ferries in mid-river

From the air, New Brunswick is green and blue. Lots of forests, and lots of water — rivers, lakes, wetlands and the sea. The river ferries are part of the road network here. There’s no charge to drive your car onto this cable ferry that crosses from Gondola Point to the Kingston Peninsula. Sometimes you have to wait to get on the ferry, but it’s always a treat to ride across the water, a fun cruise, especially on a day like this. Enjoy the ride!

Taken on August 7, 2010

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big ship, small ship

Travelling by water is a luxury. If you’ve booked a berth on one of these towering cruise ships, you will be well fed and entertained as you float from one harbour to the next. The smaller ship (on the horizon), is the Princess of Acadia, our vessel of choice to and from Nova Scotia for our vacation last week. This no-frills car ferry travels in a direct line from Saint John to Digby and back. Still, to choose the direct route across the Bay of Fundy is more expensive than driving around and, depending on your destination, may actually take longer. But we were on vacation, and we wanted to take our time and explore — and it’s a lot more relaxing to take the boat than dodge cars on a long grey ribbon of highway. In some ways, it’s too bad that travelling by boat is considered such a luxury these days when water was at one time the only highway, but I suppose travelling by sea has its own hazards!

Taken on July 1, 2009

Saint John Power Boat Club

Marble Cove is one of the hidden gems of the city. It is a calm corner of the St. John River, tucked behind Douglas Avenue in the North End. It is also the last safe point to leave the river before the treacherous currents and rocks of the Reversing Falls. Nestled in this small cove is the Saint John Power Boat Club, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. I don’t know much about boats, but I can imagine that the power boats popular 100 years ago would have looked quite different from the big cruisers familiar today. And I’m sure that boats of some kind are part of the cove’s history 100 years before that, 25 years after the Loyalists settled. With the broad St. John at our doorstep, you can easily head upstream or turn onto the winding Kennebecasis or other smaller tributaries. It’s no wonder the river was — and remains — a popular route across the province.

Taken on May 22, 2010

home to the harbour

My second cousin is a fisherman. He heads out on his boat at the turn of the tide, often in the wee hours of the morning. I can only imagine what it’s like to be out on the water when it is still dark, to work in drenching rain or blustery winds, thick fog or bitter cold. I can only imagine what it’s like to be out all day, the burn of rope and salt water, the constant waves against the hull. I can only imagine the return home, aching eyes from squinting against the sun, anticipating the sudden silence of the motor, the rough rope looped around the pier, the empty hold, and the road home.

Taken on June 15, 2008