After our first couple of days finding our way around Halifax and the locals breaks, we were on a high. A handful of brilliant sessions had buoyed our spirits and hopes. By the third day, however, the swell was dying, fast! We awoke on the fourth day in a car park, feeling the RV rocking in the onshore wind. We spent the morning scoping out spots that may produce a ridable wave but it was a lost cause, we needed a plan.
Whilst enjoying a square burger and a root beer float we tapped into the Wendy’s wifi and saw that we had two options for more swell, a days drive up to Cape Breton Island or a days drive and a ferry over to Newfoundland. The latter of which would definitely produce swell but was subject to brutal winds, wild unknowns and was very much in conflict with our RV insurance policy. It was an option, but in the meantime we would head to Cape Breton.
With no new swell appearing for at least a couple of days we decided to take the scenic route with a vital stop off at Canadian Tyre to pick up some $10 fishing rods, hooks, floats and cheap rubber lures that I’m sure resemble nothing that you would actually find in the water. Marine Drive runs from Halifax all the way along the southern coast, skirting between lakes, through forests and small fishing villages. The sun was out and the views made the drive a joy. We made sure to stop off at every active body of water we saw to caste our lines. From scenic glassy lakes in the sun to fast flowing rivers that we braved in the last light whilst being mauled by mosquitos. No fish. No problem, it was our first day and at least we were distracting ourselves.
This road however, goes on and on, winding and turning and Tom and Jay had been driving for hours. We found a small village where the hotel was still open and serving food. Jason miscalculated the recommended 20% tip and with a confident “this is for you”, handed our waitress a 3% tip, to her obvious disgust. Time to roll out again. At about 2 a.m. we crossed the bridge into Cape Breton and found what we thought was a lovely quiet spot to lay down. Most things are quiet at 2 a.m. in the dark, it transpired that we had parked on the side of a main road when commuter traffic roared passed us in the early hours. But we were here, and Cape Breton was to hold some amazing adventures for us. The next step was to find our way and with a loose plan to find a guide we set off again…
By Mat Malcolm additional photos from Tom Fewings