grand manan island

Friday, April 29, 2011

2 of 23 fav photos from our time spent on Grand Manan Island in the beautiful Bay of Fundy

There were so many things I loved about this island - the blue green colour of the water, the wonderful smell of open ocean salt air enveloping you constantly, the 7 meter tides, the forests of mostly spruce, the rocky & rugged coastline, the stone & black sand covered beaches, the fog, the people who were all very friendly, the accent, a way of dragged out speaking and slightly drawl-ish, similar very to a Maine accent, the fishing weirs, the many colourful buoys hanging as garden art, the idea of whales all around the island, big beautiful bald eagles everywhere, cedar shingle clad homes abound, lobster boats circling their traps with flocks of seagulls hovering above them in clouds, the many charming descriptive place & street names, the mysterious and gorgeous isolated Dark Harbour (famous for dulse picking), the historic fishing wharfs & buildings in Seal Cove, & the more prosperous historic architecture in the village of North Head.

The only thing that I didn't like (but unfortunately it's a really big thing) was the garbage & unwanted debris almost everywhere we traveled. I was stunned & so saddened by the sense of disregard & lack of respect for nature, the land and the water. Unbelievable amounts of just plain garbage (coffee cups and chip bags) and heaps and mountains of discarded "stuff" from fishing gear, piles of huge nets, metal lobster traps & broken down rotting boats all along the main road. Old cars, refrigerators and toilets - just plain junkyard stuff everywhere it seemed. Plus almost all the beaches we walked on, even the remote ones, were littered with ropes, nets, plastic and styrofoam I'm sure much of it arriving on the island from open sea - how sad is that ?

With the fisheries in gradual decline and the growth & popularity of eco-tourism hopefully the New Brunswick government will help the people of Grand Manan to deal with their garbage, help educate & perhaps put in place new infrastructure (garbage pick up & recycling businesses) to help boost the faltering economy and to bring the island back to it's original natural beauty.

We've definitely crossed Grand Manan Island off of our potential new tiny life location list.


  1. Well that sucks. What's the next place on the list, what's a weir, and you need to call LL Bean and tell them you have the perfect male model for their clothing.

  2. I suppose when you live on an island (and this particular island has been populated since the mid 1700's) dealing with garbage can be a more difficult thing. They're going to need a fleet of big barges to help remove stuff to the appropriate recycling depots- the government needs to help.

    There are many places on the list of potentials including the other 2 islands nearby GM - Deer Island & Campebello Island, St. Andrews NB, Digby NS area, Alma NB, Cape Breton NS, Prince Edward Island to name a few - I'll post a proper list (which I'm sure will grow) with links soon.

    ps. you made the Prince blush - ;-)

  3. OK that was a fascinating look at herring herding. Now I'm hungry for some kippers and eggs.

  4. Quite right to cross it off your list - why move somewhere so beautiful and spend much of the time grieving about how it is abused? Good luck with the next stage of the search!

  5. Oh wow - what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful island - and then your description of the rubbish actually made me teary. So sad...

    I love this notion of living on a small island that's not too far from other places...

    So enjoy the continuing journey. Thanks for sharing it. Your cowboy/boatman is an absolute delight in photos.

  6. Unfortunately, there seems to be this kind of "end of the road" mentality in remote places. Alaska is no different, get a bit off the beaten path, and people seem to feel like they can trash the place and it makes no difference. Also, junk really has no where to go. Living among it isn't great, one of the reasons NSA doesn't like it here.

  7. We have hefty fines for littering in Australia, which work to keep our cities clean and rubbish free, but in some inland areas (our inland is incredibly vast and inhospitable) you have the contrast you explain here, the majesty and beauty of the land littered with beer cans and cartons, plastic, old mattresses and discarded cars. Perhaps it is similar to the situation J mentioned regarding Alaska. Grand Manan Island seems a small area to manage in comparison.
    Nationally we have "Clean Up Australia Day" once a year, where from school children to elderly pensioners we are shamed into action - bags, gloves, tongs, to do our bit, along highways, rivers, reserves and our own backyard. Would be great if it caught on in Grand Manan Island, but you're right, the government would need to help.

  8. what a bummer! but you and i both know that it simply was not meant to be. you have strong wings to fly and fly you will to other places. and one of them WILL be THE place for YOU to be. loving the photos but glad you are still at 29 black street at least for a little while. ((hugs)) to all from me, bella, zoe and willow.

  9. One down...
    The garbage issue is here too...I can't believe how many jerks still think the ocean is a bottomless garbage pit...My blood pressure just spiked! ;)
    People take so much for granted. Here in Newfoundland the ocean has always been {clean, full of life, lifestyle giving}...Sadly many feel it always will be...Without effort all of Newfoundland's beaches and bays will be landfills eventually. I'd like to say the "younger generation" seem smarter but that doesn't seem to be the case. I take part in beach clean-up every year and every year there is so much more to clean and worse items to cart away...*Bee Breath*
    That said...You've obviously captured the best of the things you saw...I love each and everyone of these photos Susan. Love your mustachioed model too!
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  10. On Grand Manan, the idea of "eco" anything or worrying about more than making money to cover the next month's expenses is alien; these are ideas that are brought there from non-natives, Grand Manan has pretty much remained firmly in the mind-set of decades ago. There have been several eco-minded ventures started on Grand Manan but sadly, they mostly appeal to tourists and do not change day to day realities for the residents.

    That's unfortunately the way it is there; the economy has not been kind to the island and the people have a sort of basic outlook on life which is just get by. Most of my family has moved on from there (we've had a presence since almost the beginning) except for some cousins. I still love it so and truly hope that things can turn around for the wonderful people of Grand Manan.


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