Since I do not possess an aircraft, this is not a Rod Mackay aerial photography of Peggys Cove. That name is applied generally to a broader area of rock and thin soil, but this inlet is technically where it is at. There are now sand beaches in the surround and the drop off is steep so this is no wading pool.
low the latest, posted October 17
This Google Street Map shows tat projection of the south rock at the mouth of the cove. It also indicates that tourism has come to outweigh the economic importance of fishing. Notice how few lobster boats are tied up. In September 2016, Rory MacKenzie, who is studying Marine Geometrics at Centre of Geographic Sciences, and lives in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia went scuba diving at Peggys Cove. He reported depths of 25 to 34 feet, presumably not far from shore, and probably in the vicinity of the coast just outside the cove proper. He commented that, "The dive site is a rough entry and exit because of the waves, but there are a few spots available for a safe entry where you can slide into the water." He also said that visibility was about twenty feet and the water temperature 15º C. A fifty year old scuba diver died there in 2012.
He took pics of a oar weed "forest," lobsters and an old abandoned wooden trap. wannadive.net says, "Peggys Cove overs nice granite bedrock ridge diving with a clean gravel and sand bottom in the lee of the point with the lighthouse, just out front of the restaurant." However it adds that, "The flank of the ridge with the lighthouse is a nice granite slope cloaked in a rich kelp forest. Straight out is a gravel and sand plain, but there are several interesting granite ridges running offshore. Fish and plant life are abundant. Currents are minimal but only dive when the swell is light, as exiting up onto the sloping granite ridge can be difficult in waves. Dive only when it is calm."
More about troubled waters in a moment, but first a reminder of the fact that this peninsula is thought of by most visitors as Peggys Cove. Similarly, Prospect Road is often thought of at the Peggys Cove Road. The Road in from there is correctly the Peggys Cove Road. One should not consider sliding into the surf from the rocks, but note Clam Pond due east of the Provincial Park. This is a swimming hole little known and used by anyone aside from residents. There are no lifeguards or changing rooms. At low water, tidal pools there offer a good change of observing marine life close up.
The thirteenth day of the month is not always lucky! On that date in April, 2017, R&R were delivered an eviction notice. We were told we would have to vacate our second floor apartment on Main Street in Mahone Bay on or before June 30. Our rental was supposedly a great bargain, but that's a separate tale. The fact is, it was not covering taxes let alone heating bills, and the owner wanted to go VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) post haste. That "history" is public knowledge. that move would increase monthly summer rentals by a massive amount. Unfortunately at this time we had no alternate place to go in Mahone Bay. Since this was a nice day we peeled away for Peggy's Cove hoping to forget our troubles.
This is the only church in Peggys Cove. St. Pauls was built for the Anglicans in 1893-94 and is an example of carpenter Gothic. The church contains two murals painted in 1963 by noted Canadian artist and local resident William deGarthe.St. John's is a municipally registered heritage site within the Halifax Regional Municipality as designated on February 22, 1993. The designation encompasses both the church building and the land on which it is located. While the powers that be had second thoughts about tearing down the lighthouse residents were not as luck when it came to their community centre.
The Anglican church appears to have built that structure as
a church hall. In 2016, the parish priest, Canon Andrew Cooke decided it posed a safety hazard noting that,“It was a bit of an eyesore in its dilapidated state" When the municipality was asked about this wayward act it said that no permit had been issued regarding this action. While residents thought that the Peggys Cove Commission was created to preserve and protect heritage buildings that body was inactive. The Halifax Municipality promised to "resurrect the commission and... name new appointments in the next few weeks."
Local resident Robert Galbraith was not alone in complaining about the loss of the centre. “I realize we have to advance or society, but a feeling there's too many loose ends when it comes to the protection of our heritage – particularly in the cove." In the above case, granite was being cut away in the interest of geological research. We can only hope that this was authorized.
Lobster season was still open here until the end of May, so boats were on the water. This view of work sheds on Peggs Cove and looks convincingly rural.
However, activity is much diminished since the population is smaller than it was in the last century.
These boats become docked photographic set pieces in the tourist season, and remain as such until the lobster trap "dropping day" arrived on the last Monday in November.
The long wharf here is better preserved than in some rural coastal communities where there is more fishing effort.
Here is another look at that structure as photographed last April. The church steeple is seen in the background. In front of it stands the only Bed & Breakfast actually located on the Cove at the terminal end of Church Street.
These are sequential snapshots. "The regional municipality and the provincial government have strict land-use regulations in the vicinity of Peggy's Cove, with most property development being prohibited. Similarly there are restrictions on who can live in the community to prevent inflation of property values for year-round residents." Even without these restrictions, there are reasons you might not want to live here year around. Peggy's Cove is a major tourist attraction, and the community maintains a studied rustic undeveloped appearance. But appearances hide some grim realities.
173 Peggys Point Road houses "Hags On The Hill," and dates from 1812. It is actually, not a home but a seasonal gift shop which closes in mid- October. That temporary out-building can indicate a nearby construction problem or the break down of the usual waste disposal system. You cannot drill for water in solid granite and it is impossible to install conventional septic tanks & fields. Individual home and business owners have individual solutions for sewer and water problems. However, the massive influx of tourists has led to the creation of a large yellow outhouse next to the visitor centre. It houses Clivus Multrum composting toilets. These constitute a self-contained, waterless odourless toilet treatment system. It uses no chemicals, heat or water and has no polluting discharge.
From a distance this iconic lighthouse was not looking seedy, but up close it could be observed that the paint was peeling, a problem for all buildings in salt water locations.
Thanks to Wee Donnie MacLoud, Americans are not as welcome in countries outside of Canada, with which the USA shares not only a border, but relatives and friends and trade. In April this stellar attraction looked dowdy.
Once again volunteers stepped in when all three levels of government refused to unzipper there lips or purses.
This was a slow day on the rocks. One supposes that escapees from bustling Halifax constitute most of the April visitations.
The Sou' Wester Restaurant is popular for its food, souvenirs and "rest rooms." They are immediately to the right of this entrance on the water front and feature water-miserly but flushable toilets.
Each year asphalt intrudes on an increasing area of granite.
This new area had not yet been marked with parking spaces. The view is eastward toward Clam Cove.
Turning to the west, Ruth is seen entering this complex.
Ruth checks out items in the gift store before moving on to lunch in the restaurant. That's a leisurely, homey affair, which takes about and hour.
View to the southwest on leaving.
You've already seen the Hags On The Hill. On the other side of the Point Road one finds Beales' Bailiwick another gift shop. "This nice local crafts store is worth a visit. A visitor in August said, "The things they sell aren't cheap, but they're very nice locally made products (as opposed to the Chinese-made imported products sold in the main Peggy's Cove gift shop...). There's also coffee and pastries that you can eat on the balcony in front of or behind the shop. Worth a visit!"
The visitors centre is up the adjoining hill on the same side of the road but it was closed in this shoulder season.
While tourist propaganda claims you can find enough to do here to encompass three days, that's certainly not true in April.
Then there is the fact that we have been here several times in years past and had a look around stores and eaten in various places in neighbouring communities. It is a restful drive at this time of year.
Those new age wire lobster traps represent a considerable investment.
"Make & Break" makes reference to a small, inexpensive marine engine manufactured in Lunenburg. Always reliable. This roadside cafe was not open.
"Glens Loop" is an island road.
Our south shore railway was finally shut down in the 1970s. We will try the Bike & Beans Cafe at some future time. In this case an appeal is being made to the cycling rather than the motorcycling crowd, and that sport is big in Nova Scotia.
Tis shot of shore buildings in April got out of sequence. In any event, that was all I managed on this trip to the east, which had the desired effect of making R&R much more relaxed about their situation, which they knew would end with their moving to some new location, hopefully in Mahone Bay. Peggys Cove would not be on our short list even it it were not a closed community.
"Nova Scotia welcomed an additional 46,000 non-resident visitors in August 2017, an increase of 11% from August 2016. ... Compared with the same January-August period in 2015, the province has experienced an 18% increase in non-resident visitation." Ordinarily the season would have ended back in September, but that month and October have been unseasonably warm and sunny. Which brings R&R to October 18 after that somewhat harrowing visit to Halifax.
Years ago all of these buildings would have been painted white, the most economical paint available.
Again, we were driving into the community following the Peggys Point Road.
This was crowding 4:30 in the afternoon and shadows were already lengthening.
The water was really disturbed by a brisk wind and was very dark looking.
Note the lobster traps neatly piled on wharfs and the boats tied up in the distance. Peggys Cove offers refuge from wave action.
In sunlit areas it is easy to be become convinced that summer is still in vogue. As you can see the entire fishing fleet is not large. Play some of that "Four Season" music to match this scene.
But bring on Wagner for Hurricane Juan September 28 and 29. Roads and several homes were badly damaged at Peggy's Cove in 2003 by the extensive flooding and the cove's breakwater was also seriously damaged. The boat from which this CBS photo of people on the rocks was taken made for port soon after it was taken.
The people wisely made for home.
This garage and storage shed was destroyed and the roadway damaged. Environment Canada said that, "The strange thing about this event was that the waves hit the village from the east, while the village harbour is exposed only to the west. This wave came over 300 to 400 metres of land. While doing so, it rose over a low 5-metre ridge, then had to go over a wall nearly 2 metres high, for a total rise of over 7 metres." Other waves followed but is guessed that tat first big one created this mayhem.
Failure of a portion of the breakwater allowed water to flood over this grassland taking out a road to the left of that yellow house and damaging a home to the right of it. Power and communications were cut. The foundation under one gift shop was undermined by flowing water. The long, or government, wharf was lifted and twisted in the surf.
In the Sou' Westers parking lot boulders weighing between 300 and 500 pounds were moved by the waters. People on the north side of the wave scrambled trying to retrieve items caught in the flow, but its width and pulsations would not permit this. Arrows show directions taken by the bores of water. 1. Area hit by the first waves. 2. Breakwater damaged by the impact. 3. Location of that damaged garage. 4. Gift shop which had foundation weathered and eroded. 5. wharf. 6. Peggy's Point Lighthouse. 7. Parking lot where boulders were moved.
Hurricane Noel, November 6 and 7, 2007. "Full hurricane-force conditions occurred over much of southeastern and eastern areas of Nova Scotia from Yarmouth north and eastward to the metropolitan Halifax area(84 mph recorded at McNabs/Halifax). Because it was slow moving this storm created a lot of damage along the southern coast.
Storm chaser George Kourounis followed the storm all the way up the Nova Scotia coast and afterwards recorded the damage. He noted seeing a massive 120 foot wave break at Peggys, a first in his experience.
Hurricane Bill: "Shortly before 6 p.m., three young men were swept off the rocks at the famed Peggy's Cove lighthouse. As horrified onlookers watched, one of the men went under the churning sea but was pulled out by his buddies and the three were able to scramble to safety. Constable Joe Taplin said officers spent the day chasing people off the rocks at the popular tourist spot, as well as swimmers and surfers from beaches along the coast. It's been a running battle all day."
But September 23, 2010 was also memorable because of Hurricane Earl which was supposed to have bypassed Nova Scotia, Instead, it suddenly veered east and hit the Nova Scotia coast at about 10:30 a.m. as a low-end Category 1 hurricane. Hoping to control curious surf-watchers, police shut down access to the famous rocks at Peggy’s Cove, and closed a few sections of coastal highway where monster waves were actually washing over the roadway. Surfers managed to get in the water in other on beaches elsewhere. Jason Murray, an extreme sports photographer from San Clemente, Calif., flew into Nova Scotia with his surfing mates and guessed that the waves looked to be the biggest ever seen on the Atlantic coast.
Professional photographers with image stabilization and long lenses got some remarkable images. Generalizing, one news outlet declared this storm a "fizzle" but the breakwater at Peggys was damaged yet again following that encounter with Juan. To chase this storm George Kourounis teamed up with Mark Robinson and Brian Owsiak, working for The Weather Network. They were only able to get past an RCMP barrier because they had media credentials.
When they arrived at the rocks the seas were still sizzling rather than fizzling.
Impressive as they were these waves did less damage than other storms possibly because residents were better prepared.
Amateur observers came to the rocks again on July 5, 2014 in anticipation of Hurricane Arthur. Once again on assignment with The Weather Network Mark Robinson photographed huge waves crashing against the rocks near the iconic lighthouse. While this storm did as much damage as Juan along other parts of the coast it merely inconvenienced the storm chasers depositing a thick crust of salt on their vehicle after 10 hours on site. This is of course not a complete list of tropical storms and hurricanes which have slowed the tourist trade in southern Nova Scotia. Since 1950, 25 major storms have made landfall in Nova Scotia all between July and November.
Speaking of stupid people, the most at risk are those that come here alone in mid-winter when the granite is ice encrusted.
Stupidity has its rewards. There numerous signs warning visitors to stay above the black zone. The seaweed is slimy and slippery and the microscopic algae are apt to send walkers on a roller coaster ride into the water, and there is undertow...
There were two deaths by drowning in 1016.
This and following photos by Rod. Again, it is October 18, 2017.
Come here, point any camera and you will likely get something worth seeing at home.
This time around, the "hags" were on the hill.
Down the hill from their place. Here we have an unaccompanied visitor sitting to close to the surf, which was a bit more frantic than this long distance photo suggests.
Sound and video would be necessary to give a notion that there was a very stiff breeze.
It was not really dusk. This was an effect of back lighting. When we first arrived it appeared that very few people were crawling the rocks and romancing the stone.
On this day, the wind was sufficient to tip a barbecue.
The wonders of life on earth include this quoted advantage when touring. The parking lot was not full.
As hoped, we had beat the crowd to the restaurant. There was only one large bus and a public van parked in the many spaces reserved for them.
We were seated and had ordered lunch when this bus arrived. It parked across the view of the water but...
Allowed a virtual tour of all surrounding tourist attractions by means of paintings on the side of the bus. Since none of the places are identified we are not sure how this serves visitors from away and locals know these scenes by heart.
That myth of "Scottish" Nova Scotia persists. The tour guide is kilted.
By eating a meal that tastes great but is not entirely good for the cardiovascular system. Baked beans and fish cakes, warmed homemade buns, and a haddock burger plus a large Greek salad and beer. All at a very reasonable price. Winter lobster has the firmest flesh and is not in season. That available from other shores is expensive.
By the time an hour had passed, the restaurant was almost entirely occupied and there were more buses in their enclave. In spite of sign age smaller vehicles try to park as close to the restaurant as possible, which really is stupid since it puts pedestrians at risk. Note arrows on roadway, which smaller vehicles often ignore.
We have noticed dazing and glazing amongst tourists at Mahone Bay where jaywalking is endemic in spite of a few marked crosswalks. Not enough, we will admit!
We are glad to quite the hubbub, but it was a good time while it lasted.
At the right leaving the parking lot, Amos Pewter which has its production base on Main Street, Mahone Bay.
That mystery voice continues to drone on about tourists, who for the most part do not respond to the spoken word or a friendly wave. When they do talk the intonation pattern is odd and the words rapid. It may be that locals don't know how to talk to folks from away?
We have been living here for more than a decade and still have to sometimes consult maps as road signs are sometimes non existent or enigmatic, or misplaced.
American money looks as funny as a defunct Canadian two-dollar bill. Fact is, haven't seen one in years. Time? We are an hour off time in New England!
The action is all on the rocks unless you want ice cream or pastries! In Peggys the only road leads to food. You can't miss it!
Again, Beals Baliwick in Leprachaun green.
Of course to do this you should invest in local real estate. There are no RV parks in Peggys.
Ruth and I are getting impatient with tourists who try to run us down; and jaywalkers who shoe attitude.
Shapeless events is what we Nova Scotians do best.
Bet you though some fat-assed, ignorant local was saying those nasty things?
You can walk a fair distance following unused railway beds, which are groomed for walkers but beware of mountain bikes and in some cases motorized ATVs and snowmobiles. We can't really recommend roadside walking. This is Bubba Magoos Sweet Shop & Emporium, the last retail outlet before leaving the community.
Campers and recreational vehicles can find havens to the northwest.
In this direction trees become slightly more robust.
Looks like the same dog we saw in April. Thank god those showers are over.
Not a good idea when driving!
The shadows seem too long for this time of day.
This is the head of St. Margarets Bay.
And this Highway #103, the main road home.
In retrospect, how could anyone spend three days at Peggys Cove especially in summer when it is more crowded than at present. Tourists who have deep pockets and love "soft-shelled" lobster can frequent the Sou' Wester.
In an earlier world, t I dived down to 30 feet to collect biological specimens, and can tell you that the bottom here is not the end-all as a picturesque site. Better stick to photographing lobster it you do scuba.
Eighteen lucky individuals can be accommodated on the tour boat tat explores local waters.
And offers a lobster lunch when the sea is calm.
This is a lobster pound which is located away from the Point at Indian Harbour. It used to offer food direct from the tanks, not a huge difference from the situation at the Sou' Wester. Been doing this for years although not a restaurant.
That does not make for a level playing field?
Paint On Site events started years ago in Lunenburg and Annapolis Royal, but is less than a decade old and an acquired taste as an outdoor activity. Of course it is restricted to activity during a three day period and is a bit of a ho-hum for passers-by.
Few people are uncertain of their artistic talent, but if you are this hand craft project may be you means of escape from reality.
Polly's Hiking Trail is short, but a good idea. However, it begins and ends in an area outside the community in the direction of Dover. This pretend village is a restful place in the off season (which gets shorter every year) but it present a facade. That said, it is worth a day trip and some of your dough.
In the dark days of December the contracted driving time will probably keep us closer these iconic churches. With all that road construction we were happy to ignore most of this year's Scarecrow Festival. However the Mahone Bay Father Christmas Festival is now only a few weeks distant, November 24th, 2017 to December 3rd, 2017.
That does mark a wrap for Peggy Coves for this year? But then... For PEGGYS COVE PART 1 click "Last."