Friday, August 7, 2015

Escuminac, New Brunswick

We left Miramichi (pronounced Mira me shee with the accent on the last syllable) bound for a little fishing harbor called Escuminac on August 6.  This would be our last stop in New Brunswick as we need to maintain our schedule now that we are more than halfway through our trip! 

We delayed our departure until 12:30 so we would catch the current on the Miramichi River.  We needed to follow it out to the inner then outer Miarmichi bays for the  four hour trip to Escuminac.  This will set us up for the long  cruise to Prince Edward Island on the following day.  We passed under this bridge as we left the river.

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The harbor at Escuminac was quite different from anywhere we had been before.  It is home to the largest inshore fishing fleet in the Gulf region and is one of the more remote harbors.  However, by the end of July most of those boats have moved on to other  harbors and all that remains are smaller fishing boats.  The harbor is owned and run by the the  collective of fisherman and they charge a nominal dockage fee (a whopping $9.00 total for us)!  It is very much a working marina, not advertised or set up for the public so there were no amenities and we were fine with that.   Diva Di arrived first and were directed to tie up at the wall.   We arrived a bit later wanting to get fuel, but the attendant was not available at the time so we, too, tied up at the wall. 

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The wall where we were tied up was piled high with lobster traps,  each section along the wall had at least 50 traps with each of those sections marked with a different color.  Apparently the lobster boats load their distinctively colored trips on their boats when they go out and place them and collect them. 

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We had read that there was a fish market at the harbor as well as  place to get terrific fried clams.  We were up for the latter, but alas, the canteen that sold them was not open.  The fish market was open and they had the best looking fresh caught lobster that you can imagine.  We bought two of them and Duane and Diane bought three!  Lynn had to rush to get them before the market closed and the big black clouds indicating an approaching storm arrived.

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In the meantime, the harbor office had contacted the harbor master who was going to drive back from Miramichi (a 45 minute drive compared to our 4 hour cruise!) but we told her not to bother as the storm was coming and our fuel needs were not dire.

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There were several fisherman hanging out either fishing near the harbor or getting their boats cleaned up for the evening.  Again, everyone was extremely friendly and curious about our boat and travels. 

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That evening we had our first lobster dinner of the trip on board and it was a real treat!

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Afterwards, Jonny, the eternal extravert, made his rounds of the harbor and chatted up everyone he met.  A bit later we received a call from the harbormaster who had driven back to the marina to sell us fuel.  We moved the boat over to the fuel dock (unfortunately dinging the swim platform as we tried to exit our tight docking space).  She and more of the fishermen eagerly engaged us in the time it took to fuel up.  It turned out we needed a lot more diesel than we expected and we were very happy to fill our tanks here as these were the lowest prices we had encountered in Canada thus far.

The impending storm passed us by and left us with a beautiful sunset.  We were able to stay overnight at the fuel dock since we planned to leave at 6 a.m. the following morning for the 11 hour crossing to Prince Edward Island. 

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