Aspotogan Peninsula, Nova Scotia

9 08 2011

When we first moved to Canada, we rented a house on the Aspotogan Peninsula.

The Aspotogan Peninsula is the piece of land that separates Mahone Bay from St. Margaret’s Bay. The coast is dotted with fishing communities.

We particularly enjoy the rugged coastline here near Northwest Cove.

It is not too far from Peggy’s Cove and so the geology is the same. Large granitic boulders were deposited here after the Ice Age, leaving an area of rugged beauty.

We always have the coastline to ourselves –  this is our favourite picnic spot.

The first time we saw this building we were confused. Here was this massive Hotel complex in the middle of nowhere which had never been completed.

It seems that it was built as a Sea Spa in 1993.

The plan was ‘to have spa treatments focusing on seawater and a wide range of massage therapies, skin cleansing and spa-related health services, complemented by world-class hotel accommodations and cuisine.’

This is the link to the location on Google Maps,-64.013729&spn=0.004598,0.011362&t=h&z=17&lci=com.panoramio.all

‘131 guest suites would face the ocean, with large windows overlooking the wave-battered rocks, the tidal pools or the islands of Mahone Bay.

The plans  also included a spacious dining room and convention facilities in addition to the saunas, steam rooms, Swiss showers, Vichy treatment rooms, seawater pools, aerobic training rooms, rehabilitation facilities, squash and racquetball courts, and generously laid out common areas.’

The property is still for sale, so if anyone has any ideas for how this massive building can be utilised?

Lobster pots bob in the bay.

And lobster boats haul their creels.

It is a perfect spot, where even the road  had to be cut between the erratics.

Winter in Mahone Bay

22 02 2011

I love the different seasons and enjoy each and every one. In the middle of summer, I am too busy enjoying the coastline here to think about winter. But then when winter comes, it has its own beauty.

Here Cameron and I are taking out his canoe for a first trip on the Back Harbour at Lunenburg in 2008.

Then Jeff and I bought a kayak and again launched it from the little beach at Back Harbour,

before paddling around the Bay and into Martin’s Cove.

But every winter the bays change and are more suited to hockey, skating and fishing.

This is looking across from our launch beach.

A few miles along the coast is Mahone Bay, where we first rented a kayak and tried out the sport.

The yachts are all lifted out of the water and wrapped up for the winter.

These three churches are on all the pictures and calendars of Mahone Bay.

We kayaked around this island, on that first paddle. It is called Strum Island and is one of 300 islands in Mahone Bay. It was bought in 2003 and denuded of all its trees, causing a great deal of controversy.  The owners built this massive mansion on it, which sticks up like a sore thumb.

Looking across to the town of  Mahone Bay from the Oakland road.

That same wharf from the other side.

The ice splits and heaves up around boulders.

This seal found a break onto the surface to rest. But Jeff took this photo for me and didn’t seem to be able to zoom in!

I dont seem to have photos of Mahone Bay in the summer – when it is packed full of yachts. That’s a project for this summer.

The Lost Gallery, Mahone Bay

17 05 2010

Friday night was the gala opening of the new contemporary art gallery, The Lost Gallery, in Mahone Bay. This is the exciting new venture of Lynette and Angus Park.

Lynette and Angus moved to Nova Scotia, from Aberdeen, 2 years ago and have been dreaming of the day when they would open their own gallery. They bought a former bookstore, at 532 Main Street and Angus has spent the past winter renovating the 1850 building into an impressive area to display modern art.

Here Lynette stands with her painting of the famous Mahone Bay churches, which are just opposite the gallery.

(copied from press report)

Lynette paints abstracts and abstract impressionist paintings. Pride of place in the gallery is  an eight foot square canvas, ‘Big W”, Lynette’s reaction to how George W Bush handled hurricane Katrina. It shows people drowning, the Statue of Liberty holding a hamburger, American money, skyscrapers and building plans.

The ‘Big W’ painting.

This painting is entitled ‘The Harbour’

Here is another abstract entitled ‘The Handbag’.

The coastal scenes of Nova Scotia also feature in Lynette’s paintings, from Peggy’s Cove, and Blue Rocks, to Lunenburg.


Lunenburg Waterfront

As well as Lynette’s paintings, the gallery exhibits 3-dimension work by Angus,  and work by other Nova Scotian artists.

This gallery is a great addition to the South Shore and I wish Lynette and Angus every success in their new venture.

Ice Yachting in Nova Scotia

7 02 2010

Winter has well and truly set in, with temperatures well below freezing every day this past week. The result is that all the bays around us here are completely frozen over and so it’s time for the locals to have fun on the ice.

We went out walking yesterday and I forgot to lift my camera before I left! As we drove around Mahone Bay, we spotted a couple of ice yachts flying across the ice. Then on our way home we saw the whole racing club set up at Mader’s Cove end.

I did a Blog on these iceboats last year, but I think they are exciting enough for a second Blog. I took a couple of photos on my mobile phone, but then I don’t have a connector yet to put those photos onto my computer.

So I have taken these fantastic photos from the Nova Ice Yacht Club’s site. I’m sure they won’t mind the publicity.

Yesterday was sunny with bright blue skies,  although some of these photos are a bit cloudy.

Here are the racers ready to start.

This is how an ice yacht looks up close.

Not much contact with the ice.

And they’re off.

Speeding along.

Some manoeuvres look tricky,

but exciting.

Last year I gave links to a couple of you tube videos. Here are different ones.

The first shows just what we saw yesterday.      

The second shows, how to get to work in 30 seconds.   

And the third that it is quite a dangerous sport!            

I was wondering if there would be ice yachting at the Winter Olympics, but have found that it might be included in the 2014 Olympics as a demonstration sport. Maybe after that?

Churches of Lunenburg

30 01 2010

I have mentioned St John’s Anglican Church several times in my Blog, mainly because we love to visit this Church when concerts are held there. I also gave some links to it and the history of its rebuilding after the fire in 2001, in my December 2008 Blog. This Church is in the centre of Lunenburg and we walk past it most days. It is a great landmark and I can’t imagine how the locals felt when it was destroyed.

Other local landmarks are the three Churches at Mahone Bay. Photos of these three churches, that stand at the edge of the water are common on postcards and posters of the town.

Two of these churches are painted white, whilst the third is a sort of mustard yellow.

White painted wood, with black roofs is pretty much the norm for churches here in Nova Scotia. But bell towers and spires vary and would depend on which part of Europe the immigrants came from.

It is difficult to photograph these churches without these blasted wired getting in the way!

And again ———!

These stained glass windows are quite simple, but pretty, with the flowers

and fish.

As people settled in Nova Scotia, they built their church, as it had been in their homeland. So, there are Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Anglican, Baptist, Evangelical, Methodist,and Lutheran churches. There is even a Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lunenburg! In many places there is a United Church, but often there are different services – Baptist at one service, then Anglican later.

This church has an unusual bell tower on the top.

And I thought this was a waterfall in the window, but perhaps it has meant to be a light?

Here is another little bell tower.

I enjoy following the Blog of a great photographer from Finland. He has photographed many old churches, but I particularly enjoyed the one of a very old Church in Petajavesi, in Finland. I love the very rustic interior. Take a look. His photographs are in a different class from mine.

Pumpkin Festival, Mahone Bay

4 10 2009

This week-end was the 13th Great Scarecrow and Pumpkin Festival at Mahone Bay. This is a celebration of Autumn and attracts huge crowds to this tiny town. Residents and shop-keepers take up the scarecrow challenge and make decorative scare crows for the gardens and pavements. Louise has taken lots of photos of these and you can see them on her Blog at I took a few photos as we walked around the town on a beautiful warm evening last night.

This house had made a French cafe scene like Allo, Allo.

Allo allo

Popeye and Olive Oil hung on a pole at the harbour.


And Mick Jagger played his guitar.

Mick Jagger

There is a Pumpkin Walk up a path lit by 150 pumpkins all carved by Jo-Ann’s Market. I think most of Halifax had arrived to see this wonderful display. We have certainly not been in such a crowd since coming to Canada – not even at the Tall Ships Festival.

Pumpkins 3

The pumpkins were carved and placed in themed groups, like flowers, leaves and spiders.

ABoats, lobsters and all things fishy.



All of these in pitch black, although my photos don’t show that very well.B

It was a real succes, but unfortunately there has been a continual downpour to-day, which will have spolt the antique car festival at the harbour, and washed away the scarecrows.

Kayaking around Lunenburg

9 05 2009

Lat weekend we went up to Halifax and bought ourselves a tandem kayak. This is something we have been promising ourselves since we had a day trip around Mahone Bay in a rented kayak last year. Louise and Cameron bought a 17′ canoe and have already had a few trips out, in fact we had a wee shot the first time they put it into the water. (You can read all about their canoe project on Louise’s Blog). Here we are below in their canoe, although I look as if I am paddling a kayak and not a canoe.IMG_0331

I went shopping for life jackets and we had to find a roof rack for our Honda CRV, this week, before we could try out our new toy. So, this morning we rose nice and early and loaded everything up. Yesterday’s fog had gone and it was a lovely morning.

DSC04783We were only driving to the Back Harbour at Lunenburg, a distance of about a mile, but the kayak had to be tied down no matter how far we were travelling. Jeff thought he’d pose to show you how he looks in his new life jacket and kayak skirt, before we set off.

DSC04787We headed across Back Harbour and around the coast past Heckman’s Island.


We saw a tiny island with about 50 cormorants drying their wings, but my camera would not take any photos! Then a seal popped up not faraway, but again no photo! We paddled across to Second Peninsula and then right up the length of  the Peninsula to a little beach, where we hauled up and had our picnic in a field. The black flies were quite bad, so we didn’t sit too long, before almost retracing our route, back to the start. You can see our trip on Google maps here.,-64.311562&spn=0.033669,0.089607&t=h&z=14

This was a great first paddle for us, only about 15 km, but hopefully we’ll have lots of adventures to share with you this summer. And I might get some good photos. I did find out when I got home that the Memory card in the camera was full – still with wedding photos from the evening reception at Insch!

Anyone have any good ideas for a name for our new craft – I wondered about Blue Queen – obviously because of the famous Bluenose here in Lunenburg. Please add your suggestions by clicking on ‘Comment’.