Sunday, July 27, 2008

Water Yes, Land No


Glenn MacKay and I took to the warm waters of Northumberland Strait yesterday in mid afternoon. Glenn wanted to head down the coast a ways to have a look at the fossil cliffs in Arisaig Provincial Park. Conditions were perfect, a bit of wind, some current and warm weather, it was shirt-sleeve paddling. The run down to the park was fairly rapid and it seemed we were at the cliffs in no time. Ice cream was on our minds, but after landing and making a few enquiries, it was discovered, the Park was an ice-cream free zone. Incredible! What an over-sight!

We had a look for some fossils and Glenn found a rock on the beach with some tiny shell impressions on one of its surfaces. They didn't look that interesting at first glance, but when you realize they are some of the world oldest shell fossils, literally hundreds of millions of years old, their importance to science begins to sink in. I thought these rocks, carefully placed in little niches in the cliff, made up for the fact I didn't find any fossils...


It then occurred to us that if we couldn't have ice cream, we could get some fresh fish and chips back at Lismore where we'd put-in, so back we paddled. A cairn on the shore marked the landing site of boatloads of Scots who first landed in this area to begin new lives having been removed from their ancestral homes in Scotland. Scottish culture is still visible in this region as a result of the successful homesteading these people carried out.

Boats back on the van, we headed up the road to our fish feed. The place was closed. Another over-sight! We crawled back to Glenn's, weakened from our efforts and finally settled for pizza gratefully provided by Glenn's sympathetic wife. A great day on the water no matter we didn't find exactly what we wanted on land!

3 comments:

Nick said...

Another lovely posting. I am not sure if you have kayaked over here in Scotland before, but Arisaig on the west coast is a mecca for sea kayakers with hundreds of skerries and islets, crystal clear channels, myriad white sandy beaches, and thriving seal colonies. I am personally fascinated by Scottish emmigration either due to the clearances or for economic reasons. Here in Cromarty we have a memorial stone to those who left these shores from the harbour here. Best wishes - Nick

Silbs said...

Gee, I find a fossil every time I camp,no matter where I go. I find them in the mirror I use to shave.

Glenn said...

Glad to have you Mike, and hope to see you at Wolfe's. That trailer is just too friggin' cool...
Will bring beer.