Monday, August 1, 2016

A trip to Tancook Island

Published in The Chronicle Herald - Nova Scotian Section - August 1, 2016
What do stones with rings, a pig, and curry bread have in common? They were all part of my experience at Tancook Island with a couple of friends.

None of us had been there before, and we were looking forward to a new adventure. We were entertained on the ferry by a crew member who told us about things to do when we reached our destination, and the 50 minute ferry ride went by quickly. There's nothing like a boat ride in the sun and wind to lift your spirits.
we hear about things to do on Tancook Island from a crew member
We arrived, disembarked, and it was decided that our first stop after this long arduous journey should be at Carolyn's Restaurant for some ice cream, because you know it's never too early for ice cream. Cones in hand, we started the two kilometre walk towards Southeast Cove. 


I discovered that both my friends shared an interest with me, and our first stop was the cemetery. We spent a fair bit of time there looking at the inscriptions on the old gravestones, and marveling at the information. One particularly sad stone marked the passing of ten children over a seventeen year period. Four children passed away on the same day, presumably to disease or accident, but that information is probably lost to history and it was time to carry on with our walk.

We turned left at a fork in the road, and our walk took us past some abandoned buildings and a line of old trucks...fodder for photographers. One of the trucks was a 1954 fire truck, and the owner treated us to the sound of the siren before we moved on.

When we reached Southeast Cove, one friend took her two dogs down to the water for a swim while another friend and I explored the Wishing Stones Studio. Wishing stones have a white quartz ring around them. According to the gallery, when you find a wishing stone you should stand at the water's edge, close your eyes and make a silent wish, and throw the stone as far into the sea as you can. I was so busy looking around that I forgot to take a free stone and test out the folklore.
Hillary Dionne, owner of the Wishing Stones Studio
This charming attraction is located in the old general store building and is part gallery, part museum, and part library. Owner Hillary Dionne sells her framed photographs and sea glass jewellery and giftware in one part of the building, decorated with bins of sea glass and bottles of all kinds, a couple of my favourite things to collect. The lending library has over 4000 books, movies and magazines which were donated by islanders and island visitors. There is also a games room full of board games and jigsaw puzzles. I'm sure this place is well used by overnight visitors and summer residents. I have to admit, I was so enthralled by the gallery that I completely missed part of the museum. Many of the old artifacts on display were made on Tancook Island decades ago. You may feel as if you've stepped back in time when viewing several rooms that have been set up.

It was time to join our friend and her dogs on the shore, where we continued walking to the end of the road and then carried on along the shoreline. By this time it was past two o'clock and we were getting tired and very hungry. Instead of taking the longer route back, our stomachs ruled and we retraced our steps back along the same route. On a hot day, the walk along the dusty gravel road on an empty stomach seemed a lot longer than two kilometres. I mused that it must be a difficult trudge for some seniors, and I was glad I brought some water with me.


Like a crow with shiny things, we were distracted on our mission to find food when we spotted the Sea Myst Gift Shop. It's located in an old fishing shanty with a beautiful wharf and view of the fishing boats in Northeast Cove. Shop owner Angela Connolly will greet you with an enthusiastic smile and introduce you to her pet pig Ruby. The charming shop is filled with Maritime art, jewelry and unique treasures and was a treat to browse through. Unfortunately, time was running short and we wanted to treat ourselves to some food before leaving on the last ferry of the day.
outside the Sea Myst Gift Shop
A quick walk up the hill and we arrived at the Tancook Island Cafe. After walking around for three and a half hours in the heat, it was a treat to sit and relax at the outdoor tables overlooking the harbour while we waited for our sandwiches. My grilled veggie sandwich on curry bread was well worth the wait while sipping on my homemade lemonade.

Five hours seemed to fly by and it was time to grab the last ferry back to Chester. I had an absolutely lovely day doing the things that I love to do - walking, exploring, taking photographs, and talking to interesting people. There truly are pockets of beauty everywhere if you choose to focus on them.

1 comment:

Sybil N said...

Lovely post Sara. Congrats on the prominent coverage in the Chronicle Herald !