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Adventure #1 McNabs Island

Since I have been doing a lot of exploring this spring and summer, I thought I would start officially sharing the adventures. Please help me out by sharing my posts :)

Nova Scotia is amazing.  Seriously.  There are so many incredible spots that we have never been to in our own backyards.  It's time to get out and explore!  I'm going to share some adventures and the pictures from some incredible places, so follow along on the journey! These posts will be in no particular order.

Up first, is McNabs Island.  McNabs Island is at the mouth of the Halifax Harbour.  The island is about 5km long and 1.5 km wide.  It was used by Military to guard the Halifax Harbour and had various fortifications built on it in the 1800s. Halifax also has several other fortifications including George's Island, Citadel Hill, Point Pleasant, and York Redoubt... but those will be other adventures.  

McNabs Island has a ton of history and folklore which I couldn't possibly do justice to, but it is a fascinating place!  To get there, you can take your own boat out (sea kayak, sailboat, motor boat etc.).  For larger boats there is only one small dock that you can tie up to and it is usually busy.  The other option is to anchor and row in.  You can also take a water taxi - there are several who offer service to get to Mcnabs.  To find out more about the island and how to get there have a look at The Friends of McNabs Island Society Website.

We were out for a sail last Sunday but the wind was pretty much non existent and because it was a dreary day there was actually room to tie up at the dock on McNabs, so we headed in.  After a brief run in with the sand (yes, the keel hit sand and I briefly freaked out internally, but it was just sand and we were able to reverse out of it!) we tied up and headed to the shore.

Braegha was completely in love with the cold, wet, grey sand.  I was a bit surprised at how much she was loving it, until I realized that of all the adventures we have been on in the last two years, none really had sandy beaches!  Lots of rocky/gemstone beaches, lake time, sailing, hiking, kayaking, and more... but no sand.  Oops.  So, we'll be doing that soon!  Here she is loving the sand.  Our boat is the blue one in the background of the bottom ones.

Teghan, however, was desperate to get to the fort.  He was so excited!  My Mom will be proud, she's a big history buff.  We visited Fort Hugonin Battery, about 1.5km from where we docked.  The kids had no problem with the walk and were both so excited to be there.  We sail past the island and around it all the time, but have never stopped. The trail we were on took us first to the remains of a run down concrete section of the battery.  It was neat to see and you can go inside.  Incredible to think about what life was like for the military back then.  Yikes!  

Then we continued past the concrete remains to a fairly long section of concrete pads for canons and storage units.  

Snails were everywhere!

There were lots of sections that were paneled in with this metal:

I discovered that one section of paneling had been ripped off by some troublemaker.  I decided to go look inside... but wow it was creepy.  I wasn't expecting how far down the shaft went and you could see tunnels or more storage leading away from the bottom.  I looked in and had images of a bird or something flying out at me and scaring me to death.  I could only look for a few seconds, I was so creeped out by it!

And then looking at the photo of the bottom of the shaft afterwards I was sure that when I zoomed in you could see faces in the rubble....

See anything in there?

Okay, I'm exaggerating, I was seriously expecting to though, so much so that I had to zoom out because I was freaking myself out!

Then we saw a pile of bones.... I assume animal, but still creepy, sitting beside the fort.

So, what kind of bones are these?

It was raining pretty steadily by this point, but we stopped to make a flower crown. and then proceeded on to visit Casey's weather station.  My husband works for Environment Canada and the stations he is responsible for are all coastal and remote stations- most of which he has to get to by boat or helicopter.  So he gets to go to some pretty neat places.

Ignore the water drops on the lens and general lack of quality... it was raining hard by now and I had to snap just a quick photo and tuck the camera back into my rain jacket.  But this is what a weather station looks like.

We then worked our way back along the beach to the wharf and got back onboard.  We got dry, barbecued some supper on the boat, and had a visit with a cute seagull.  Then we motored back to the boat club.  Teghan was giddy with excitement over the fort, but also in a hurry by this point to get back in the car and keep listening to the first Percy Jackson audio book.  The fun never stops!

I'd love to hear from you:

What are your favorite NS adventure spots?  Where should we go next?

Have you been to McNabs?