(C)  2002-2014  J. Watson       All rights reserved  
Travel Letters
RV Travel notes from
         the traveling gran'ma and gran'pa
Vol 16    No 2                                                                                                                                                                                August, 2006
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Index of travel letters
Dear Gals … Your guys …
Our grandchildren… and sisters

CANADA; 8/15/06

It’s been a quiet summer, as usual, at Prince Edward
Island.  The weather has been fine – certainly more
moderate than home, which we understand has
been a bit warm.  For excitement we go into town
and do our weekly shopping!  That shows how laid
back it is.  To keep up on my walking routine I often
walk the two miles to the lighthouse on the far side
of the bay from our site – it’s pleasant.  And, of
course we walk the ocean beach as well as the
bayside where we can sometimes gather clams for
chowder.  What a hectic lifestyle.  
We’ve been enjoying taking drives around the
eastern end of the island.  A few days ago we went
to North Lake.  It, along with Naufrage Harbor, is
considered the tuna center of the province.  It’s
been a very good season with catches topping last
year by a wide margin.  The tuna average about
600-700 pounds, ranging from 350 to over 1,000
pounds.  We saw heads of some of the monsters
that were staring up from tubs -- a head fills a tub
that is over two feet in diameter.  Looks like "Jaws"
peering up.  The tuna are caught by line and after a
fight they're immediately taken to shore, cut up, and
shipped to Japan where they are sold for up to $100
a pound.  The fisherman gets $3 to $20 a pound.  
They're on the dining table in Japan within 24 hours
of the time they're taken from the water.  The
Japanese obviously put a high price on premium
tuna used for sushi.  The tuna’s tail may be nailed to
the shanty door by the boat captain as a trophy.  
Some shanties have a dozen or so tails.  We
enjoyed some tuna that reached our table within six

As usual one of the pleasures of our travels is
meeting people from all walks of life.  For instance in
the past couple of weeks we have met two fire chiefs
from Ottawa, people from Nova Scotia, and various
other places in Canada and the States.  One young
man from Switzerland was camping with his dog.  His
itinerary was flexible but his target was clear –
Vancouver in a month and the southern most part of
South America in a year!  Gasoline tanks were
strapped to the side of his four-wheel drive, a spare
wheel on top, and he was all set to go.  What guts.  

It’s fair time – and you know that we have a
weakness for the PEI fairs – though at home we don’t
Also, gals, this year we again visited your seventh
cousin three times removed according to Family
Tree Maker, which means he is my grandfather’s
seventh cousin.  We always enjoy seeing he and his
wife – they’re nice people.  He described growing up
on the island.  Because the island is remote they had
not paved the roads until after WW2, except for the
city.  On snowy days his father would take him to
school (it was a one room school, grades 1-10) on a
horse drawn sleigh over their frozen fields.  It was
very much the same as my father described in the
period thirty years earlier in his home town in New
York state.  

Yesterday we went to the powwow that is held every
year on the property adjacent to the Panmure Park.  
It draws participants from all the Maritime Provinces.  
There are almost continuous dances with drums
setting the beat.  As it is an attempt to both continue
and to teach the heritage and traditions you see
dancers who are quite proficient as well as the older
teaching the younger the intricacies of the dance.  
We’ve settled into a bit of a
routine – stay in
Charlottetown for a couple
of days; see the shows at
Province House; go to the
fair grounds to see the
horse shows, crafts, live
stock, and races; and then
wind it up with the big
As usual the parade was
first rate with participants
from PEI as well as Nova
Scotia and New
Brunswick.   Some balloons
towered over the
buildings.  them under the
low hanging utility wires.  
generally get enthused.  
This past week has been
Old Home Week with the
exhibits, parade and
festivities.  It’s all a lot of
fun.  The races always get
our attention – and we’ve
learned that we can’t
forecast the winners – not
even the show or place!  
But watching them is

You’ve seen car-washes – on PEI we saw this cattle-
wash (above) in preparation to the 4-H judging of the
cattle.  It’s an important part of the Dundas Plowing
Contest; that is the educational aspect of this country
fair.  It’s a far cry from the citified Old Home Week in
Charlottetown.  No Ferris wheel.  No roller coaster.  
No crowds.  It’s just a lot of fun cheering on the
contestants – adults and children.  
Plowing, of course, is the feature and continues all
day, each of the three days.  Gangplows, antique
plows, horse powered, oxen powered – and more.  
Each with the same challenges – keep the furrows
straight, turn over the grass, start and end at the
line.  Contestants stop, pull out a measuring tape and
check whether they are keeping their distance.  

As you see this you realize the advances that have
taken place – just in our lifetime.  As a boy I would
sometimes see the one-horse power plowing – just
can’t imagine what farming will be like in the future.  
Here on PEI, like most places, the farms are
consolidating, people move toward town, and farms
are being run more scientifically.  To strengthen the
professionalism of farming on PEI the University has a
large agricultural program and a strong veterinarian
school.  One of the 4-H projects at the fair was on the
application of computers to the farm.  
It’s dynamic,
yet many young people leave the province for
greener pastures – meaning getting off the pastures
at home.  

There’s a chill in the air that says—
it’s back-to-school time  
The boy to the right,
riding a miniature
horse, will undoubtedly
be a successful
politician in not too
many years.  He’s
ready to toss his hat
into the ring.  He
earned a ribbon for
most crowd response!