Days 227 of a 365-Day Portrait Of Canada: The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Please Note – The cellphone towers aren’t so frequent in the small fishing villages along the Cabot Trail, so sorry for not being able to update the blog daily. Please check back to see more from the Cabot trail in the next 48 hours. It’s raining cats and spitting dogs, but we’ll be able to find something to photograph, providing the wind hasn’t blown it across the highway or into the sea.

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Fly Fishing Near Ingonish

fly fishing on the cabot trail

View From Little Smokey Mountain

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Waves breaking on the cabot trail

No one told me the roads were so hilly and curvy on the Cabot Trail, which might have been a good thing, because it would have intimidated me knowing what hazards lay ahead. This is a good stretch of pavement, much of the Cabot Trail is just that…a trail, with potholes and pushed out sections all joining together to make one big suspension-busting experience.

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A Canadian flag greets this family at the entrance way to their home. Cape Bretoner’s fly the Canadian flag everywhere.

Cabot Trail Canadian Flag

Neil’s harbour is a classic Cape Breton fishing village along the Cabot Trail. Lobster season is set to open tomorrow and there is a buzz in the air with everyone getting their boats, fishing gear and minute by minute weather reports  for the 5 AM start. With Lobster being the main economic generator, each of the 60 days that the Lobster season is open is important. Fishermen will check the traps each day for the first couple of weeks and then every other day after that, with the lobster numbers decreasing steadily over the 60 days.

lighthouse road sign neil's harbour

neil's harbour lighthouse

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Young Ben and his father cut up mackerel for bait used in the lobster traps.

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High School is out for the days leading up to the opening of the Lobster season, and everyone has to help out however they can. These boys help bait each of the 275 traps. A smelly job.

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Baiting the traps which are to be set tomorrow.

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Opening morning of the lobster fishing season, I arrive at the wharf at 5:08 AM to photograph the boats leaving the harbour, but I’m eight whole minutes late and the entire harbour is empty. Out at sea, around Neil’s Harbour I can see the fishing boats bobbing up and down in the four foot swells. It’s a windy morning, making it even more of a pain to set the lobster traps off the side of the boats. Each boat is loaded to capacity with lobster traps which weigh in at 100 pounds.

neil harbour 5 o'clock start to the day

Hazards are around every corner, with the winds reaching 35 km/hr even the most seasoned fisherman must keep a keen eye out for rocks and other boats.

neil harbour fishing by rocks

Sunrise over Neil’s Harbour

sunrise at neil's harbour

Heading out to sea with a second batch of traps. Each fishermen is allowed 275 Lobster traps.

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Tying Down the Lobster Traps

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Everyone gets involved on the first day of Lobster season.

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High School kids throw a Grad BBQ down at Neil’s Harbour to raise funds for their Grad.

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Flag Of The Day

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2 Responses to “Days 227 of a 365-Day Portrait Of Canada: The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia”

  1. May 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    We met at Cape Smokey, glad to see you got some great photos there!

    Love the pics of Neil’s Harbour, I hope you are enjoying the rest of your visit and found the Cabot Trail Map useful…. Kim

    • 2 Arthur Ingraham
      May 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm

      Hi I met you in Neils Harbour. Hope you have a good trip around the trail.Love the pics. keep it real…

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