There is no location in Nova Scotia that is more than 56 KM from the ocean*. The ocean is as important a part of Nova Scotia's culture as any one thing I can think of. As important as the fiddle, a cup of tea, and the Acadian flag.
I could write a book about water and the ocean, not just a blog post - but I have decided to share just a few of my thoughts with you this month.
While I am tempted to write about the importance of conserving water, water as a life force for all living things, the lack of clean water in many countries, and my fear of my beloved Nova Scotia coastline being submerged under water because of global warming - this post is not about that. I want to celebrate water, and its importance to the culture of Nova Scotia. I celebrate the Atlantic Ocean as a beautiful landscape, a habitat for marine life, a place of recreation, and a place for Atlantic Canadians to make a living.
Nova Scotia is Canada's Ocean Playground. It is home to the highest tides in the world. The export value of fish in Nova Scotia is close to one billion dollars*. Plus, as well as our beautiful Atlantic Ocean, there are over 5400 lakes in Nova Scotia*. All of these things are worth celebrating.
I snapped this photo over the side of a boat during a whale watch tour off the coast of Brier Island. It is one of the photos in my collection that I find most calming.
I grew up a stone's throw from the ocean. I have too many wonderful memories to count of being in a boat with my dad; fishing for mackerel, rowing in Charlos Cove Harbour, and enjoying day trips to nearby islands for beachcombing adventures.
I believe that my father had salt water in his blood. I believe I do too. My father was born beside the ocean,played beside the ocean as a child, made a living on the ocean as an adult (working on oil carriers around the world and as a Merchant Marine during WWII). He spent his retirement enjoying every bit of life that is to be enjoyed beside the ocean, and I know he missed the ocean dearly when he wasn't able to look out the window and see it during the last months of his life.
Most of the above paragraph could be written about so many Nova Scotians. I want to write this post in honour of each of them, in honour of my dad, and in honour of all men and women who currently make a living on the ocean. I also want to write this post in honour of the 5 young fishermen who died on the Miss Alley this past February. While watching the news coverage of their search, and then their memorials, those young men represented to me all the men and women who have lost their lives at sea; doing what they love and know best. Doing what they need to do to provide for their families, and while doing so, contributing not only to an important aquaculture industry but to a culture of Maritime living. While watching the news footage with a broken heart, I couldn't help but be thankful for my father's long and safe life.
The photo below was taken in my dad's beloved Charlos Cove, where after he passed away his ashes were scattered upon his wishes, to remain a part of the sea.