Friday, August 13th, 1999
 

Hello family and friends,
 

    I hope this web-letter finds you all well.  We have just returned from vacation.  We stopped for a visit with Deb's mom and sister and their families in Montreal, and then met up with my Mom and Dad and my sister Dianne for a trip through the Maritimes.  Here are some highlights:
 

 

We went to Cape Breton for the first time. Our first stop was Louisburg, where we got to sail on the Bluenose. 
We also visited the Louisburg Fort - just hours late for Encampment '99, but fascinating none-the-less.  There are good photos if you click on this link: 
Go to http://fortress.uccb.ns.ca/parks/gal_e.html

 
It was a thrill to discover that my young cousin Kelly was helmsperson on this boat.  She's already an old salt at 18, having gone to her final year of high school in the Class Afloat program on the tall ship Concordia last year.  Mind you, Kelly doesn't actually like having her picture taken...can you tell?

You can see how much I enjoyed the sail, however. Deb too:
 
The video was worth it, because later we got to show it to Kelly's proud parents, Cathy and Hugh.  Afterward, Cathy took Deb for a ride on the Wet Jets, and then Hugh took me on a long ride out to Emmet Island, a seal rookery.  There were no seals at this time of year, just seagulls and cormorants, but the ride was one of the most fun things I've ever done.
After Louisburg we went to Margaree, where there are lots of beautiful scenes including this lovely  harbour.  We stayed at Hattie's place - there's our little Boler trailer parked outside.
One of the delightful things about Hattie's place was the abundance of ruby-throated hummingbirds.  They twittered and chased each other all over several different hummingbird feeders.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of Hattie yet, until Deborah gets her film developed.
These handsome characters are Ernie and Terry Olivo, who invited us to visit Margaree,
and this is another friend they invited to Cape Breton, Linda Pope

We went out on a fishing boat and went through a pod of about two dozen pilot whales, called "potheads" in Margaree ("blackfish" in Nova Scotia).  These were right beside the boat, feasting on a school of mackerel. 
This one  is waving goodbye...

We saw harbourseals in grottos and on rocks.
 Deb took her turn at the helm:
After the "potheads" were through, we caught a few mackerel they'd missed
and I was impressed by these yellow-headed gannets, which I'd never seen before.  They joined the seagulls to chase the boat when the fish were cleaned.
This is yours truly with Ron Pope.  I'd just taken the mackerel off his hook for him.  (Ron's son Ryland was with us as well, but unfortunately I don't have a good photo of him.) 
One of the things you can see before leaving Maragaree is the actual star of Farley Mowat's story, The Boat Who Wouldn't Float

This is the name on the stern
Back in Nova Scotia, we met a few of the wider Gilchrist clan at my uncle Ian's camp-out farm in River John.  Ian is having a good laugh at my sister Dianne,  who quickly stuck her tongue at my camera... I'll bet she never imagined I'd actually capture that delightful image for all to enjoy!
Ian's eldest daughter Erin is capable of a hearty laugh herself.  Here she is with her sons Jazz and Kai, and her mother Joyce.  I didn't get a good shot of Erin's husband David - he wore shades and kept moving, taking care of the boys, and out of range of the camera most of the time.
Another photogenic cousin who was at the farm is Stephanie.  She drove down from Ottawa with her husband Rick and their son Daniel, a clever young builder and scientist who is tickling a rubber shark in this shot - probably an experiment of some sort...and the distinguished gentleman in the fine hat is Stephanie's father, my uncle Rae.  This is the only shot I have of Rick, who went to sleep shortly afterward - I think he'd driven through the night to get there.  (My uncle Ken also lives nearby, but he wasn't around when I had my carmera out.)

 
This is Wolf Leon, the husband of my father's first cousin Eve Powell.  We visited them in PEI five years ago, and got back there again on this trip.  Wolf coached us once more in correct lobster eating technique in his beach house at Cavendish, and Deb and I also went kayaking, horse-back riding and snorkelling to view lobsters "in the wild".
I couldn't lift a good still of Eve from my video.

We also visited Dorothy and Ted, Pamela, Jack and Vanessa, but didn't shoot video.  Maybe I'll have photos of them when Deb's film comes back from processing.
 
In Windsor we visited Deb's friend Susan Kriegling and her husband Barry - in the background you can see the new house they've built - before taking the ferry from Digby to St. John and driving home through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York over to Cornwall - a nice drive, cheaper gas, and shorter than the New Brunswick/Quebec route.

In Gorham we encountered a gathering of gorgeous Stanley Steamers. 

I got lots of video.  There are a few more stills at the bottom of this page.

It was a pretty good trip.  Now we're just catching up on chores and preparing for September.  I have a four-day summer workshop coming up, and Deb is in her classroom in her new school every day, unpacking 140 boxes of programming that she has accumulated over the years (can you even visualize 140 boxes?! I had to help move them, of course...do I sound like I'm complaining?)

Best wishes to you all.  We hope we'll see most of you at least once before the summer is over, or through the fall, and that you'll all be happy and healthy in the year to come.

love,

Steve & Deborah

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