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
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
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
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
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.
Flying around the tip of a peninsula.
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
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
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.