I discovered that I had booked the Magdalen ferry return at the same time (8:00PM) as the PEI ferry to Nova Scotia. I learned that there is a standby lane on the ferry dock you can wait in and hopefully get on the boat in place of no-shows. We decided to give this a try and left the campsite at 5:30 and drove to the ferry dock where there were 20 cars ahead of us. 18 of them got on. Now we had the whole day to spend before the 8:00PM sailing and I needed to change or cancel the PEI to Nova Scotia ferry. On the phone they said we could move our reservation to the 9:30AM ferry but there was no way we could get on the 5:00AM ferry. It seems that the ferry company is in chaos over their reservation systems and the need for another ferry. No one on the phone gives the same answer.
The 10 Hour Wait for the Ferry
We took a long walk along a path beside the east side of the city. There were many signs along the path that explained different aspects of life in the Islands. One story was about a man, Auguste de Boardais, who was shipwrecked during a freezing ice storm but managed to be rescued after 4 days. Since gangrene set into his frozen feet, they had to be amputated with a saw and no anesthetic. The man survived and lived the rest of his life as manager of the telegraph office. At one point on the path there is a dramatic example of the erosion from the waves that undermine the cliffs. You could look down and see the beach through a small hole at the bottom. There was a Catholic cementary beside the path and one gravestone at the fence. It made me wonder what William Roger Waugh had done to deserve being so islolated from all the other graves. There is a large hill I estimated as 10 stories high beside the ferry docks with a stair way to the top. We both climbed up and got the view over the islands.
Two Ferries to Pictou Nova Scotia
The 8:00PM ferry left the Magdalens on time. I was a tight squeeze to get out of the harbor and we came within 20 feet of the Montreal ferry. We crossed to Souris PEI arriving at 1:00AM. We drove 50 miles to the dock at Wood Islands arriving at 2:00AM. There was no one around but the gate was lit up with a green light. We parked in the lot, got some sleep, and were awaken at 4:00AM. The kind lady that managed the traffic said there was lots of room on the 5:00AM ferry and we could take it without a problem. We left PEI on a ship that was about 20% full. We crossed Northumberland Strait to Pictou and got to a nearby campground, Harbour Light, at 6:30AM. We had gone 26 hours with little sleep.
Harbour Light Campground
The office opened at 9:00AM so we thought we would have to wait. We got lucky as the park owner, Cameron McDonald, came by and gave us a parking space beside the laundry. We were to wait until 11:00 AM when the RV in the site we had reserved would leave. We used some of the time to do a laundry. Can you believe Cameron gave us the coins to put in the machines? That was a first! He wouldn't put it on the bill. The laundry was done by 8:30 AM and Cameron moved us to another vacant site. We then got 2-3 hours of sleep.
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