Digby near the mouth of the Annapolis River which runs SW, broadens out to form a bulbous pond, then exits to the sea through a small gap to the NW. To the SW of Digby, St. Mary’s Bay is bounded on the NW by Digby Neck, Long Island and Brier Island. Ferries connect Long Island to the mainland and Brier Island to Long Island. Along the neck are little harbors, rocky headlands and sand beaches. And one of the best restaurants I went to on the trip.
The lovely people at the hostel showed me several great places to go and I wish I’d had another day to do more there. The first place I stopped was Sandy Cove. The village of Sandy Cove has a lovely little harbor and a small fishing fleet.
On the north side of the neck, there is a long, broad sandy beach with a great story on the sign about the Mysterious Man.
There was a plaque telling the story, but when I went looking for the story on the web, I found there are many and conflicting stories of the Mysterious Man. The assertions that seem to occur in many of the stories are that there was foreign ship that came up the bay but was gone in the morning and that a young man with freshly amputated legs was found on the shore of Sandy Cove. He was taken care of by several different families and there are records that show that the families were paid by the local poor master to do so. The man did not speak English and refused to talk much at all. Despite numerous attempts to determine who he was, none seemed successful.There is speculation that he was Italian from Trieste as he became agitated at the hearing of that place.
One titillating event was recalled on the plaque (but not elsewhere) was that 2 women came to visit him and spoke to him in his room with the door closed. Listeners report hearing him talking animatedly and sometime heatedly. The women emerged saying nothing and left. For more speculation on this mystery, check out http://www.canadianmysteries.ca/sites/jerome/suites/souvenir/3532en.html http://www.canadianmysteries.ca/sites/jerome/suites/souvenir/3614en.html http://www.canadianmysteries.ca/sites/jerome/decouverte/naufrage/indexen.html
The next stop was a lovely spot that a local family has opened to the public. It’s a lovely path that they mow and there’s a tree that they invite people to a heart in memory of a loved one. There are benches along the way and upon arrival, there is a lovely view. There are two little buildings that look like vacation cabins, benches and a hammock. It’s a little kitschy, but the owners’ sentiment is truly genuine.
The channels between the island and the neck have strong currents when the tide is moving and sometimes the ferries have to point 30 degrees to the line of travel to compensate for the current. Taking the ferry to Long Island, I took the little track to Boar’s Head, a lighthouse on the point. As you can see from the pictures, it was a beautiful place.
I continued on down the island to the ferry to Brier Island, but instead of crossing, I stopped at Lavena’s Café. This little restaurant was started by a couple with generations in fishing. It was perhaps the best seafood I had the whole trip! Over an hour and a $5 ferry ride from Digby, there is a sign suggesting reservations for dinner.
And with a delightfully full belly, I headed towards Halifax via Grand Pré (see “Dark and Dreary Be” for more on that historic place).