Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tall Ships Dissapointment

This is a post that I intended to put up on August 17, but was in my Verizon data unlimited but dead period.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I spent 6 weeks in Canada this summer. I coordinated the end of my visit to coincide with “Rendez-Vous 2017” which is this year’s version of the “parade of the tall ships” that occurs on various years. They were scheduled to visit Annapolis Royal on August 16. The tall ships are a collection of   antique wooden sailing ships (or authentic recreations of them) of centuries gone bye. They come from all over the world to give people a look at what sailing was like for our ancestors. This year they were visiting various ports on Canada’s east coast in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. I wanted to see them when they were scheduled to be in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia (my birth place). The schedule was well publicized, see this link:

Donna and I staked out what we thought was the perfect spot for viewing; where the boardwalk meets the town wharf. We sat in the sun for two hours to ensure no one took “our spot”. The whole thing turned out to be a huge disappointment! All we got to see was some sails on the horizon. All the local dignitaries plus a Scottish dragoon guard were on the wharf ready to officially welcome them. The town mayor and other government dignitaries gave speeches. The Scottish guards; in full period dress and using period muskets gave a 21 gun salute. We assumed we were positioned for some really good close up pictures. However, they sailed toward the wharf, then lowered sails out in the basin. 

Then raised sail, turned and sailed away.





No explanation why they didn’t dock. No one seemed to know why. There was a bit of an on-shore wind, and the tide was not quite at full tide. Those could have been factors, but no-one seemed to know. The pictures I got were all from a distance an mostly of the departure. I expected this to be the high point of my Canadian trip, but it his was definitely the low point.




I was in Digby the night before for a family birthday celebration.  The tall ships were docked and there were large crowds lined up for tours aboard them. I snapped a picture from a distance and figured why buck the crowds, I will get lots of close ups tomorrow in Annapolis Royal.  Boy was I wrong.

I did, at least get a close up of the Scottish Guard (portrayed by members of the local Sea Cadets as they were preparing to march to the town wharf for the welcoming ceremonies. They put on a much better show than the tall ships did.

Excuse the absence

I apologize for the gap in my blog posts.  A couple of things tied me up a bit.

First, one of Verizon’s many limitations on their so-called “unlimited” wireless plan tripped me up.  If you have been following my blog posts you will know that I was on vacation in eastern Canada for the past 6 weeks. Before I left Georgia, I upgraded my wireless plan with Verizon Wireless to their new “unlimited plan”, in part because it included free roaming in Canada for voice, text, and data. Data is limited to 500MB per day but that seemed like an acceptable limitation.  That still allowed me to use my cell phone to do blog posts while in Canada. Roaming limitations are just some of the many limitations on Verizon’s new unlimited plan; but that is a subject for a rant on another day. In past years you had to pay extra for roaming in Canada and it did not include any data, only voice and text. Well it turns out that another limitation of roaming in Canada is that they cut your data off after 30 days.  So, 2/3 of the way through my trip, they cut off my data capabilities.  I could have gone to McDonalds or some other restaurant to use a free wifi hot-spot but that was just too inconvenient.  Sorry, lazy me.

Second issue, once I arrived back home I has a few very busy days. After 6 weeks of neglect my lawn needed attention. I am thankful that my sons, and my neighbor mowed it a couple of times while I was away, but I am fussy about my grass, as I say, it needed attention. My lawn is over 4 acres in size so it needed a lot of attention. So, I went to get out my lawn mower and weed whacker and go to work. I always try to keep 2 lawn mowers running because, as I have found out, they don’t build these things very well and it seems like one or the other is always breaking down and needs attention. As I mentioned, I have a large lawn, and here in the south you are mowing 10 months of the year.  Anyway, the first mower I tried to start was totally dead.  So I put the battery charger on it and went to the next one.  It stared right up but did not mow.  Inspection revealed that the deck drive belt had come off.  It was pretty worn and not worth reinstalling.  So, log on to ebay, and order a new belt. Delivery will take 2 days. Meantime, since the machine with the bad belt was a “Yard Man” model made by MTD you have to remove the entire mowing deck to replace a belt. Nobody except MTD would would design a mower like that! The letters MTD have become the 3 most hated letters in the alphabet to me.  Anyway I start removing the deck while waiting for the new belt to arrive.  While I was doing that my neighbor showed up.  Seeing my dilemma, he kindly offered me the loan of his mower to clean up the yard while waiting for one battery to charge and one belt to arrive. Here I digress a bit; my neighbor’s mower was a Husqvarna zero turn mower.  I had always considered the zero turns to be a bit of a gimmick. More expensive than a standard ride on but still, they just cut grass. Well, my opinion sure did change.  After a couple hours mowing with the zero turn mower I am a convert.  My next mower purchase will be a zero turn. Anyway, back to my 2 disabled mowers, the totally dead one was still dead after fully charging the battery over night.  Some troubleshooting turned up a bad fuse.  New fuse and one lawn mower back in service. New belt arrived in my mailbox in record time, and after a few hours of cursing MTD I had it installed and the mower deck re-installed.  Back to my norm of 2 mowers working. So all this and a couple of days of trimming, weeding, and raking, my lawn is back to the way I like it. But that is not the end.  While I was away, 2 very large oak trees fell down in a wind storm. Luckily they were not in my yard but in my pasture. Next chore, get out the chain saw and the tractor and cut up the downed trees and haul them out to the yard near my wood shed so I can cut them up and split them for fire wood.

Finally after a few days of rushing around after getting home, life is returning to a normal pace.  Now I can spend some time on the blog.

Church Home

Took a little drive today to the little country church that my family attended when I was a child.  The church is not active now but is a designated historic site. A committee of local people take care of upkeep.

My paternal grandparents, my parents, and my older brother are all buried there in the graveyard adjacent to the church. I made my annual trip there to freshen up the flowers on the graves and reflect on my past and my family ties. Makes me contemplate why I am living 2000 miles from my birthplace. However, Georgia is my new adopted home and I am very content there.

Back on line

I haven’t posted for a couple of days. It is a holiday long weekend in Annapolis Royal for Natal Day celebrations; celebrating the founding of the settlement here in 1605. Been busy attending festivities. I will be heading to town soon for the parade.

My rant for today will be the sad state of Bell Aliant service.  A couple of days ago their cell phone and Internet services were down for several hours. They claimed it was due to a fiber optic cable cut near Riviere-du-Loup Quebec. Services were down for most Bell customers east of Ontario for approximately 4 hours. This is the new Bell I guess.  They used to be fanatical about network reliability.  There networks were designed with full redundancy such that no single cable cut (or hardware failure) could interrupt service. That was in the days of land lines.  The “modern” Internet age has seen the practice of designing networks for reliability go by the wayside. The telecom industry has discovered that they can build low-relibility networks, charge more for service on them, and customers still flock to them. It is great business if you can get away with it.

Went to the pub in Annapolis Royal last evening for my big treat. They serve the best fish and chips in the country; in my opinion. Every summer when I come to Annapolis I make the pub one of my first stops. I wait all year for a taste of their fish and chips. The fish is always fresh, haddock of course, and cooked just right. So many people do not understand how delicate fresh fish is and they over cook it. Fish and chips with any other fish than haddock is just not the same. Added to fresh cut fries and you have the perfect meal. The portions are generous as well. The haddock is caught locally which also adds to the quality. Also in a true understanding of serving fish and chips, they also bring both ketchup and vinegar to the table with the order. Add a nice cold Keith’s ale to wash it down and you have perfection.

Visit the Old Town Pub on Facebook at:


Port of Digby

The Port of Digby is referred to as “the Scallop Capital of the World”. It’s scallop fishing fleet is the largest inshore scallop fleet in the world. The famous Digby scallop is shipped world-wide and available fresh in many local restaurants.

Scallop harvester ships (daggers) drag a tow bar attached to metal chain-link baskets along the sea floor to catch sea scallops. This dredge stirs up the scallops from the seabed, which then are scooped into the baskets.

The Bay of Fundy is divided into six Scallop Fishing Areas (plus a seventh area outside the bay) and three distinct fishing fleets. The “Full Bay” fleet consists of 99 large vessels, ranging in size from 45 to 65 feet (13.7 to 19.8 meters) and licensed to fish in the entire Bay of Fundy throughout the year. While the other two fleets require independent fish harvesters to own and operate vessels. You can see more detail at:

The Port of Digby is recognized internationally as Nova Scotia’s predominant working port in the Bay of Fundy Region. It is the Bay of Fundy’s most accessible, deep water, ice-free port. For more information, see their web page at:

Annapolis Lighthouse

The Annapolis Royal Lighthouse
242 St. George Street
Annapolis Royal, B0S 1A0 Canada

The Annapolis Lighthouse is in the center of town in Annapolis Royal.  It was built to signal the end of navigable water to vessels sailing up the Annapolis River.

The lighthouse was built in 1889 on the water’s edge on St. George Street at the site of the old Government House, which burned down in 1833. It is a white wooden pepper-shaker-style tower standing 8.5 meters tall with a red lantern room and a fixed light.

It has its own Facebook page at