Day 18 – Eastport to Campobello Island

Day 18 – Eastport to Campobello Island

Campobello Island Chart, New Brunswick
Click to view the full chart

Shortly after we rose we headed into the shipyard to pay for the second night on their morning, $16.15. Winds were light in Deep Cove but soon strengthened and made for a quick sail across to Campobello Island. The skies were blue, the bay smooth, and the sailing excellent. We headed to the breakwater in Welshpool, hoping to tie up on the dock. The harbor pilot, whom we chatted with while helping him tie up in Deep Cove the day before, had told us no one would bother us if we tied up there.

We rounded the breakwater to find a 70 foot motor yacht from North Carolina blocking most of the dock. We grab the nearest morning and Andrew rowed in to call Canadian Customs and scope out any available space. Before he made the call, I saw him speaking to what looked like a missionary, black pants, shoes, and tie, white shirt. After a few minutes he rowed back and said the missionary was in fact some guy in charge of the dock. He offered no Book of Mormon and instead wanted $10 for us to tie up The Dingy. But, he made it sound like we could use the mooring we were on as the owner wasn’t around.

Andrew called customs from Isla, gave them his and my names and passport numbers, the boat registration, Caly’s rabies vaccination information, and a report on our whiskey and warm PBR stores (both low). The customs agent was friendly and opted not to come inspect the boat; a smooth border crossing, as per usual in this direction.

We rowed ashore to the nearby rocky beach and scrambled up the steep woods to the road, $10 richer. From there we walked down the road to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s cottage, now a museum. Judging by the memorials dotting the area FDR was a local hero to the small Canadian island. We stopped in the neighbor’s cottage first.

Neighboring Cottage, Campobello Island
Not a bad window

The Roosevelt Cottage, which is a funny thing to call a house with 18 bedrooms, is remarkably well preserved from the last time FDR visited in the 1930s, his pipe and hat are still on the table. The property has a beautiful yard reaching down to the ocean before. I’m surprised none of the Roosevelts wanted to continue using it after FDR’s death.

Roosevelt Cottage, Campobello Island

From the cottage we walked to Friar’s Head, enjoying the abundant wild blueberries on the way. The head had an excellent view of the bay, Eastport, and Lubec.

Friar's Head, Campobello Island
Great day for a sail

Down on the water we watched three well used barges spray food into aquacultures full of salmon. As the barge’s spray reached each circular net the fish began jumping out of the water, energized by the arrival of food. Something about the scene made salmon seem less than the healthy food it’s praised as.

Fish Farm, Campobello Island

We walked the long walk back to Isla stopping for Wi-Fi at the closed West Welshpool Library and read at their picnic table as the sun approach the horizon. Back on Isla, I called my parents. While we had been staying in Lubec and Eastport the cell service was primarily from Canadian towers. Earlier I had convinced an AT&T rep to add Canadian services to my line for free, and as a result I had usable cell service for the first time in a while.

Andrew started fishing while I assured my parents I was alive and well; he quickly had four mackerel on the line. We kept the largest two and he kept fishing for more. A few minutes later he pulled up three, one of which was huge in comparison, maybe 3 pounds.

Biggest Mackerel, Campobello Island
Look at that smile

I got off the phone with my parents and started cooking dinner. The big mackerel wouldn’t quite fit in the pan and we had to cut it into pieces. We ate the fish with beans, happy to have a fresh catch.

After dinner I retrieved the mackerel head I had put out on a line and felt something on the line as I reeled. It didn’t react like an especially large or lively fish, but I was eager to see what was on the line. Up came a sea robin, which was massively disappointing, though in hindsight, not surprising. Known as trash fish, sea robins are horribly ugly and have poisonous spines that render hook removal from a live one very difficult. Fortunately, as I was cussing out the creature for wasting my bait, he slid off the circle hook only to disappear to whatever watery hell hole he calls home. The nightly mosquitoes were especially bad, and we killed a dozen screen-skirters in the cabin before bed.

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