Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 44 > Page 73 - A Canoe Trip in Cape Breton, 1885

Page 73 - A Canoe Trip in Cape Breton, 1885

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1 (202 reads)

ahead of me, towering upward ten hundred and twen? ty feet (My publisher's careful proof-reader marked with a query the height of this Cape above the sea level. But 'tis correct.), rises Cape Dau? phin; whilst away seaward I can define the sail of a schooner enjoying the last puffs of the summer wind that has left the Nettie and her hermit-like crew becalmed an hour ago. A commotion in the wa? ter a quarter of a mile off tells of porpoise, and, not knowing what results a collision with one might have for a Rob Roy, I paddled on. Voyagers to Cape Dauphin will find at the base thereof the cottages of people hospitable and kind to an overwhelming degree. The Nettie was careful? ly beached, and I found comfortable quarters in the house of a Mr. S. Extract from the log of the RR canoe Nettie: "Sailed from Sydney Bar, 5.30 a.m. Monday, 6th Au- gust. Arrived at Cape Dauphin, 7.55 p.m., do. Dis? tance travelled, 23 miles. Spoken off Cranberry Head by the SS Marion. Al1 wel1." Tuesday, Aug. 7th, at 6 a.m.--After a comfortable rest and hearty breakfast of fish and potatoes, I mustered the crew for deck swabbing, and the Net? tie was thoroughly washed and re-provisioned with fresh milk and bread and butter before sailing. There is a brisk breeze blowing at 7 a.m., and I leave port, followed by the surprised eyes of my hosts. My hands are somewhat blistered by yester? day's exertions, and I paddle slowly, admiring the famous scenery of the now celebrated Bras d'Or. About 10 o'clock I see and feel the tide which, in mid-stream of the fast narrowing lake, is rushing along in resistless fury, swirling and tossing the water in a way that suggests to the skipper of the Nettie the wisdom of continual watchfulness. Duffus Point at last, and Fraser's Land- ing--to reach which I must now cross the tide against which the wind is striving to raise the troub? led waters. Far distant, up the long reach from Kel? ly's Cove, I can see the smoke of the re? turning Marion, and being anxious to ex? change greetings with her skipper, I push my canoe tide- wards. For a few mom? ents I feel the sen? sation of positive peril, and then I have to laugh as, in spite of powerful sweeps with my pad? dle, the Nettie spins round and round like a washtub in the swirl of the Bras d'Or tide, and makes one realize the strength of its 6-knot current. At last clear of the rush of the tide, I reach the black eddy, which makes canoeing on the Bras d'Or Lakes so pleasant and easy, as even a- gainst adverse tides the voyager can pro? pel his light craft with considerable speed. The fishermen assem? bled in force at Fra? ser's Landing, and the remarks of the Bouladeire (sic) Is? landers are tFose of men who cannot under? stand how canoeing can be regarded as a pleasant pastime.
Cape Breton's Magazine
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