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Monday, 31 October 2016

The Cabot Trail Begins and Ends at Baddeck: The Gem of Cape Breton - Page 2

Written by Habeeb Salloum and Muna Salloum
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There are many activities enjoyed by all ages and wonderful venues for family getaways. Even Baddeck’s theater productions or Ceilidhs are embedded in the culture of the village. Held during the evenings, the lively performances are reminiscent of the bygone days of public theater. Go ahead and ask anyone in Baddeck about events and sites because in this center of the Cabot Trail, it is also the home and heart of hospitality in Cape Breton.


We had come to Baddeck to sail for a while on the rolling waves of the Bras d’Or Lake, the largest inland sea in Canada. Soon we were comfortably seated on Captain John Bryson’s ship, Amoeba schooner, a 20 m (67 ft) hand-crafted vessel. The schooner sleeps 8 comfortably, and can take up to 42 passengers per tour. John’s voice boomed “Sit down folks! Remember, this is not the Titanic. The schooner was built not to tip over.” Someone shouted ‘What?” Captain John replied, “I didn’t say sink!”


Gently, the schooner which was built by John’s father in the 1970s, and had already made six trips to the Caribbean, set sail.


Look! See the bald eagles overhead?” All eyes on board watched as Captain John threw frozen fish into the water and eagles swooping down to grab the fish. It was like a picture out of the movies – the beautiful creatures of the sky being fed by human hands.

Cape Breton Bald Eagle Credit Beverley DeSantis

Photo by Beverley DeSantis 


The picturesque scene ended with the voice of Captain John booming. “Did you know that eagles mate in mid-air? That’s why we have the expressions ‘the mile-high club’ and ‘I don’t give a flying ….’ in addition to the term ‘quickie’.”


The sun was shimmering on the waters as our boat slowly moved along the bay. Captain John kept us entertained with his jokes and anecdotes. For him, life is good. His attachment to his schooner, the care-free life atop the waters and his true love of Baddeck gave the passengers a feeling of comfort and ease.


When one of the passengers asked “What type of people do you take sailing every day?” He did not hesitate. “Oh! I take all types of groups. Wedding parties, birthday and anniversary celebrants, school groups, and any other organizations you can think of. But my best groups are always those who celebrate divorce. There’s usually only one person missing!”

Cape Breton Captain John Amoeba Schooner

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Last modified on Tuesday, 01 November 2016

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