(C)  2002-2014 J. Watson       All rights reserved  
Travel Letters
RV Travel notes from
the traveling gran'ma and gran'pa
Vol 18  No 2                                                                                                                                                                August/September 2008
Dear Gals … Your guys…
Our grandkids… our sisters


It’s a rainy day, which we understand the farmers
need.  The potato fields are beginning to have
flowers, a warning that the growing season is
nearing an end.  It’s a quick summer.  Major
activities include Ida making bread and both of us
enjoying it with clams we dig from the bay; walks
along the beach; occasional jaunts to town and
about; the usual reading – sounds exciting, doesn’t
it?  Even for us geriatrics it’s low key.  This is our
tenth summer at PEI since 1991, so you can
appreciate that not much is new.  

You can tell when editors run out of copy -- they
use a lot of big pictures.  It's rationalized as ..."a
picture is worth a thousand words”, but then it takes
a caption to explain them.  That way they still have
a job.  I’m doing the same thing even though there
is no job to protect.  The island has so many grand
scenes that I’d do it anyway.  

                                        photo from our campsite

There is a mussel farm about a mile out from our
site that is harvested year round.  It must be a
tough job in the dead of winter when winds whip
along the icy water and the days are short.  

St. Mary's Bay
Bulkhead on Panmure Island Provincial Park
Coming to the final stretch at Charlottetown racetrack
Inflatable at parade for Old Home Week, Charlottetown, PEI
Dance leaders at Pow-wow
Hoop dance at pow-wow

As you may remember, North Lake is called “the
tuna capital of the world” – the world’s record, nearly
fourteen hundred pounds was brought in here back
in the ‘60s.  The other day we saw a medium size
one being towed in, top photo, 637 pounds.  The
limit is one tuna a day, so as soon as one is caught
the boat returns to port.  It is carefully handled as a

fresher than the Japanese will have.)  After being
cleaned it is sold.  This year the catch is low and the
prices have sunk.  As a result, yesterday they
suspended tuna fishing until October when they
hope the prices will pick up.  Possibly it will be closed
for the year.

We spent a couple of days at the Old Home Week
festivities in Charlottetown, and as usual it was fun.   
Thursday was at the fair with the agricultural exhibits,
Women’s Institute displays, and races.  We
especially enjoy the Women’s Institute handwork –
this year the embroideries were extraordinary, truly
works of art. Then, Friday morning it was the big

Then back to Panmure for the Abegweit Pow Wow.  
The below picture shows the lead dancers who are
joined by the members of the several tribes who
participated.   The dances were done with the help
of the drummers’ constant rhythmic booming.   We
had dinner with the dance leaders – an interesting
couple.  He was raised in Quebec, left to be an iron

worker, and is now living on the coast near Boston,
earned his engineering degree and has a
construction business.  His wife, from Prince Edward
Island, is on the faculty of an engineering college in
the Boston area.  Each says that their success is
based on the foresight of their parents who left their
home area to escape discrimination.  

This dancer is doing a hoop dance.  As you can see
she has 16 hoops, quite an accomplishment.   The
powwow ends with a lobster feast; attendees are all
invited as guests of the Indians.  And gals, as elders
we were seated at tables and had waiter service –
youngsters (non-elders) had to fend for
Harvesting mussels in St. Mary's Bay, off Panmure Island
Tuna being brought ashore
Tuna being hauled to port
bruise reduces its value
for export to the
Japanese market for
sushi.  As soon as it
was hoisted off the boat
it was weighed and the
temperature was taken,
the head was taken by
scientists who
determine the DNA to
study migration
patterns.   (That
evening we enjoyed a
tasty dinner of tuna --


As you know, we enjoy touring around the island –
never quite sure what changes have taken place
since we last visited some of our favorite sponts two
years ago.  Fortunately, not many intrusive
changes have taken place, except in Charlottetown.

North Rustico Harbour - doin' a bit of fishing
EDITORIAL.  Development of the Charlottetown
waterfront has deeply scarred this pleasant
village.  New condos block the public’s view of the
harbor.  Happens at so many places – views for
sale!  The tradeoff is sometimes a narrow walkway
or boardwalk along the waterfront from which you
can better see the condos.  In my opinion there
should be wide setbacks of the waterfront
property for parkland.  In California, Huntington
Beach’s beach-front is an example of foresight
with park-front properties in heavy demand.
French River, PEI

Last weekend we took in the Plowing Match and
Agricultural Fair, in Dundas.  We always enjoy its real
country atmosphere.  An example:  They wash their
cattle in a field – at the Charlottetown fair they were
washed in a parking lot at the fairgrounds.  

And with a plowing match there are numerous
contests ranging from the selection of a new “Miss
Furrows” to matching abilities to plow a straight
furrow, demonstrations of plowing with horses, oxen,
and antique plows as well as more modern
equipment.  Entrants come from Prince Edward
Island and also from Nova Scotia.  

Horse shows are an important part of the Dundas
fair.  It’s an opportunity to demonstrate
horsemanship as well as a place to show off their
horses.  Neighbors and friends cheer as the ribbons
are awarded.  Entrants range from the under ten set
to seniors working with their family.   

The Old Home Week parade in Charlottetown took
about 90 minutes to pass by.  In contrast, the
Dundas parade took 12 minutes!  And the folks
viewing the Dundas parade are pleased to see the
balloons decorating a car in lieu of the several large
inflatables in Charlottetown.  

And, as any proper agricultural fair, this too has 4-H
exhibits as well as craft displays coupled with ribbons
for fresh and canned produce and baked goods.  
The latter are always placed behind glass for
obvious reasons.  A ceilidh rounds out the day.

The days were marvelous – clear and in the mid
seventies.  These were sandwiched between rainy
days.  The barley crop is in jeopardy because of the
seemingly continuous rain.  And today there was a
report that the wheat crop is facing disease
attributed to wet weather.  Certainly vacationers are
disappointed.  We’ve seen some leave the
campground.  It’s tough camping in a tent with kids
when it is rainy at night.  Gals, remember the rain at
Savoy Mountain in the ‘70s? and Pugwash?

This province’s tourist industry has been hard hit with
a drop of 13% from July last year, which was lower
than the prior year.  US tourists – down 26%!  This
appears to be one more blow to the provincial

It was reported that during August PEI had about 14
inches of rainfall – we’ve been in rain forests with
less rain!  

Labour Day’s upon us so we’re beginning to plan the
return to the States.  

So keep in touch, y'all
Checking to see that the furrows are straight
Plowing the old fashioned way
Plowing the old fashioned way
Parade at Dundas Plowing Match