New Brunswick Week—Bathed in Tranquility on the Bay of Fundy
Some of my favorite articles have been written on ferries. I remember writing “Eating My Way through Vancouver” on a ferry to BC’s Salt Spring Island. So I took advantage of the 90-minute ferry from Blacks Harbour to Grand Manan to sit upstairs on the outdoor deck, peer at the large wake, and look back at the mainland with computer in hand. Surrounded by the calm waters of the Bay of Fundy, all my daily stresses just seemed to melt away with the hot midday sun. Every now and then we would pass another anonymous island, a rocky outcropping rimmed with a crown of firs. Far too quickly, we reached Grand Manan and I was driving up to my home for the next two nights, the Inn at Whale Cove Cottages.
I dined on a creamy mushroom soup, almond crusted salmon, and an absurdly good sour cherry pie all created by the talented chef and owner of Whale Cove, Laura Buckley. I was lucky to sit next to a large group, mostly New Yorkers, who return to Grand Manan year after year for the past 30 years. They recommended I climb back in my car after dinner and drive to the end of Whistle Road past the lighthouse to a spot locals simply call “The Whistle.” Wow, what a tip! Perched on a bluff overlooking the rocky shoreline, I spotted kids scouring the boulders for that nutritious New Brunswick seaweed treat, dulse. To my left, cliffs plummeted to the shores below, and directly in front of me was the great expanse of sea leading to FDR’s former summer home, Campobello Island, and the Maine towns of Lubec and Eastport. Within moments of arriving, I spotted seals in the water and shortly thereafter, the graceful arc and fin of the minke whale. The sun was setting, the whales were slicing the water, local old-timers were handing me Moose Light beers. My first night on Grand Manan and I understand the magical allure.