Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Meat Cove

Off the Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Meat Cove is on the northern tip of the Cape Breton Island/Peninsula. It has a population of about 100 and is the most northern community in Nova Scotia.

This is probably about as far north as we get on this trip which began, as always, on April 1st. It's the turning point, tipping point...the end of the line. Mrs. Phred and I drove yesterday from our campground in Cheticamp, up into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada and took a short hike. We decided to disconnect the Toyota for the drive here today because of the steep upgrades and downgrades. The RV could handle most of the 18 degree downgrades in 1st gear without hitting the brakes unless there was a hairpin turn.

Meat Cove is accessed by a long dirt road with spectacular views of the rugged coastline. We saw a few whales off the road. The place got its name from fishermen who landed to hunt moose and replenish their larders. An alternative story is that fishermen could smell meat cooking as they rounded the cape.

We have a kayak trip lined up in the morning and whale watching on a Zodiac in the afternoon.

The campground (Hideaway in South Harbor)is very nice, with good Wi-Fi, electric, water and sewer. They sell lobster and oysters in the campground office and have a book exchange. We didn't like the Cheticamp campground so much. It seemed overcrowded and cramped. Many Canadian campgrounds are mostly full of local residents who park their trailers for the summer season (like we do in the winter in Sarasota).

Hideaway is the only campground on the tip of the peninsula that can accommodate large RVs, but they have everything here including tent camping and it's nicely wooded and uncrowded.

I listened to a Canadian Official on the radio today who said that Canada makes more of its GDP from tourism than the next three sources combined (fishing, agriculture and oil). They're putting 1/2 billion into upgrading the ferry service from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland.

John Cabot possibly landed near Meat Cove on June 24, 1497. Cabot's birthplace and name are both controversial, he was most probably born in Italy. In Italy he is known today as Giovanni Caboto, in Spain as Juan Caboto and in England as John Cabot. Only one set of documents has been found bearing his signature. These are Venetian testamentary documents of 1484, on which he signed himself as "Zuan Chabotto", Zuan being a form of John typical to Venice. Apparently he got a commission from the City of Bristol and sailed to either Maine, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland in 1497. I was disappointed to learn that Cabot was not English. Apparently Phred Firecloud is the only great American Navigator and Billy Bligh is the only Englishman (other than Cook) worthy of the Navigator greatness appellation.

We're heading next to North Sydney where Mrs. Phred has lined up five days worth of activities. The ferry routes to Newfoundland (five or fifteen hours) depart from there. We're currently undecided about riding these further northeast.

We've had a few more electrical problems in addition to the broken rear-facing RV video camera. The automatic satellite dish seems to have gone on the fritz and and the taillight signals from the RV to the tow vehicle have stopped working. I have a spare satellite dish that I can aim myself as a workaround, but the problem with the taillights is a blown fuse buried somewhere deep within the bowels of the RV. We'll restrict our night driving until we can find a repair place.


  1. 18 degrees?????????????? really....sil

  2. One guy told me 18%...further research indicates only 13% grades.