“Connection” and Baddeck
“Connection.” That was the word that Amanda, our new Canadian friend used twice when describing, on two separate occasions, what she sought when traveling in new communities.
This got me thinking about my own traveling experiences and what we all seek on our “great explores”. Absolutely who could argue that when traveling it is those connections with other cultures that leave us with the most profound and lasting impressions of a place and truly the single greatest predictor of the litmus test “shall we return”.
Since arriving in Canada, we have had experience after experience with the people here who have left us feeling absolutely “connected.” Day after day we shake our heads in amazement at the kindness and generous nature of these beautiful people. From the vendors in the farmers market who, even with a line forming behind me wanted to find our where we were from and for how long were we staying and the lovely bartender who wanted to help us make change for the ferry and while doing so, explained the history and difference in Canadian currency. With ferry’s arriving and departing every 15 minutes, she most certainly missed her ferry but that didn’t seem to phase her as she, with total genuine kindness chatted with us for several minutes. And Im not referring to that sort of polite kindness that we expect when interacting with service providers but that genuine kindness that comes from “being” in a comfortable and peaceful internal space. Canadians have that peaceful kindness in spades and they so generously share it with the visitors to their country.
Back to Amanda and Adam and their 2 children Elle (10) and Gray (8). We met Adam in Halifax as he is the Director of Operations for Develop Nova Scotia (formerly Waterfront Development; and he manages the wharf in Halifax and in Lunenberg. Adam was, of course, kind and friendly in his work capacity but also engaging with Jack, not only because he could immediately relate to him due to his own son, but it just seemed that that was the kind of guy he was. Adam mentioned that his family had a home in Baddeck, which just happened to be the next stop on our planned trip. We made a very loose plan to get together when we arrived and I knew that Jack would be over the moon to have a friend to play with. Connection… we all need it, even 8 year olds. Funny thing, all challenges bring reward right? At home Jack is a little shy with other children when he first meets them. Not so when traveling. He has no trouble at all since we have been aboard jumping right in to meet another child. Must be that he sees that he has no time to waste – we could all learn that lesson couldn’t we?
Since arriving here in Baddeck we have had one more fantastic experience after another. Connection. Pictured below is a drone shot taken by Milt Baker (Bluewater) after a day of jumping from our boat deck – kids and adults alike. (Yes that water is cold but not as much as you may imagine.) Jack has had the opportunity to play with Gray, being pulled in the tube, jumping from their wharf, and Gray spent some time aboard Gratitude playing with legos. Amanda came shopping with April and I for an afternoon and, together with Milt and Judy (Bluewater), Paul and April (April K) , and Sally and Whitey (Happy), we had a drink at the local yacht club.
We had April and Paul over for dinner to watch the boat parade and there have been sailing regattas nearly every day including today – rain and all. The town had their annual festival to celebrate Natal Day. Nova Scotia has been a member of the Canadian Confederation since its inception on July 1, 1867. The term “natal” is derived from the Latin word for birth and, hence, Natal Day is the official “birthday” of the province. And today is a perfectly wonderful rainy day. Just in time too since laundry is piling up and Jacks school work is a little behind. We did spend most of 1 day at the Alexander Graham Bell museum. We all know that Dr. Bell invented the telephone (even he knew that it wasn’t always appropriate to have it around even banning it from his own study). But he also spent a great deal of time and energy experimenting with flight. Baddeck was his summer home and we are anchored in the same spot where, in 1909 the Silver Dart made it’s first flight on the ice covered harbor. The Wright Brothers’ first flight was in 1903 of course but ailerons, the control surface on the aircraft which allows for directional control was invented here and also simultaneously in France. These were monumental advances in aviation. Who knew? 🙂 So we have been able to get in at least a little school work.
So, what is next? We enjoyed a tremendous meal last night and talked over the loose plan for our next stop. We will probably leave Baddeck when the weather clears on Sunday and head back down toward St. Peters, the canal where we entered the Bras d’Or lake, and then to the Canso Canal which will take us Northerly to the top of Nova Scotia and then to Prince Edward Island. We have reservations secured there from Monday-Friday (thanks to April our fleet cruise director). Still working on rental car arrangements and tourist plans but we will have time to figure that out. We will probably take 2 days to get there as the trip involves locks, and unfamiliar lake territory. Better to cruise in day light.
Thanks for reading! We miss you all