Yesterday was one of those perfect days that cruising is just all supposed to be about. The weather was perfect. Cool morning, sunny warm afternoon without a hint of hot and muggy and, for now, the fog has burned off. The sailing and the fishing are great. The scenery is beautiful, and the natives are friendly.
We are now anchored in Indian Harbour, a tiny cove on the eastern shore of St Margaret’s Bay. With care, one other boat might fit in here, but it would be a tight squeeze. The cove is on the east side of Paddy Head Island, and the entrance marked by Paddy Head Light.
To give you an idea of what it’s like cruising here, this spot was mentioned as a good anchorage in our guide book. Not exactly a featured spot, but certainly nothing bad was mentioned. Locals could list off ALL the boats that had anchored here over the last five years. Pretty quiet.
Just a few miles away, at the entrance to St Margaret’s Bay, is what our guide book described as “ground-zero for Nova Scotia tourism.” And as we come around the point, sure enough a pretty, and unusually colorful, village appears, complete with an iconic lighthouse.
As we get closer, the one feature that seperates Peggy’s Cove from other small Nova Scotia fishing towns becomes visible: Crowds of tourists. Hordes even. The place is positively infested with them.
Our advice to touring Nova Scotia (or pretty much any other place on the planet!): Avoid places like this. They are pretty and all, but within just a few miles there are a lot of other REAL fishing villages where you will meet real people, and see real things. In their own real-life way they are just as pretty.
How iconic is the town of Peggy’s Cove? So iconic it has been duplicated as a theme park in Chao Lao Beach, Thailand! Billed as an “authentic western fishing village.” Seriously. You could google it.
Outside the tourist meccas, the natives are friendlier than anyplace we have ever been. People come out to your boat and invite you to breakfast, offer a ride to the store, water, whatever they can help you with just because, “you’re a long way from home.”
Fishing in these waters is a bit different. They are rich with life. We look for a place where a pile of rocks rises out of a surrounding soft bottom, and there are the fish. So far cod and pollack have been the principle catch, with a few oddballs thrown in for good measure. Because we are fishing close to shore in relatively shallow water, we are catching the smaller fish, but a 5 lb cod, while not a trophy, still puts food on the table. If you put 4 of those on deck, you are headed towards filling the freezer!
Trying something a bit different, I attached our underwater camera to the line for part of the day. That provided some interesting and educational footage of fish interacting with our lures. I’ll be editing and posting some of that before too long!