Grand Manan Island:|
Location: Southwest Head
Artist: Helen Charters created this painting of Seal Cove for Basil, the owner of the HITW Park.
The People of Southhead: Intelligent, Friendly and Passionate.
Strange Possessions: One in four people on this island owns a trampoline.
Myth: Come to Grand Manan and see the puffins!
Fact: Not only are there no puffins on this island (they're a ferry ride away), but they migrate south in the middle of June.
Claim to Fame:
Largest Sardine Can in the World - check your Guinness Book!
Whales Heard: 3
Whales Seen: 1
Dolphins Seen: 4
Species: Over 240
Seen: about 20
The Friendly People of Grand Manan*|
*Actually, they're all friendly, but there's only so much time in one day.
Al Hobbs : Owner of "Naturally Good".|
Al moved to Grand Manan in 1984 to take over as Innkeeper and Chef of the Grand
Harbour Inn, a Bed & Breakfast in Grand Harbour. The building had been operating as an inn
for almost a century, known as Harbourview House when it first opened in 1905. Six years
ago, Al closed down the B&B and started Harbourview Gardens (a.k.a. Naturally Good),
growing and selling fresh vegetables in the garden behind the former inn. Great carrots!
Al says he's seen a lot of changes in the island since he arrived in 1984, the greatest
change being the decline of the traditional fisheries in the area. Years ago, the island
was all about smoked herring. It was everywhere, salted and hardsmoked, the top exports
being Africa and the Caribbean. The beauty of smoked herring is that it would keep without
refrigeration, so you could ship "bloaters" without worrying about spoiling (A bloater was
the nickname for a 18lb box of smoked fish). Now, there's hardly anyone on the island
still smoking herring.
Michael Zimmer : Flounder/Director of The Sardine Museum.|
Yes, that's Flounder, not Founder. One of his friends told him to start calling himself
that to see how many people notice. It's amazing how often people hear only what they
expect to hear. He used to go to a restaurant and order the Dreaded Veal Cutlet. It
always came back breaded.
We covered a lot of topics with Mr. Zimmer is a surprisingly short period, everything from
the Galapogos Islands to the story of the campers who fell off Tumble Point last year (should
have seen that one coming), and even about the NY DMV IVR. But a good portion of the morning
was spent talking about smoked fish: "The greatest step in the ascent of man was smoked
food. Well, the discovery anyway. Actually doing it is easy."
He, like Al, noticed the lack of smokehouses on the island, so he decided to dedicate an
entire museum in Seal Cove to sardines. His museum is the high point of a visit to Seal
Cove. Mind you, as he said with a roll of his eyes: "How fascinating is the story
of smoked herring after all?"
Helen Charters : Local Artist.|
Helen was in the midst of painting a landscape when we ran into her at Seal Cove.
She moved to Grand Manan in the 60's, running a B&B and teaching art, but since then has
moved over to painting full time. She is currently working on a series of 20 different
paintings of the island and the fishing boats of the area.
When she was younger, she decided to head to Mexico for two weeks to paint.
With only $300 to her name, her father had told her to call when she had $100 left and
he would wire her enough money to get back home. As it turned out, on the day
Helen was to leave, the owner of the hotel in Mexico commissioned three portraits at
$200 each and provided free room and board for her until she was done! In the end, Helen
stayed in Mexico for three months.
Our conversation with Helen turned to Van Gogh, philosophers and great reading. Helen left
us with two recommendations: eat lunch at the Whale Cove Inn; and read the book, The
Stranger. The Whale Cove was certainly tasty, and we'll be stopping at the first Barnes
and Noble we see.
Leroy Flagg : Grand Manan's King of Dulse.|
"I've picked more dulse in one day than anyone alive." That was the second sentence out of
Leroy's mouth when we met him. The first was a song about pretty girls and blue eyes a
sparklin'. He changed his tune when Aimee told him her eyes were brown.
From there on out it was all about the dulse.
Leroy is the genuine father of the Grand Manan dulse industry. Back in the 40s with just
his rowboat, oars and a load of burlap sacks, he pulled in a whopping 240 pounds in a
single day (not every day, mind you)! Now every morning, about 50 dulsers and their dories
make their way out to Dark Harbour to pick dulse. But they don't hold a candle to Leroy.
Alas, 50 years of bending and picking 21 tides a week does take its toll. The last strand
of dulse picked by Leroy was 2 years ago, when his back decided enough was enough. He can't
stand straight for more than a few minutes without having to take a seat. Even lying
down is a little difficult. His son Jerry now runs the dulse purchasing and reselling.
One thing is for certain about Leroy: he'd give anything to be back out in the low tide, outpicking
everyone on the island.
The Sun is Shining!
|Hole In The Wall Park
Actually slept in this morning... didn't think that was possible in a tent. Slept so well, we almost missed the Farmer's Market.
Nasty Camping Experience:
Aimee was awoken this morning by a centipede crawling across her face. She promptly smushed it into her eye. What a way to wake up.
|Bkfast: ||Farmer's Market|
In front of the church
|K's Order:||Cinnamon Bun|
|A's Order:||Meringue topped with strawberries|
|Lunch: ||Whale Cove B&B|
1km up Whistle Rd.
|K's Order:||Pasta, Shrimp and Arugula Salad|
|A's Order:||Salmon Wrap|
|Dinner: ||Campfire Chili|
at the campsite
ingredients from the SaveEasy