White Shark at Basin Head

Last year, off the coast of Nova Scotia, a great white shark was caught, weighed, measured, tagged with a tracker, given a name (Vimy), and released again. Now, you can follow this shark around online, have a look for yourself, it really gets around! Yesterday it was tracked to Basin Head on Prince Edward Island, a beach I go to all the time:

Great White Shark Vimy at Basin Head, PEI

To give you an idea what this beach looks like on a busy day, here’s a picture from last year’s summer:

Basin Head PEI – August 2019

When I look at this picture and the Ocearch tracking map I can’t help but think Vimy is swimming quite close to shore, especially when taking into account that Marije and I often go swimming near here at a similar distance from the beach. We often see seals swimming nearby too, and no doubt that’s what this white shark is looking for.

Next time we’re at the beach, we’ll be looking out for more than just jellyfish, is what I’m getting at. ūüôā

Snowy forest at Basin Head

Prince Edward Island is still a winter wonderland, in case you were wondering:

Snowy forest – Prince Edward Island

This serene scene is from this morning, after yesterday’s ~20cm snowfall.

Sunny winter beach

Hugely popular in summer, Basin Head is very quiet in winter:

Winter at Basin Head beach – Prince Edward Island

On a sunny day like today it’s still very scenic though! ūüôā

Hot day at the beach

Today was the hottest day of the year, with a humidex approaching a sweltering 40 degrees. Thankfully there was a breeze at the beach, which made everything a little more pleasant. Here’s an aerial shot of all the people trying to cool down in the waves:

Summer day at Basin Head

You can see storm clouds building in the background, let’s hope they break and bring some cool relief tonight! ūüôā

An update from the road

Tomorrow is our last day on Prince Edward Island and I’m glad to say the sun will be shining all the way to the ferry terminal in Nova Scotia, our last stop before sailing to Newfoundland. In our week on PEI we’ve had sun and rain and everything in between, with temperatures ranging from 2 to 20 degrees Celsius, pretty decent for mid-May…

Today was quite cold and drizzly though, so we returned to the cabin early to do our laundry and browse through the pictures I’ve taken so far.

Have a look:

These are the rock formations at Thunder Cove, the last time I was there there was a tunnel leading out to the ‘teacup rock’ you can see in the background, but when I was there this week it had collapsed, probably due to the rain we had last week. That’s erosion at work, always shaping our coastline!

The next photo shows mom at the West Point lighthouse:

Those big rubber boots we got are really coming in handy! They’re useful on the cliffs and on the beach:

These last two shots also show the difference in weather we’ve had on PEI this week. ūüôā

Late April and it’s warming up!

This morning Marije and I stepped outside, immediately embraced by warm balmy air. Must have been about 10‚ĄÉ and it’s only getting warmer for the rest of the day. This weekend the forecast even says we’ll get up to 15‚ĄÉ, let’s hope that finally melts all the remaining¬†snow!

In the mean time, here are some photos from this past week:

Basin Head (last picture) almost looks tropical, but I assure the water is still freezing…

Colour returns to PEI

A clear day in mid-April reveals that most snow on PEI has now melted, with the only remaining snow hiding in shaded forests:

That picture was taken by NASA obviously, my own pictures from this week are below:

As you can see, most of the sea ice is gone too, and colour has returned to the coast. ūüôā

Snowbanks on Basin Head beach

Last Monday I went for a walk at Basin Head beach, which was covered in strange snowbanks that were crumbling at the¬†surf’s¬†edge. In most¬†places this wall of snow was no more then knee high, while in other places it rose well above my head. A curious scene I must say, but very scenic too:2017-02-27__09-49-15

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In one place I was able to crawl underneath a piece of snow to photograph the icicles dripping down:


About halfway up the beach, I saw¬†this small shipwreck in the surf, it was about 10 metres long and I hadn’t seen it before. By the looks of it it wasn’t much more than wood and a rusty engine:


Next time I’m at this beach I’ll be sure to look if it’s still there!

Finding new places to hike

This week I’ve been out and about trying to find some places where I can go for a nice long walk along the coast. I used to explore¬†coastal trails all the time while I lived in Newfoundland but I got out of the habit on Vancouver Island, where there were no coastal trails anywhere near our home.

After a few weeks on PEI I’m already starting to discover some nice coastal trails though, some just run along the beach, while others run atop¬†the crumbling red cliffs themselves.

Here are some photos from the last few days:

Morning waves - Basin Head Beach

Morning waves – Basin Head Beach

Basin Head Beach is one of the more obvious places to go for a long walk near Souris;¬†from the visitor centre to the end of the beach it’s just over 4.5 km, so a return walk on this beach is a very nice¬†way to stretch your legs and get some fresh sea air while you’re at it.

I walked the length of this beach Monday morning, and was continuously treated to a show of northern gannets flying alongside me, some of them even plunge-diving down for a fish from time to time:


On Tuesday morning I stopped by the beach at Red Point, where there was a beautiful light show unfolding on the horizon:2016-10-25__08-37-36


When the sun briefly pierced the clouds the beach lit up with all kinds of soft reds:


After the beach I explored some new back roads in the interior of the island, these roads were littered with leaves that had¬†been ripped¬†from the trees by this weekend’s high winds. At the moment¬†it seems like we’ve got a fall storm coming through every week or so, we’re loving it!

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This particular forest lane continued all the way out to the coast, where I was pleasantly surprised to find an unnamed trail that ran just above the cliffs:

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Home Alone on PEI

I was supposed to be in Newfoundland this week! Marije is there right now for a conference and when we initially learned about her trip we planned to go together.

Then came the big move from BC to PEI, things got turned upside down and now I’m Home Alone in PEI.

Well, I’m in a hotel room¬†alone¬†so it’s more like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

cheese pizza in a limousine - Home Alone 2

cheese pizza in a limousine – Home Alone 2

Kevin’s limousine is about as big as my hotel room so that’s a good comparison, cheese pizza included. Of course, instead of¬†skyscrapers and theatres I have¬†cliffs and beaches, and¬†I explored them even further¬†this week, with some expected and unexpected findings…

The first thing I did after dropping off Marije at the airport was visit Thunder Cove. There are some rock formations there that are very ephemeral, crumbling away with every passing year. Here’s a well known view of ‘teacup rock’ as seen through the¬†archway:


teacup rock and the archway – Thunder Cove, Darnley

This next shot shows just how unstable the archway is:

crumbling archway - Thunder Cove, Darnley

crumbling archway – Thunder Cove, Darnley

I also visited Panmure Island, its lighthouse, and the beach there:

Lighthouse on Panmure Island

Lighthouse on Panmure Island

Inside the lighthouse:

a view of Panmure beach

a view of Panmure beach

On the way home I saw an Amish farmer working his field. From what I understand the Amish people moved to this island only a few months before we did, and they’re very friendly:

Amish farmer - Dundas

Amish farmer – Dundas

Closer to home I explored the beach at the very end of Basin Head Provincial Park:

strange trail - Basin Head beach

strange trail – Basin Head beach

sandpiper - Basin Head beach

sandpiper – Basin Head beach

After seeing all the usual critters I ran into this smelly thing, a whale carcass:

whale carcass - Basin Head beach

whale carcass – Basin Head beach

Pretty gross, but also pretty fascinating. This whale was about 8 metres (26 ft) long, and it looked to me like a minke whale. Poor thing. Apparently¬†that big yellow house is a rental cottage, and this whale was an unexpected ‘bonus’ for its¬†current inhabitants. At least¬†the wind was blowing the other way!

Because I don’t want to finish my story on such a smelly note, here’s a pretty picture¬†taken 20¬†minutes later, of the sun setting on the beach:

Sunset - Basin Head beach

Sunset – Basin Head beach