This was our first lighthouse that we saw, near Cavendish, Prince Edward Island (PEI) in North Rustico Harbour. It has the shape, and the cupola on top, but alas, I think this is just a house. We turned 180 degrees from this site, and saw this:
We soon figured out that the shape of a squared-off building tapering to a cupola (and a place for the light) were a popular theme.
This next one was spotted from our ferry across the Northumberland Strait–which one is the real lighthouse? The closest building sat on the breakfront, which we glided past as we sailed. We think the one in the background is the real one, because we glimpsed a flashing light. All the lighthouses used to be manned, but slowly they were automated.
One fiddler we met got his start working in a lighthouse, as his first job demanded 11 months of isolation, before the crew was moved to a 28-day rotation. We met him when we stopped on the east side of Cape Breton, coming down the Cabot Trail; we didn’t buy his CD of fiddle tunes, instead buying another where we could hear the stomping feet in the background (his recommendation). He was quite garrulous–obviously making up for lost time. Click on the picture to be taken to his website.
A third little building right as we’re leaving Wood Islands, PEI; I still think the real McCoy is in the background. Click to enlarge and you can see the light. I went onto the Canadian Coast Guard page and these three are known as the harbour and breakwater “lights.” That’s what they call them–not lighthouses.
Pictou, Nova Scotia has a lighthouse on their pier, but again, it’s just a building shaped like a lighthouse for all I know. Inside they had a map with lights for all the lighthouses in Nova Scotia, with the red, yellow and white lights blinking off and on, supposedly corresponding to the actual lighthouse. This one was like a mini-museum, with lighthouse trinkets for sale. The website that lists all of these is the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society. Good way to waste some time looking at their interactive maps.
Looking for something else, we found this lighthouse in the Mabou Harbor. I wish we’d taken the time to get out and take some better shots, but we felt we didn’t belong. According to the NSLPS webpage:
“The pyramidal wooden lighthouse at Mabou Harbour was built in 1884 to guide coastal steamers transporting non-perishable goods into the only protected harbour on the western side of Cape Breton Island. At that time, a number of general stores served the countryside for miles around. At various times gypsum was shipped from here, and there was a lobster and salmon canning factory right next to the lighthouse. Now, the pretty lighthouse is the Mabou Harbour Museum and Tourist Centre, opened in June 1998, to showcase the history of the lighthouse and the village.”
Now I really wish we’d gotten out of the car. Before we left Cape Breton, we saw one more “light.”
The lighthouse in the evening, after our lobster supper. I picked a buttercup flower from the grass and held it under Dave’s chin: yes, he likes butter. When we were children, we morphed that old wives’ tale into “if you see yellow, that person’s in love.” I like that one better.
The next up close and personal was near Halifax, on our way to the famous Peggy’s Cove lighthouse. Obviously McDonalds is trying to fit into the territory with this design.
Peggy’s Cove is really as beautiful as everyone says it is, and windy, too (see post for that day for tourists with windswept hair). We parked our car at the visitor center and walked in toward the lighthouse.
This is taken from the sea-side of the lighthouse, looking back toward the land. The rocks are massive, and so right for playing. I wish we had the grandchildren with us, as we remembered the fun they had in Pacific Grove, clambering all over the rocks.
The heroic shot, one of many that we took that morning. The only lighthouse souvenir I purchased was a small wooden model, for sale in the restaurant in Baddeck. It now sits on my kitchen windowsill, lighting my way to the dishes.