St. Martins and Fundy Trail – Canada Day 89: Thursday, July 16 2015
A day around St Martins that included seeing the tides change from various (over-photographed) angles. This quiet, pretty town was once a major shipbuilding town described as “the richest village in the British Empire”.
My first lesson of the day was to discover even museum guides and curators are not immune from marital disagreement! Our museum guide had many stories about the exhibits in the Quaco museum but his wife who was the curator was keen for him to let us explore on our own as well. Looks and words. These exchanges entertained us along with the stories.
One story that captured me was a woman who travelled with her sea captain, husband. Long lead up story but eventually he died and she mid ocean successfully took the helm. Fascinating to me was that she gave birth at sea- the only woman on board. Can’t imagine – no midwife or maternity care there!
Enjoyed hearing about the beginnings of a lucrative shipbuilding industry – apparently also as a result of a woman. The wife of a ships captain who encouraged her husband to build ships rather than farm. St. Martins was at one time apparently “the second wealthiest community in the British Empire”. Fortunes change rapidly, and this and other families lost everything in a short time when rail and steam took over from sail.
Throughout the day we photographed and mapped the rapidly changing tides – my marker was the wharf cross structures – 2 showing – then 4 – then none as we left after the tides rose and fell.
We visit the Sea Caves, tidal harbor in St. Martins and its historic village. Our local guide took us through the town, with our ‘ears’ in operation we could listen, ask questions and wander at leisure. Her knowledge of local history (being a longterm local herself) plants, geology, tides was broad and interesting. Our tour included seeing her original family home still standing but no longer in the family.
On the walk back to lunch Joanne and I found ourselves ahead of the group, out of ‘ear’ range, and happy to be so. A lovely walk and talk back to lunch at the Tidal Watch Inn – another spot we could have checked out of tour and checked in to stay! The Inn perfectly decorated for guests including a small glass chess set.
The end of the day and time for a sunny stroll among the red cliffs and carved rocks before lobster dinner and home.