Tag Archives: prince edward island

A Clam Dig Day

My post today is a bit more specific to a particular tour we went on while in Prince Edward Island. It was suggested to us by friends to check out the Giant Bar Clam Dig with Tranquility Cove Adventures. This was the excursion that we sacrificed a bunk on the ferry to Newfoundland for. Now’s the time to go enjoy!

IMG_8364

We needed to be up at 5:30 to get ready and do the hour and a half drive from the Cavendish campground to Georgetown. We arrived JUST on time. Everyone was there waiting for us. We hopped onto the boat and Perry, our guide for the day, gave a little intro before we headed out.

IMG_4827

First stop was to pull up a few traps. We saw a rock crab pot, lobster trap and a mussel sock. We were given an explanation of how they farm, collect and measure each and then we could hold them and check them out.

Perry’s assistant for the day was Riley and he was super informative and friendly.

IMG_8359
This doesn’t show Riley very well, but here he’s showing us a female lobster covered in eggs.

From there we drove by the oldest wooden lighthouse on the island, but didn’t stop spend or much time there.

IMG_4694

We had a special driver for awhile.

IMG_4784

IMG_4688
Perry was so good with giving our oldest the time of her life.

It took a bit of time to get to our digging destination and along the way Perry called out that this would be the time to get into our swimsuits….. Swimsuits….. Right. I had a feeling I should’ve brought those. I’m very much a land lubber. I don’t even like swimming. Or showering. I’m not afraid of water, I just don’t really prefer it at all which means I don’t have much experience with water sports so when I read on the website that we would have wetsuits I thought “waterproof”. We would just put them over our clothes and be fine. In fact, I dressed all of us girls in clothes that would easily fit inside a suit. Yes, that was silly of me. It gets worse.

I mentioned to Erick that we didn’t bring our suits and he apparently already talked to Perry about it who said the other family on board didn’t either and they were just going in their underwear. He says this is a regular occurance. Well, now I really started panicking because it now sounds like we don’t even have the wet suits! I’m frantically whispering to Erick that I don’t know what we’re going to do and he says all nonchalant that we can just use our underwear. Good lands! Who does he think I am?! I’m simply not comfortable with jumping in the water with a bunch of strangers and me in my underwear! I’m considering just staying in my clothes, but we wanted to go into Charlottetown when we finished and now we were going to be in wet clothes! Things were getting out of hand in my mind.

A few minutes (felt like half an hour but probably wasn’t) later Perry calls out that we can now put on wetsuits. PEOPLE!! The relief I felt! It was around this point that Erick finally clued in that I was thinking we were swimming in our skivvies and he started laughing at me. I would’ve too. Into our suits we wiggled. I never felt more like a sausage than that moment, but the happiest sausage there ever was. I was dressed!

IMG_4696
Some look cuter in wetsuits than others…

Eventually we ended up at the bar where we would be collecting our clams. Perry told how this was where his father and grandfather dug clams and explained how much the shores had changed since he himself was a boy. Where we saw a sandy shore all the way across he remembers when they could still drive the boat right through that area. (Or his dad did….) The sand has drifted across and created the connection to the other side. Pretty crazy to think how fast a landscape (or shore) can change in just a few decades.

IMG_4710

We jumped into the water with our snorkels and rakes and started the hunt. We were searching for indents in the sand that looked like belly buttons or sometimes they would stick their nostrils out a bit and you would see the holes from their breathing. It was a bit of a slow start as we were finding lots, but they were not big enough to keep. It’s too bad we couldn’t take pictures at this point because my favourite part of this day was the digging. Every once in awhile we’d see a lobster or crab running around our feet. I could’ve stayed out there for awhile yet. Our littlest clam digger was kinda cold and got a special ride to the boat with Perry to wait for us to collect our clams.

IMG_4711.JPG

IMG_4714

Eventually we found all we needed and Perry called everyone to shore. They did a quick measure of the clams to make sure they were the allowed size and then the clams all went in the pot. When there was about 2-3 minutes left he added the crab legs that were also collected. While waiting for those to be done we got to sample some raw clam and that part was my personal favourite taste of the day.

IMG_4723

Once finished we got a little Chef Ramsay style tutorial on how to prepare the clams to eat. It included adding in some of the brine that they were cooked in. YUM! My oldest was in there like a dirty shirt once again. She got her own little lesson and then was very proud to present a specially prepared clam for Papi where she forgot to clean out the stomach. Oops.

We ate for awhile before heading back to the car. In all it was very fun and worth the early morning.

IMG_4728

IMG_4726
Enjoying a little coffee after a full morning.

IMG_4802

We headed through Charlottetown on the way home for a quick walk around. We needed to pick up more Beaver Tails for everyone.

IMG_4739

IMG_4814
Enough for everyone. And people stared at us as we walked down the sidewalk with this!

IMG_4805

Once back at the campground us girls headed to the beach for a little bit to enjoy the sand and have a quick sand castle competition. We started the day in sand, we might as well end it there too.

IMG_4764IMG_4761

The Island currently known as Prince (Edward Island).

As we began to approach the east coast a few weeks ago, my kids started asking “Is this the place where we go over the huge bridge?”  Or, as we crossed any number of “large-ish” bridges:  “Was that the big bridge?”  I had been telling them, before we ever left home, about the big Confederation Bridge that stretched across from the main land (New Brunswick) into P.E.I. and they were imagining the things of fairy tales (I’m pretty sure). Continue reading The Island currently known as Prince (Edward Island).

Charlottetown

Ahhhh, Prince Edward Island. I was going to move here once upon a time. I worked for a potato grading company and they were waiting to get a contract with the PEI potato companies. My bosses were well aware of my desire to head out and take a supervisor position when they got the contract. But then I met Erick and switched to a job that was closer to home and so goes life. I believe they did eventually get the contract. Oh well. Someone else got the job. I got the guy.

IMG_4579

The guys have had their five baseball games booked for months already and for us girls we had one day pinned down as our day out. A spa day in Charlottetown. (We’ll add a few more days as we go along.) After 2 weeks of sitting in the car I was very ready for a massage! The guys suggested that we go out for supper too so we happily headed out for the day.

IMG_0454.JPG

I was kinda curious how we were going to do with navigating. Not because we can’t, but these roads are quite different and the views incredibly distracting. Erick and I took about 4 wrong turns getting to the campground. Some due to lack of signage or expecting bigger roads. (Google maps took us onto some dirt roads.) Others due to me being busy taking pictures and not watching the GPS. Can you blame me though? What is with this province being so beautiful?

IMG_8394

I feel like PEI is a a mix of the maritime fishing life and the prairies farming lifestyle. Erick and I decided that as much as we loved Newfoundland, PEI would probably be an easier place to adapt to. It is the small town feel I know and love.

There’s something I really notice that is different from the prairies. I can’t quite put my finger on it except to say there’s an appearance of preserving the past and preserving the landscape. Instead of pulling up all the trees to give more field space they stay and define the beautiful patchwork of the many shades of green and yellow with canola, corn, potatoes and more.

IMG_4951

IMG_8402.JPG

Then there’s the abandoned barns and houses. At home they’d be bulldozed. Here they stay and I just know they all have stories to tell. They look like dollhouses. Most of the houses on the island do. So many houses I assumed were abandoned but then I noticed the lawn is mowed and cars are parked. They are simply older homes that someone still calls home. It exists everywhere, but these here in PEI felt different. I wish I could’ve gotten some pictures of them. They were usually hidden in trees along the road.

IMG_4577

IMG_8396
This one was a bit past being lived in.

It reminded me of the house I spend my first 10 years of life in. We were the last to live in that house. After we moved it sat empty for years and eventually was torn down. That house had so many stories and it was so sad to see it disappear.

IMG_0944.JPG
That room on the second floor was mine. I remember sitting on the window ledge with my feet hanging outside just enjoying the air.

Anyway, as mentioned in previous posts, we’ve had trouble finding good WiFi signal so we took our laptops with us to the city and planned on a coffee somewhere to work on some blog posts. Though we did find some phenomenal internet speed, we misjudged how long it would take us. Totally good though. We had some amazing treats at Casa Mia Cafe before heading to the spa. Much better than the Starbucks we were going to head for. The “Bloggers Paradise” as Dale called it.

IMG_4610
We booked at the Grand Senses spa.

Charlottetown has a bit of a similar feel that St John’s did in Newfoundland, but with a smaller hometown touch. The historical downtown is so pretty and pedestrians rule around here.

IMG_4609.JPG
Pedestrians only street

The restaurants are all so good and it was hard to decide where to eat. In the end it was Merchant Man for some super tasty curry and crispy lentil tacos. (We shared, of course.)

FullSizeRender 10IMG_4597

Beaver Tails were the dessert of choice. Yum! I felt so Canadian.

IMG_4601

And then a bit more walking.

IMG_4589IMG_4592IMG_4588

Our drive back to Cavendish was too dark to be distracted by the fields and houses so this time it was just the windy road and all the kids already in bed when we got home. A wonderful day.