Month: February 2019

665. Sunday 24th February 2019. A flight home, escaping from illness, hot days and a cyclone hovering off the coast…

Monday 18th February

I had a rough night of some sleep. Mostly troubled by chest pain and the urge to cough which produced more pain but I felt well enough to travel.

Shan dropped us at the airport at 9am for our 11.30am flight. Yes we were 90 minutes early but we can relax and wait with no rushing. On arrival at the ticketing counter we were told the flight was delayed until 2.30pm !!! Donnis wanted to take the bus into Mackay, find a doctor, any doctor, get medication for me and take the bus back to the airport. I countered with the suggestion we take the bus to Canelands and drag our carry on baggage with us around the shopping centre. Both proposals were vetoed by the opposite person. Instead we spent the next 6 hours (the plane was further delayed until 3pm) sitting in the Ibis Airport Hotel, TurBARlance Bar, and in the airport food area and in the waiting area. Somehow we managed to fill in all that time. I used the time wisely by making a doctors appointment for tomorrow morning.

After a couple of misunderstandings about where to wait for the Gateway Airport Parking shuttle bus we were on our way but not before heading over to the International Airport and filling up the shuttle with a full load of passengers AND their luggage. Soon we were at the depot, handed our car keys and we were on our way. I must say the Gateway crew are very well trained and know their role. It is a smooth operation and the price is reasonable.

I was not well enough to drive but with Donnis driving and me navigating we were on the M1 motorway within 5 minutes and on our way home. Although traffic was heavy it was moving. I had a couple of spoons of soup, showered and in bed by 8pm.

Tuesday 19th February

I woke feeling like baked beans for breakfast while Donnis woke with a headache, sore throat and a cough.

Uh Oh!

My doctor checked me out and said Bronchitis and gave me a prescription for antibiotics.

Donnis had an appointment with her doctor who prescribed the same medication although her symptoms are a bit different.

The rest of the day we spent resting, relaxing or sleeping.

My appetite returned in a limited way and I had a bowl of soup for dinner. Yay!

Wednesday 20th February

Nothing much happened. We both stayed near a lounge or a bed, took our meds and coughed a lot. We did manage to watch a couple of movies via Popcorn and Chromecast. We saw a documentary about a man who climbed a rock called El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He climbed the sheer rock face alone and without safety gear. The movie was called Free Solo and is nominated for an Academy Award.  We had both previously seen Bohemian Rhapsody and despite myself enjoyed it. The performance by Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury was stunning. He deserves a personal Oscar for his performance. We also watched Green Book and know it has been nominated for Academy Awards and quite honestly there must be an award for this movie. Finally saw A Star is Born. Yawn. Yep seen it. I suppose the music may have been great but I could not understand  what the words were. I suppose it will win an award.

All this week, Cyclone Oma has been hovering off the coast bringing strong winds, huge seas of more than 5 metres but no rain.

200219 cruiser
Even on the Broadwater the wind was whipping up whitecaps.

I took a drive out to The Spit to photograph the big seas and King tides.

200219 erosion
Although there have been high tides, strong winds and bigger than average seas, the beaches were not yet closed. This was the last day this week when surfing lessons can still be carried out. Note the dune erosion. By the end of the week some erosion walls are as high as 4 metres,
200219 lessons
Last day of surf lessons.

I can see where the big tides and waves have carved out the sand dunes but waves are no larger than a good day.

200219 sand
The wind was whipping at around 75 klms per hour and you can see the dry sand being blown off the beach.
200219 grounded
This houseboat, blown up on the beach is a bit of a puzzle. If it was being blown by the wind it would have ended up on the opposite shore.
200219 grounded1
I could not see all the damage and getting in amongst the tree branches and roots was too much of a challenge.

Friday 22nd February

We both went to The Spit to look at the big swells and strong winds. The beaches are closed all along the coast. Donnis elected to stay in the car. The wind is so strong it was difficult to hold the camera steady and sand is being whipped off the beach and it tears against exposed skin of the legs and face.

220219 sand
Two days later and the wind is even stronger.

Five minutes in the open and my eyes had a cake of salt around them, my ears were gritty with sand and my hair is filled with sand. This is no fun. Although the beach is closed with signs and barriers there are still stupid people who want to risk being blown or washed off the seawall.

220219 spit
I am struggling to hold the camera steady as well as trying to keep the wind driven sand off the camera.
220219 spit1
Trying to hide from the sand was near impossible.

Sunday 24th February.

Today marks the 46th straight day where the temperature has been above 30°. A coolish change is predicted for tomorrow.

The cyclone has started to move away from the coast but the strong winds and big waves remain.

We are both beginning to feel better although we are as lethargic as walking through wet cement.

664. Sunday 17th February 2019. A security scare and theft, researching CCTV, a flight to Mackay and a drive to Airlie Beach, an 18th Birthday and sickness

Monday 11th February

Today I want to talk about someone, a stranger, an intruder, coming into your house and stealing stuff. What is worse is they do it while you are at home.

Think about that for a moment.

The thief knows what he/she is doing. Has done it before, is probably known to the Police. All the thief wants is to get in, create two escape routes, find something to steal and escape within about 30 seconds.

This event occurred between 6pm and 8pm last night. From where I was sitting on the lounge (maybe I was dozing) I can only see a small sliver of our bedroom through the doorway and can see nothing of the second bedroom and nothing of the laundry or the door which leads from the laundry to the garage.

Donnis is in the bedroom trying on clothes and I can only see her moving around as she moves in and out of view. Mostly, unless she comes to the bedroom door she cannot see anything either.

The thief has the element of surprise on their side. They came into the house knowing they might encounter the occupants. We, on the other hand would be in total shock trying to understand a stranger in our house perhaps even one who is armed. Access was most likely the wide open garage door then through the laundry door and first bedroom on the right, finds two handbags, grabs them and is gone. Neither of us saw or heard anything.

We did not know the handbags were gone until today when we were going to the doctors. Donnis went to get her handbag and it was gone.

While driving to the doctor we phoned the bank and cancelled the credit/debit cards. Unfortunately they are both on the same account so my card is also cancelled. Grrr! We have no access to funds until the new cards arrive.

We have reported it to the Police, the property owners, our own Home Owners Committee and neighbours. Nobody saw anything.

Forensics arrived, dusted for prints and found NO PRINTS, not any at all. Every surface was wiped clean and the Chux cloth thrown on the car windscreen. This type of theft is pretty common these days.

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours with friend Val R who has priced out some CCTV equipment.

Tuesday 12th February

Today I spoke with the land owners and they are looking at additional security measures but nothing has been decided. They have priced a drone which fly’s the boundary and roads within our village every 20 minutes and records what it see’s. That is an option.

I decided to walk the bank of our creek frontage, about 150 metres, with river gums, casuarina and mangroves growing along a steep bank. I hoped to maybe find Donnis handbag.

I did. It was still floating in about a metre of water at high tide. Her phone earbuds were dangling from a casuarina branch and her glass cleaners were on the ground. The handbag was empty. I went back two hours later as the tide turned but it was still too deep and murky to look for the cards or her card wallet. I did find another wallet belonging to one of the residents here. He had not reported the loss to the Home Owners Committee but may have reported it to the Police. I will go back at 7am for the first low tide to search amongst the rocks.

Donnis went to Motor Transport and reported the loss and applied for a replacement license.

The loss of the $15 is something which you cope with but on top of invading our privacy comes the cost of replacing the license, $75, being without our credit/debit cards and the replacement of Medicare card, Pension card, Fly Buys cards and all the rest.

Wednesday 13th February

One of the hottest days of the year. It was easier to stay home and keep cool in the air conditioning. We packed a suitcase ready to leave tomorrow.

I continued to research CCTV and decide that if I proceed what is the best way to install and where to install. I do not want to drill holes in the ceiling or floor but believe a hole in the floor may be easiest with all the cables fed through the one hole.

Thursday 14th February

Up at 5am and we were on our way by 5.30am. Today we drove to Brisbane Airport but first stopped at Gateway Airport Parking. This is the first time I have ever used such a facility. i30 will be parked under cover and they will drive us to the airport and collect us when we return. The cost is only $74 for 5 days. I compared that to catching the train to the airport which is $30 each, each way. A total of $120 and we still have to find our way to and from the train station. No sooner had we arrived and unpacked our bags than the shuttle driver was ready for us, packed the bags in the back and we were at Jet Star ticketing 10 minutes later. Although on stand -by we were issued tickets immediately and even had time for breakfast.

If we thought Brisbane was hot we were in for a surprise at Mackay. Hotter and more humid. It was energy sapping. We caught the bus into town and I collected sister Shan’s car from her work then drove to Canelands for lunch in air conditioned comfort.

Mackay has suffered with the heavy rain over he last 10 days. Although the rain was not as heavy and prolonged as further north and west,  (they still had 1.4m in 24 hours) there was some minor flooding and some damage to local roads. The rain contributed to the extreme humidity.

Friday 15th February

We took the borrowed Mazda 3 and drove to Airlie Beach to meet with a Real Estate agent and to do an inspection of our house there. I always come away feeling dejected. Although Donnis is happy, the inside of the house is well maintained and clean I cannot say the same for the outside. We have a lot of trees around the property and the roof and guttering is full of leaves and palm fronds by the dozens are littering the pathways and once again bushes have completely overgrown the back of the garage. It is annoying that tenants will not carry out any work other than the simplest cutting of the grass. Donnis suggested  – half jokingly – maybe we should just move back but I no longer feel like being a slave to yard work.

We had a pie at Cannonvale Centro Shopping Centre and were amazed to see Lou Tuck a Marine Surveyor, Himalayan hearing advocate, yachtie and all round hippy. Although we both knew each other we had forgotten each others names. Lou makes a trek to the Himalaya’s each year to support free work being carried out to provide hearing aids to the locals. Lou also just bought himself a new 35 Beneteau Yacht. I always liked Lou and got along with him despite many people avoiding him. Lou has always been an individual, always wearing grotty yachty clothing, no shoes, very opinionated and loud. He has changed. Today he was wearing shoes.

Afterwards, and before heading home we drove to Cedar Creek Falls as I expected it would be pumping after all the recent rain.

150219 cedar creek2
Cedar Creek Falls

It was falling but not pumping.

150219 cedar creek
This couple know how to cool off. They had a little esky with cold drinks. Were tethered together and kept in the shade. A few paddles with free hand and a bit of kicking with feet was all they needed to navigate.

The word is out though as there were many backpackers enjoying the falls and the clean water and just somewhere cool to laze around.150219 cedar creek6 I was pleased none had climbed to the top of the falls where, in the past, young heroes have jumped to their death.

150219 cedar creek1
ME Tarzan. Having swum here many times I can tell you the weight of water slamming onto your head and shoulders is quite intense. You can only tolerate it for a few minutes. Shoulders become red and sore as if massaged too long and too hard.

They all seem to forget the rocks just under the surface.150219 cedar creek5

150219 cedar creek4
The sheer rock wall is covered in slime and handholds and footholds are hard to find

150219 cedar creek3

Saturday 16th February.

That’s odd! I woke with a splitting headache which seemed to get worse as the day wore on. I also felt my appetite had disappeared. A sore throat has joined the other symptoms. We met sister Enid at Canelands Shopping Town for a coffee. I struggled with the coffee. No, there was nothing wrong with the coffee, I was unwell and felt bloated after drinking just half the coffee.

We went back to Shan’s house and I had an afternoon snooze.

By the time I woke I knew I had either a head cold or worse a dose of flu. We drove to Mackay and went to a restaurant on the riverside, called Ashtart, a Lebanese inspired eatery.

160219 frank
Is this the face of a man brimming with good health and enthusiasm and joy and pride at his granddaughters 18th birthday? The beer beside had no taste but I managed to finish it. No there was nothing wrong with the beer.

We were there for my granddaughter Shelby 18th birthday.

160219 shelby
Happy Birthday Shelby.

Unfortunately whatever it is I have, got worse and I struggled to drink a beer and only had two bites of a kebab. My taste buds AND appetite had both run away. The smell of meat, herbs and spices cooking did not make me hungry at all.  All I wanted to do was curl up in a fetal position and sleep.  I’m sure Shelby had a great night surrounded by family and friends. I was too ill to be a part of her celebration. We left by 8.30 pm.

160219 averyl
Daughter Averyl and Granddaughter Shelby.

160219 donnis

160219 pamngerry
Gerry and Pam, Shelby’s other grandparents. Pam is on oxygen 24/7.
160219 bridge
The Forgan Bridge across the Pioneer River. The original bridge was opened in 1938 and named in honour of Mary Forgan, mother of the former Premier William Forgan Smith. The bridge was built to replace an earlier bridge simply known as the Sydney St Bridge. The latest 4 lane bridge was opened in 2008.

Sunday 17th February

I had a rough night and the day didn’t get any better. I dozed frequently and Donnis kept insisting we cancel our flight home and wait for me to get better. I would rather be sick at home. As the day wore on Donnis was looking at alternate plans to stay longer and seek medical attention in the morning. On the other hand I want to be well enough to travel and be sick at home in my own bed.

Shan made dinner but I was still not well enough to eat more than a few mouthfuls.

It looks like a long uncomfortable night ahead.

663. Sunday 10th February 2019. Donnis arrives home, beach walks and beach weddings, skin cancer surgery, a runaway car, Australian Outback Spectacular and a home robbery…

Monday 4th February

While waiting for Donnis flight yesterday I was at North Kirra Beach. There is a rather large monument to a ship, “COOLANGATTA” which sank here in 1846.

030219 plaque1
“COOLANGATTA:” Memorial.

Eventually the nearby town was named Coolangatta. Details are in the photo.

030219 plaque
Plaque commemorating the loss of the ship “COOLANGATTA”.

A small beach carnival was also in progress and a festive atmosphere prevailed.

030219 carnival
Mini surf carnival at North Kirra Beach with Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise in the background.

Today was a mirror image of yesterday weather wise. Most of the day was spent hiding from the heat and late in the afternoon we drove to Main Beach ( I still call it Southport Beach) while Donnis got washed around in the surf I went for a walk. Imagine my surprise, well not really, when an Asian Wedding arrived on the beach all dressed in gowns, suits and heavy clothing. 040219 wedding1We often see weddings on the beach. Why not have wedding photos or even a ceremony here? It is a wonderful setting albeit a bit public.040219 wedding2

After taking a multitude of photos it was time to find Donnis who by now would be covered in wet sand and a giant smile on her face. She was and she did.

040219 wedding
Wedding party with invited guests and uninvited guests.

040219 wedding6040219 wedding5040219 wedding3040219 wedding4

Tuesday 5th February

Another day of 31° and an excuse to stay indoors although the AC was not required.

Wednesday 6th February

There was no Line Dancing today. Kay our dance co-ordinator is away and I had a Skin Doctor appointment.

First before I get to that I should mention an incident. I was at the PC messing with photos and Donnis was at the table when we heard a loud bang outside. WTF was that? Checking outside we found a car we have not seen before, wedged up in our garden without a driver. More WTF’s!!!

060219 crash
Runaway car.

We thought it may have come from the neighbour across the street and the car has rolled down the driveway and into the garden. 060219 crash2I checked the neighbour but no response. I called her. No answer. After another 10 minutes I tried again. This time a care worker answered the door. She had been showering our neighbour and not heard my calls or the phone. It was her car and the handbrake was off. Ooops! The car flattened a few plants that I wanted to get rid of anyway and narrowly missed hitting the house of our other neighbour. I now have an excuse to re-do the entire garden.060219 crash1

Last week I had a Skin Doctor checkup when he noticed something on my upper arm which said he did not like to look of. To me it looked like a little pimple but he took a biopsy punch and today was follow up. The lab report said the biopsy showed a superficial multifocal basal cell carcinoma.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) of Skin is a malignant cancer affecting the skin. It is a slow-growing tumor generally observed in older individuals, in both men and women,,,Hmmm! I’m in this category.
  • This malignant carcinoma, which may be present as a lesion on the sun-exposed areas of the body, has the potential to metastasize (spread) to the lymph nodes… he found a little lesion which looked like a little pimple
  • Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin is one of the most common types of BCC that is usually present as an erythematous (red) patch on the skin of the chest and back
  • Some lesions may grow to large sizes and ulcerate. They can also infiltrate into the adjoining soft tissues and nerves. Larger lesions also have a greater tendency to recur after treatment…mine was on the upper arm.
  • The cause of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin is unknown, but factors such as chronic sun exposure, smoking, and ionizing radiation, etc., are known to contribute towards its development. Also, fair-skinned Caucasians have a greater risk than dark-skinned Africans and Asians…ok I’m a fair skinned, albeit olive complexion, but still fair skinned and spent most of my youth and a good part of middle age out in the sun.
  • Any combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and invasive procedures (surgery) are used to treat Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin. Small-sized tumors and tumors that have not metastasized can be cured through appropriate skin surgery… I had the appropriate skin surgery.
  • The prognosis for metastatic tumors depends upon many factors including the stage of the tumor, health status of the individual, and treatment response. The prognosis may be guarded…fingers crossed and I have regular check ups.

I still spend time in the sun but wear a shirt, often long sleeved and if I am swimming in the surf wear a long sleeve rashie. I have always worn sunglasses since about age 11 and wear a hat with appropriate brim for different conditions.

So, he performed a local bit of surgery, put in 6 stitches and we await the results of sending the tumour to the lab. When my brother was 18 he had a tumour which got into his lymph gland and he had major surgery to have it removed. You cannot be too careful. Better I have a few stitches now than a life threatening tumour later on.

Tonight 26 of us from our village went to the Australian Outback Spectacular.

060219 aos1

The tickets are normally around $110 PP but includes the floor show, a 3 course meal and drinks, wine, beer or soft drink followed by tea or coffee. It also includes a yahoo type souvenir hat. I did not know what to expect once we were ushered into a big barn like bar/waiting room.

060219 aos
Main foyer bar at Australian Outback Spectacular

I think the idea is to wait until everybody who is coming has arrived and so they can sell a few drinks and souvenirs beforehand. Then we got ushered into an even bigger barn like building with tiered seating and a serving platform in front of each row.

060219 aos2
Main auditorium

The entrée which was a delightful quiche with a spicy mango sauce was served immediately and cold beer and other drinks followed.  If all I got all night was the quiche and a couple of beers I would have been happy.

The spectacular floor show began and the immense spectacle was a combination of light, videography, live action and a story. I think everybody who saw this presentation were enthralled by the video presentation of a waterfall on a screen and the water flowing along the creek was shown on the sandy arena. It really was so lifelike and the magical sound effects including sound through the floor and bench tables. This was impressive.

Midway through the show a chuck wagon comes into the arena and the outback cook announces dinner. Suddenly wait staff were delivering 2 inch thick fillet steak drizzled with a red wine sauce, a potato concoction almost good enough to serve on its own plus beans and pumpkin. More drinks arrived and the show continued.

During the show horses gallop around. Cattle are herded, utes and 4WD careen around gun battles on horseback and so many things to take in.

At one stage a helicopter flys into the arena does a few circuits and buzzes out. Obviously it not a real helicopter….but it is. It is made from real helicopter parts but the spinning blades and rotors are operated by batteries and the engine noise comes from the sound system. It is realistic enough for the show presentation.

A super rich chocolate mousse dessert arrived and although I heard people saying how rich and sweet it was, all the plates were licked clean. The only downside was the tea and coffee but I guess you cannot expect espresso coffee when you are feeding hundreds.

All in all a great night out, value for money and recommended.

Thursday 7th February

Donnis wanted to go to the beach for a washing machine experience in the dumping surf. I went for a walk.

070219 writing
I have never seen Japanese, umm err Chinese or maybe Korean writing on the beach before.

As I approached where I saw the wedding I saw the photographer again and thought “aha, another wedding”.

070219 lifeguard
Hmmm! It was about here where I saw the wedding the other day. Wait! Hmmm! That looks like the wedding photographer striding over the sand dune.

Sure enough a wedding party came over the hill and the photographer got busy.

070219 wedding
Here comes another wedding.

So did I.070219 wedding3 It seems the time for wedding photos is around 3pm. 070219 wedding1I must keep that in mind when we go to the beach next time.070219 wedding2

Friday 8th February

Today we had a walk along the Broadwater and Labrador and Donnis has a swim at The Lagoon.

070219 boat
Tourist boats are now landing guests on sandbanks so they can run around or even do a spot of fishing.

Sunday 10th February

Today was hot and dry and an uncomfortably hot and sticky wind was blowing from the north east. We prepared a picnic lunch and drove to Broadbeach and had lunch in a picnic shelter. The shade and wind blowing through the walls was pleasant. Afterwards we went to Marina Mirage for an ice cream. We took a walk across the footbridge to

100219 bridge
Walkway over the main road connecting Marina Mirage with Sheraton Grande Mirage.

Sheraton Grand Mirage

100219 view
Main road to Sea World and The Spit.

and checked out the twin Rolls Royce parked in the forecourt of Palazzo Versace

100219 palazzo
Palazzo Versace including the twin Rolls Royce.

next door to Marina Mirage before going to The Lagoon for Donnis to have a swim.

Tonight, somewhere between 6pm and 8pm somebody came in through our unlocked back door, OR more likely through the open garage door, propping the door open and threw a cleaning cloth on the car windscreen. Nothing seems to have been taken but it is a bit of an invasion.  The key which usually sits on a hook beside the door was left on a small desk. Several other events have happened to other villagers these last few weeks. We need to beef up security.

Update written Monday. Change of situation. Donnis handbag containing such mundane things as money, credit cards, license and so on plus a white purse were taken from the spare bedroom. That now explains why the back door was propped open to provide a second escape route. It also explains the dirty cloth, it was used to wipe down anything he/she touched. The scary thing is we were at home at the time! Donnis was most likely in the bedroom sorting through her wardrobe and I was on a lounge in front of the TV perhaps asleep. Police Forensics arrived and checked for fingerprints on the door. The door is clear. No fingerprints at all. Not even ours. Forensics believe the thief is most likely in the system, that is why the door was wiped down.

Today with the help of friend Val R who researched security camera systems for me has made a suggested kit of a 4 camera system. It will not stop a thief but will give us a measure of comfort knowing we can provide CCTV footage in any future event.

662. Sunday 3rd February 2019. Hot days and lighthouses of PEI…

Monday 28th January

Another hot humid day.

Yesterday my cousin Vicki called. She is on the Gold Coast to celebrate her sister Lyns 70th birthday. Lyn has dementia and she would have struggled understanding I am her cousin. Vicki will have lunch alone with her today. I arranged to collect her from the Miami motel where she was staying and have coffee at the North Burleigh Surf Club. I decided we would walk from the motel. It was a wise move. There was no parking at the surf club (it is the Australia Day Holiday and last day of school holidays and perfect weather for the beach the coffee shop is underneath the club so the high ceilings and totally open entrance meant the ocean breeze kept the area nice and comfortable, I could have stayed all day.

On the drive home I saw thick smoke across The Broadwater. There was a big bushfire in the native bush across from Sea World. The fire brigade had the fire under control within a few hours but people at Sea World and it accommodation were evacuated and people at the north end of The Spit were to leave and the road was closed.

The rest of the week was the same, weather wise. Humidity of around 90% and 31° temperature. I had a full blood test carried out as I have not been feeling well for some time. I also had a skin check and the doc took a biopsy on something on my arm.

For Christmas, Alecia gave me a book called Lighthouses of Atlantic Canada.

victoria seaport
Victoria Seaport Range Light. This is an unusual lighthouse for a number of reasons. It is built across the road from the open ocean. It is a range light, that is it has two lights built into the single structure. It is also a lighthouse museum. Built in 1879 and became a museum in 1990. As this is a frigid part of Canada the opening hours are limited during summer months and totally closed during winter. It is well maintained.

I have only had a chance to read some of it but I thought this has been a slow week and I can share photos of lighthouses.

seacow head PEI
Seacow Head lighthouse serves a dual purpose as a typical lighthouse and as a lead range light.
seacow head PEI 1
Seacow Head Lighthouse and range light. Used to guide seacraft into the town of Summerside.

One of the first things that stood out in the book was a comment how many lighthouses became de-staffed and automated, many were taken over by local interested persons or groups or historical societies. That sentence went a long way towards explaining for me why so many of the lighthouses are in such poor state of repair or maintenance.

rustico PEI
This lighthouse at Rustico Harbour appears well maintained. It is stark contrast to all the other buildings around the harbour which all look like they need replacing.

Although the lights still operate automatically only that maintenance which is vital to the operation of the lights is still carried out by the appropriate authority. Maintenance of the building, especially timber structures became a local responsibility. Often those communities are small and with scattered houses often in the middle of potato fields. There is little or no community spirit or money.

new london PEI
This maintained lighthouse at New London sits slightly below the sand dunes in a swampy area filled with bulrushes.

I looked at a number of lighthouses on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Indian Head PEI
UIndian Head Lighthouse PEI. Maintenance is not an issue. It simply is not maintained. It is in the bay where the second largest town of Summerside is located. It is quite a large community.

The best lighthouse by far was one at Cape George in Nova Scotia and it probably had the smallest and most scattered community. The building was in immaculate condition and had a brass plaque installed by the proud community.

cape george nova scotia
Cape George Lighthouse. It is a credit to the tiny isolated local community as it was probably the best presented of all the lighthouses we saw.

The worst kept lighthouse was in a small scattered community called Cavendish on Prince Edward Island. Pieces of the timber structure had simply fallen or been blown off in the potato field.

cavendish PEI
This poorly maintained range light is at Cavendish Prince Edward Island. Most of PEI has a brown or reddish soil and sand. Cavendish has a freaky white sand beach.

Considering the terrible weather conditions on this Arctic windswept island it is easy to understand why the timber structures do not fair well in the face of snow, ice and screaming winds blowing in, unopposed from the Atlantic.

Often there are two lighthouses and these are known as range lights. They are used by boats and ships and skippers line up the two lights to enter a harbour or passage.

fort amhurst PEI
Lead light at Fort Amhurst PEI
fort amhurst PEI 1
The second range light sits high on a hill at Fort Amhurst PEI.

There are 35 lighthouses on Prince Edward Island and we did not have time to visit them all.

At Wood Islands there are three lighthouses, all operational.

wood islands PEI 1
Somehow the tiny third lighthouse is part of a range light for ships coming from the sea.
wood islands PEI
The first of three lighthouses at Wood Island was built in 1876. This is the departure point for car ferry from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia. In conjunction with another structure they also operate as a range light.
wood islands PEI 2
The largest of the three Wood Islands Lighthouses. This one also includes a museum.

From here the ferry service goes to Caribou in the Province of Nova Scotia. The ferry service only charges a one way fare…off the island. Coming to the island is free. The ferry shuts down services during winter months and does not re-open scheduled services until 1st May. The only way off island in those winter months is by the 13 Klm bridge and in high winds and snow and ice conditions that becomes a bit risky.

borden PEI
Borden Lighthouse is still operational and reasonably well maintained. This location was also a point where the railway finished and goods leaving the island, including cars went by ferry to Cape Jourimain on the mainland. That is until the 13 Klm bridge was built.
borden PEI 1
Borden lighthouse with the 13 Klm bridge in the background. The toll is $47 per car to leave PEI and to travel to the Province of New Brunswick. There is no toll to travel on the bridge TO PEI.

For the same reasons airline flights in and out during winter are a hit and miss situation.

pictou ns
Purely a decorational light to house a clock in the seaside town of Pictou Nova Scotia.
pictou 1
I am unsure if this is a functional range light in Pictou Nova Scotia. The paperworks across the bay is now the main focus of ships coming into the bay.


Sunday 3rd February

Donnis arrived today after a few failed attempts ate getting flights to line up with Errols work schedule as a pilot. The only way Donnis can get to the airport is when Errol is rostered on as a pilot departing from Melbourne and when his work day starts in the morning. Donnis cannot get flights when he is afternoon or evening shift as most flights are booked out.

On our way home we stopped at Palm Beach Surf Club for a cold beer and to just sit in the shade, listen to the music, feel the ocean breeze and enjoy the beautiful sun drenched scenery.