Friday, November 11, 2011

Four Months Later

Once again, I haven't been doing any posting - my apologies, particularly to Fred who actually seems interested in what I write.

Summer is long gone now - it's been a pretty terrific fall here - a few storms as an occasional hurricane went past out at sea but nothing has directly hit us fortunately. So the reinforcement of the dunes done last winter and spring has not really been tested yet. Which is good.

The Little School Museum was closed this summer - the exhibits were on display (some of them anyway) at the Beach Centre. Work has begun on raising the museum building to protect it against all but the worst hurricanes and nor'easters. The foundation is in and the museum set back on it, the back-filling is done. Now a new porch needs to be built and an elevated walkway over to the boardwalk that was put in in front of the museum 2 years ago. Supposedly, this will all be done for next tourist season.

On the restaurant scene, things look somewhat bleak. The Town & Country has not sold, neither has Lothar's, or The White Gull. Apparently Sophia's is now for sale too. All of the seasonal restaurants are now closed and even The Parrot's Pins and Charlotte Lane are closed right now for mini-vacations. On the plus side, The Loyalist Inn and The SeaDog have done an exellent job of presenting entertainment on Friday evenings so locals have something to do.

There has been a great deal of animosity and in-fighting locally this year because of the salmon-farming issue. New licences have been granted to Cooke Aquaculture with next to no input from the public and, it seems, little research by the government bodies involved. Many more licences have been applied for - many locals who desperately need employment are eager for possible jobs while the enviromentalists and existing lobster fishermen are seriously concerned about the negative effects of open-cage farming on other species and the coastal waters. There seem to be massive problems everywhere these fish farms exist in NB, South America etc and Cooke's top executives have just been charged with serious pollution/extremination of species in NB waters. American regulations are much stricter than Canadian and Canada has just fired all kinds of scientists at Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans who should be watching our waters for us so even our lax rules won't be followed (IMHO). Cooke has also "promised" a plant to process the fish - at the same time they are trying to acquire Clearwater which already coincidentally has a plant here - if they manage to get it, I'm sure Cooke will just change what the plant handles (currently lobster and scallops) to salmon and very few new jobs will appear (although there may be more year-round ones available).

It's a terrible position for the area to be in - jobs are a MAJOR need but so are the ones that exist already which may be adversely affected by the salmon cages. And the pollution problem is a monstrous threat. I see both sides of this - it's too bad Cooke won't go to the expense of doing their farming in land-locked pens but that would clearly cut way down on their profit margin. Doing some farming of other filter species in combination with the salmon (like mussels, oysters) would improve the pollution problems too, but they don't seem interested. What will happen in the next few years is anyone's guess.

It's Remembrance Day - Wayne just left for the service at the Baptist Church - the largest one in town. Probably the wreath laying will have to be indoors as well as Tropical Storm Sean is going past and drenching us today. We had a significant storm last week too - the monstrous snow storm that swept through the States from Virginia to Maine arrived here as wind and rain (weird that the north got rain not snow). There are massive piles of seaweed (about 4-5 ft high and a dozen feet wide and a couple of hundred feet long) on the east end of the beach from that storm - maybe this one will wash it all back out to sea.

We're packing up - leaving in a few days for Ottawa to spend 6 weeks with our kids/grandkids before we head to Florida for another 3 months in Perdido Key. I've done some of my Christmas baking (so I  could leave some here for Tim) and yesterday I mailed 11 Christmas cards to family/friends far way who get my wonderful (Ha Ha!) Christmas letter with pictures of the grandkids and my great-nieces. It''s pretty quiet here at this time of year - many of our friends are "summer" people who have returned to their winter homes. And one of our long-standing friends here, Alice Lloyd, has moved out to BC to be near her family again. That's a sentiment I very much understand as I miss my family a great deal. It's nice Tim moved here so I get to see 1 of my sons regularly at least.

New grandson arriving in about a month, a brother for Ava - part of the reason we're leaving here so early this year. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of you in Ottawa, both family and friends.

Till the next time....