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Old Aug 17, 2010, 8:15 PM   #1
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Default A lovely week on Grand Manan Island

Hello to all my Pentax friends -- It's been several months (or at least it feels like it) since I last posted here, and I apologize for my absence. I haven't been boycotting; I've just been very busy, and I simply didn't have the time or energy to post here. Things have been completely crazy at work, and I serve on several town committees that have demanded a lot of time. I'm also very sorry to say that after being cancer-free for six years, my wife's cancer has returned. We haven't yet met with the docs, so we don't know what treatment they'll prescribe, but that has also been a big drain of time and energy.

But enough of that. We spent the last two weeks of July on Grand Manan Island, a delightful place in the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, just barely over the US border, in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. If you like picturesque light houses and fishing villages, Grand Manan Island is a must-see. If you like wild night clubs where you can party the night away, it is definitely NOT the place to go, and that suits us just fine!

We stayed at the Hole-in-the-Wall Campground, which is unique for its cliff-top camp sites. They do not recommend the cliff top sites for families with small children, but we thought it was wonderful to be perched directly above the water, hearing the waves crash at the base of the cliff. Our camp site had this lovely view of the famous Swallowtail Lighthouse, which the ferry passed by every two hours:

The Swallowtail Lighthouse is by far the most beautiful lighthouse I've ever seen. We didn't know this when we scheduled our trip, but the community is celebrating the lighthouse's 150th anniversary this year. It would be hard to imagine a nicer setting.

Here are the cliffs of Southwest Head, at the very southern tip of the island. You can't get a sense of scale here, but the cliffs are a good 200 or 250 feet high. Back in the 1960s, two brothers went fishing off the coast of Maine on a January morning. The engine on their small boat failed, and they got caught up in a huge storm. After a terrifying night at sea, their boat was washed up at the base of these cliffs. One brother was so severely hypothermic he could barely move, so the other climbed this cliff, with bare hands, in a blizzard. Amazingly, he reached the top safely and reported his brother's condition to some lighthouse keepers, who mounted a very daring rescue. As a former rock climber, I think these cliffs look like they would be a lot of fun on a warm summer afternoon. But I couldn't imagine climbing these cliffs in a howling snowstorm, with frozen hands, without ropes.

We went for a walk along one of the island's few sandy beaches in the Anchorage Provincial Park. This fellow flew by, and was kind enough to pose for us. My K20D had some problems communicating with my Sigma 70-300 lens. I don't know if that was why this shot is so badly out of focus, or if it was just good old fashioned operator error! I'm going to start another thread to ask if anyone has any ideas on what might have gone wrong.

We also went on a whale watch, and saw some truly thrilling sights!

This was our first trip to Grand Manan Island, but it surely will not be our last!
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 8:18 PM   #2
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Oops -- I meant to intersperse the photos with my text, but apparently I made a mistake. I hope you can tell which photo is supposed to go with which paragraph!
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 8:47 PM   #3
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Mtman welcome back! Sorry to hear about your wife's relapse. I hope that all goes well for her. Treatments are getting better all the time and so is the prognosis for recovery.

Grand Manan Island looks fantastic. Your pictures of it are wonderful. That old lighthouse is indeed a unique looking structure. You captured it wonderfully.

Climbing that cliff in the summer would be daunting but in the dead of winter unthinkable!

The whale's tail is my favorite. Beautifully framed and exposed.

Nice series.


Last edited by Keltech; Aug 18, 2010 at 6:14 AM.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 1:54 PM   #4
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MtMan - great to see some of your fine photos again! All show some great color and composition, and lots of careful thought. Cliff shot is especially fine.

Will keep your wife & all her medical staff in my prayers!
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 6:33 PM   #5
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Hey Ted,
I've been wondering where you've been.
I'm so sorry to hear about your wife. Please know that both of you are in my prayers.
You got some great photos here, too bad the eagle shot didn't turn out so well, it was a great pose!

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Aug 19, 2010, 9:49 PM   #6
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Wonderful shots, really love the lighthouse pictures - lighting is wonderful (the second one is my favorite, I like the higher contrast). The whale picture looks very close to (but is better than) one that you see quite often on California license plates, it's a fund-raiser for Heal The Bay, I think. In any case, the custom plate is quite popular, you see it all over.

I'm sorry to hear about your wife's troubles. There's just too many people I know who are having medical problems right now. Getting older just isn't as much fun as kids think it will be...
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Old Aug 20, 2010, 7:46 AM   #7
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great series, third and last are my fav's


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Old Aug 21, 2010, 2:06 PM   #8
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Mtnman - I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's relapse. Hopefully she will beat it this time too.

A really nice series except for the whale fluke ... and that is absolutely outstanding !
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 12:57 PM   #9
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A really nice depiction of a really nice place. Hopefully you and your wife will be able to return there again and again. Best of luck with the treatments.
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 8:07 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the well wishes folks. I'm confident that one way or another, things will work out. Meanwhile, this is a great reminder to make the most of each day. I'm going to try to take more (and better) photos, and make an effort to spend more time at places like Grand Manan Island!
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