Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Days 32 to 37

Sand Spit - New London Bay, Prince Edward Island

Sand Spit - New London Bay, Prince Edward Island

Day 32 on my motorcycle road trip, and I’m not spending much time on my motorcycle. In fact, I’m spending more time in a boat. Oh well, it was just as much fun. Today we once again took our Zodiac dinghy out for ride in the bay. This time we headed toward the ocean and ran up onto shore at the sand spit separating New London Bay from the ocean.

The sand spit is usually quite deserted, especially on a work day. It’s a couple mile walk along the beach from Cavendish, so you don’t get many tourists making their way here. The easiest way there is by boat, so most people camped out on the beach are locals who own a boat. Today, we met up with Jo-Anne’s sister and her family.

The sand spit is a beautiful, somewhat secluded area. We usually camp out on the bay side beach, since it is protected from the ocean waves. However, it is only a short walk, 100 yards or so, to the other side of the sand spit and the ocean. Apart from the beach on each side, the center of the spit is mostly sand dunes covered with Marram grass. The Marram grass has long roots, helping to stabilize the dunes by keeping the wind from blowing away the sand.

 


 

Although our Zodiac dinghy is barely large enough to haul my family of four, Nancy and her husband Derek have a large Doral 310SE boat capable of hauling their family, plus a cooler with drinks and food, and lots of other stuff. They also had a barbecue we set up on the beach to roast hot dogs for lunch. As usual, the temperature on this beautiful sunny day was probably in the low 70’s. Most of us were sitting on the beach wrapped in towels trying to keep warm. And most of us were swatting at horse flies that kept interrupting our reading. Having grow up thousands of miles from an ocean, I still don’t understand this ritual. I guess when you grow up on PEI, any sunny day is considered a beach day, even if you have to wrap up in a towel to stay warm, and entertain yourself by swatting large biting flies.

Later in the afternoon we packed up the boats and headed to Nancy and Derek’s cottage for a lobster feast. This is always a highlight of the trip for my wife and older daughter. After a quick trip to the harbor to pick up fresh lobster and mussels straight of the boat, we are ready for an eating extravaganza. After over 30 years of going to PEI, I still haven’t developed a taste for lobster. I’m part of the hamburger crowd, along with many of the younger kids. One lobster tradition that our kids have participated in since they were little is lobster racing. Lobsters are not the fastest animals in the world. In fact, they hardly move at all. But, our kids have always had fun trying to get them to race. And by the way, no benefit to the winning lobster. He also gets cooked.
Another tradition — putting lobsters to sleep. Every year over the past 30 years, someone still comes up to me asking if I’ve ever seen a lobster put to sleep. It doesn’t matter whether I answer yes or no, they always demonstrate this talent. They stand the lobster up on its tail and rub its shell. Yes, it does appear to go to sleep. At least it stops moving for a while.
Next the feast begins, and as usual my wife and other islanders will eat 3 to 4 lobsters, each. And, in true islander fashion, with lobster juice squiring everywhere, they eat everything except the shell. They even dig the meat out of those tiny hind legs. It seems like too much work for me, but my wife and older daughter love it.
After dinner, once it was dark, we headed over to a neighbor for a bonfire. Another PEI tradition, roasting “Smores” over an open fire. If you haven’t had smores before, they are a popular treat consisting of a roasted marshmallow and a chuck of Hershey chocolate, sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker, and then roasted to perfection over an open fire. This is probably my favorite part of the dinner.
This ended the vacation with my family. Wednesday was spent washing clothes and packing my motorcycle. Thursday afternoon I took my BMW R1200RT motorcycle to the BMW dealer in Moncton, New Brunswick for service on Friday before continuing on my road trip.

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