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.
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.
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.
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.
I looked at a number of lighthouses on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the same reasons airline flights in and out during winter are a hit and miss situation.
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.