight depending on the season). The difference is one hour – nice in the summer when it seems to stay light on the Island longer than the American side, annoying right now because they sleep in while the sun doesn’t come up here until after 8:00 am.

All of that was to explain why it was still pitch dark when I went out to take some photos this morning. There are very few places on the Island with street lights (I can count the number of lamp poles on two hands) so I naturally went to the harbour. Daylight Savings Time ends in a week, in the meantime my excursions will be in the dark. 🙂

The other big change next week will result from the official opening of Lobster Season on the 9th. Boats which have been setup and dedicated to catching herring are now being readied for traps. The good news for me is that I can finally show you what the pumping gear looks like.

I’ve tried to describe what happens when herring are shutoff or caught in a weir – badly I’m sure. When they’re ready to be removed a pumper boat arrives and lowers (what is essentially) the end of a large vacuum cleaner into the water. Tons of fish are sucked up in that yellow hose and then through a magic box which removes as much water as possible before sending the little darlings into the hold.

All of this gear is being dismantled and put away until the next herring hunt. Once again giant piles of lobster traps have appeared all over the harbour (and the Island) and they have been prepared to get loaded on the boats. This year, because of measures implemented to try and save the endangered Right Whales, new “weak ropes” must be used with the traps. They will make it easier for the Whales to break free if they become entangled. This meant that many, many miles of rope had to be replaced on thousands of traps. The change hasn’t slowed things down too much and the fishermen will be ready next week.

It’s still unseasonably warm here. The deer hunters were doing their manly stuff in t-shirts last week. We’re having lots of wind and rain at the moment, but it’s not cold out. These storms usually start about now (in my vast experience of 4 years) and the wind doesn’t stop until the late spring. It looks normal out my window and then I step outside and it’s 15C (60F).

Today is Halloween of course – not my favourite time of year. I used to enjoy it and the cute kids in their costumes until sedating animals became a requirement just so they’d survive the night.

This Island – much like what I’ve witnessed in Maine – goes all out in terms of decorations and celebrations. Unfortunately storms around now are not kind to the yard displays – still they’ve been up for weeks so parents have gotten their money’s worth.

Many of those who haven’t indulged in Halloween decorations are making up for it by signaling their love of Christmas (!?!). Even some of the yards populated by ghosts and goblins have yuletide displays alongside. There will be two months of setting up, watching storms cause them damage, and then setting them up again. Some with giant inflatable reindeer and Santas are smart and deflate the balloons before they get blown away.

It’s a weird time of year. 🙂

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