As the “Big City” (Pop. 793) on Bras d’Or Lake, Baddeck is where it all happens.  Just to put things in perspective, we are about 4 hours by car from Halifax.  Baddeck had been on our list of places to see up here because it came strongly recommended by everybody we know who has been here.  

Baddeck is a delightful little town on the “Cabot Trail” the popular driving tour of the area. Even more than the other parts of Nova Scotia (Latin for New Scotland) Cape Breton Island is connected with the “old country.”  Coming in to the harbor, you are likely to hear the sounds of a bagpipe drifting over town.  Many signs around town have Gaelic names on them. (With the possible exception of Welsh, I think Gaelic uses more letters to make fewer sounds than any other language!)

When we arrived up here we were ahead of the remnants of tropical storm Erin. The local forecast was for heavy rains and winds of 35 knots.  Nothing terribly serious but not something to be ignored either.  So we found a snug little harbor, and for the first time in a long time set a second anchor.  Not because we wanted more holding power, but because swing room was restricted.  Fortunately for us, and the locals, the forecast turned out to be a bust.  I doubt we ever saw more than 15 knots.  

The tender loaded with the spare anchor.

Recovering the second anchor, turned out to be a bit of a challenge. We ended up drifting up against the mud bank and needed the dinghy (again) to push us off. No harm, no foul! We had quite the muddy mess on deck when we finished.

Braddeck has one big claim to fame, its most famous resident was Alexander Graham Bell.  After making his fortune in the telephone business, he settled here and lived as a renaissance inventor dabbling in the new field of powered flight, and high speed boats. He even speculated on the use of hydrofoils for sailboats, a development that took 100 years to come to production.

The Bell estate at the enterence to Baddeck Bay. Still owned by the Bell Family.

Like everywhere around Bras d’Or Lakes natural beauty is everywhere.  The landscape is different than southern Nova Scotia.  Instead of exposed rock, and rugged cliffs, this is rolling hills of bright red soil.  A much wider variety of trees grow in the forest.  

A scene typical of the shoreline of the Bras d’Or Lake
How dark is it here at night? Dark enough to see about a bizzilion stars…

In addition to the beauty of nature, they also have some very pretty boats up here.

Built in 1935, and rescued after 50 years in a garage by the original owner’s grandson, Rosie is a work of love and art.
Harmonie gets photobombed by the local tourist schooer, the Amoeba

We’ll be in this area for a few more days, and then maybe move back out into the ocean and stop at Sydney.  From there if the weather allows we’ll head to Sable Island again, or if not, begin our passage south.  Right now we are watching the long range forecasts for Dorian’s track. Out seven days or so (about two forevers in weather forecasting) he is destined to be in our neighborhood.

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