Prince Edward Island (PEI)

2016-07-12 MHT to PEI (Prince Edward Island)

Wow. Nice job Canada, that Prince Edward Island is a real gem. But first there's the bit about getting here.

The bridge going onto PEI is immense. You climb to nearly 100 feet and stay up there for several miles, climbing even further for a brief period on the ship crossing arch. It's impressive to be driving that high over the ocean for that long and it makes you wonder why so high? I get the ship crossing part but why the rest of it? It's not sea level rise -- that bridge will be long replaced before rising water will be a factor. Even the Wikipedia entry doesn't answer the height question.

It was a cool ride, though, if not a bit spooky.


We went into BellAliant to get a sim card for Tim's phone so we would have at least one way to communicate. We talked with the rep about everything from American politics (even he called it "American") to healthcare and Canada's more socialized system. I'm fascinated by how people who live here view it. At some point another customer came and and started talking. He was from a nearby marina and had a sailboat so I started asking questions. Tim & I are in the early stages of discussing a different kind of adventure, probably years away, probably only a 1 in 3 chance of happening, but one that involves a boat -- a 45 to 50 foot power boat or maybe a sailboat. The idea that we're considering is to sell the Enterprise, spend a couple years mostly aboard the boat, and experience America from just outside it's shoreline. It's nothing more than an idea at this point, we don't even know if we'd like it yet, so we plan on making some excursions afloat. 


We were just getting a sim card when we met Rob.


It just so happened that the customer we met in Bell Aliant was willing to take us sailing. We put his bike in the Enterprise, went for lunch then headed for harbor.

Yes, I know Mom, don't pick up strangers, but dang do we enhance our adventures this way!


He and some others were asking many questions about the paramotors so, instead of showing pictures, we offered a demo and they gladly accepted. It brief pair of flights ensued where I climbed to a few hundred feet, shut off the motor and glided quietly down the launch area. I did it twice so they didn't think it was luck. That helps allay the fear that it's necessarily difficult. I've found that demos are best done with the fewest steps on launch but at partial power. If it's quiet and easy looking then it's more appealing.


The weather was good, winds were about 10 knots so it was perfect for our first outing in this sized sailboat. We still look forward to going with Joe Onofrio. That's Al behind me, a friend of Rob's and experienced sailor who joined us.


On the way out of harbor.


Rob was very gracious and had us steering the boat from just out of harbor. Here it's Tim's turn. Tim & I wore self-inflating life jackets. Possibly because of our knowledge of paramotor pilot drownings we were sensitive to the possibility.


Jeff, Tim, Al, Rob in front of Rob's boat.


Tim helping with a line. We learned that lines are ropes, sheets are ropes that control sails. Never knew that.



The Island Day 1

In the U.S. both Tim and I have unlimited high speed internet our our phones and therefore computer. We take it for granted that we can Google any question and get a Wikipedia sized answer, or send emails, or post to Footflyer or Facebook, etc. Here we don't have that. What we do have is 2 Gb of data on Tim's phone so it's interesting to see how far we've taken this technology for granted.

It's obviously just as easy to enjoy life, we readily revert to making the best lemonade we can on the ingredients we have.


We entered Prince Edward Island over an ENORMOUS bridge that was far too long (8 miles), and far too fancy to serve an island with a few hundred thousand people.



It was weird driving for this long, and this high over the Atlantic Ocean. The bridge deck goes up high and stays there. Why I don't know. The even higher middle section makes sense for tall ships but why the rest of it?


We wound up at this Irish Pub in Charlottetown. It was foot stomping fun with with great instrumentals and in spite of really marginal vocals.


The Island Day 2

Real Robicaud gave us a place to go where they are friendly to paramotor and so we did. Not only that but it was also a really nice campground, possibly the nicest we've ever been to.

Before getting THERE, though, we explored the Island a bit.


After setting up camp (Enterprise is in the background) I did some kiting to see how turbulent the wind was. We knew it would be bumpy because air was getting churned up by upwind campers and thermal action but, as you can see, it was smooth enough to kite without moving around.


Now it's time to explore. Tim inflating.


Flying around the tip of a peninsula.


Tim returns.


Other Island Fun

We enjoyed other aspects of what makes the island so popular with tourists. It's just so damned gorgeous for one thing, with rolling hills of crops and grasses, beautiful wave-sculpted sandstone coastline and walkable beaches. There's this Anne of Green Gables phenomenon, too, that we learned about. It's a famous series of books whose subject was inspired this place and specifically a house here. That's a big tourist draw on its own.


After flying we treated ourselves to this 6 day old transplant, formerly in a house. 45 Broadway. Delicious but expensive. They gave us the wifi password which we found out later they weren't supposed to do. So I won't blather on about the 60 Mbps internet, too.


Before flying, just driving around provided a nearly continuous movie of beautiful scenery. Oh do they like to mow. So many launch sites calling for paramotor pilots.


The camp itself was impeccably maintained. We don't visit RV parks often, maybe only one in 5 days, but it's sure nice when they're like this.


A crop I could do without. At least they warn you!


We loved the miles-long, smooth skating bike path that was completely unexpected. Those sandstone formations were cool. Bummer we couldn't fly them. Canada has a minimum distance-from-anything rule except for takeoff and landing.

Thanks to Real Robichaud for helping us find a place to fly where we would be welcome.

This Irish Pub had the most graphic, artistic bathroom signs we've ever seen.

© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!