Setting Sail down the Bras d’Or
I like to go for long boat rides, sails, rafting trips down bodies of water that help relax me and alleviate me of stress. I find the rocking of boats to be very calming, some theorize that it reminds some of us humans of beautiful times, rocking in the womb of our mothers, or in her arms. That would definitely be the effect on me if I could describe it. Work can be stressful, life can get all complicated on you without warning, and of all things, my USB cable for my charger wasn’t working- can you believe this *ish?! 5 hours previously, I had just been screamed at and spat at on by a New York City elderly woman on a crowded, smelly subway train. In her defense, she was mad at another guy, and mistook me for him, but only after she had already spat on my new sneakers. Stress I didn’t need for sure and hate just follow you in NYC, so I had to escape it. Well, I finally got that chance in Baddeck, Novascotia, Canada. I would go for runs in the morning, and took note of the beautiful lake just outside of my hotel, looked it up on Google, and found that it was called the Bras d’Or Lake. The sun or the moon, over it, shined so bright, the skies were extra highlighted in sunrise or sunset, it just all felt magical. For the most part, there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky the whole week, so that sky was nicely accented by the presence of the few clouds that did pass. I could see that this lake was huge, it looked like it never ended, so I had to get a way to get out on that lake. I hopped on a sailboat tour by Amoeba Tours, and set sail down the lake, in Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, Novascotia. What’s beautiful about this place is that Cape Breton is an island, very different from the Halifax area to the south-west, and right in the middle of this body of land is this HUGE, spectacular lake, the Bras d’Or Lake. The lake has been an inspiration to many famous people, most notably Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor, linguist and much more I found out, aside from being the first to patent the first practical working telephone. The lakes helped inspire, and play house too, his experiments with aviation through kite flying behind boats in this lake. The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site was built just to the side of the lake, and the family mansion is also seen from the Lake.
The Bras d’Or Lake is named by the first European settlers to the area (the French) and translates to “ARM OF GOLD“. There is a competing theory for the name, but this one is best fitting to me. 🙂 However, the First Nation group the Mi’kmaq already named it “Pitu’pok”, which means “long saltwater” (it’s a combination of salt and fresh water). However, the victors print the history and alas, the name is Bras d’Or. While sailing the lake, I see now why it was named Arm of Gold. Without doing any kind of special camera tricks and such, when you’re out on that water, that sun off of the water has a big effect on the area. The sun is very strong there, and the reflection off of the water is absolutely blinding! When that sun is off to an angle, the surrounding areas of the lake become extremely ORANGE, and have a deeply earthly glow to them. It was very weird, I was just sitting there shooting in JPEG and not RAW, just to take snapshots, and with a STANDARD color profile, yet I was trying to figure out why everything looked so WARM in color when I didn’t set it like so. No, it was that way in front of my eyes too, is what I realized. Truly “golden” to me, that’s the word that stuck in my head the whole time. Every house looked beautiful in the waters too.
If you do make it out this far, you should definitely book with Amoeba because they have some extra added benefits. For one, it’s a very entertaining ride, filled with great talk and humor, but they also have a special “friend” who will come along for the ride. You reach a little island, you see this eagle on a perch obviously made by a human, and wonder what in the world is that about.
The captain makes a call to the eagle, and magically the eagle comes swooping in towards the sailboat!!! Then he makes it feed on the fish and you get an up close and personal view of the eagle. It’s massive! That was pretty cool.
If you take an early evening tour, which I highly recommend, you will get the chance to be out so long, that you will experience the sunset in this location. I am a big fan of “Sunset Cruises”, as you can see from that previous post I threw up. It’s very beautiful to end the day riding into the sunset, and the evening sail is perfect for this experience, just as calculated. It’s pretty to see a land where just about the only light being provided to the area is coming from the Sun or the Moon, but it’s also kind of freaky because when the Blue Hour hits, there isn’t even a hint of light anywhere but in the sky. Lights don’t turn on yet until everything is pitch dark, in this area.
Overall, I had a beautiful sail as the sun fell over Baddeck Marine and with such clear skies, I knew that night would provide some interesting opportunities out here too, which as always, the finished products can be found on the main site of www.drunkphotography.com.