Saturday, August 24, 2002

guess who's back?!

i'm back - albeit a little early - from a stunning trip to nova scotia :-)

although there were many highlights, my favourite parts involved the whales. i've long considered turtles and tortoises to be the best examples of evolutionary perfection, but i had no idea how magnificent whales are! i've seen orcas and belugas in aquariums, but it does not compare to seeing enormous humpback or even smaller minke whales breach the mercury-like north atlantic at dusk. at one point we were surrounded by a pod of pilot whales - known as potheads in Newfoundland ;) and close enough to touch... it was all i could do not to cry with sheer joy ;)

i really wanted to go out in a zodiac, but apparently outboard motors put out sound at the same frequency as several whales, which both confuses them and attracts them to the boats, increasing the risk of serious injury by propeller. and i wasn't going to be responsible for injuring animals that are already threatened in the wild.

the rest of the trip included checking out the history of coal mining in cape breton - originally begun in the 1700s in order to support the great fortress at louisbourg. i've been down in coal mines before, but never ones under the ocean! but as one might expect, mining towns are terribly depressing and full of stories of almost unbearable loss...

at so it was that i ended up in hospital in glace bay, nova scotia after injuring my back. despite being paralysed down the entire left side of my body (which is awfully scary), emergency room doctors in mining communities consider such injuries to be rather minor considering the types of catastrophes they deal with...

needless to say, this put an end to our vacation and we returned to ottawa, where i have spent the past few days on my back - which is not as fun as it sounds! on the upside, the love of my life took excellent care of me and set me up with the second season of the simpsons on dvd. frankly, i was grateful for an excuse to watch every episode - once with commentary and once without ;)

i am slowly on the mend and beginning physio to regain my mobility - but sitting at the computer is rather uncomfortable so i'll sign off for now... but since i am all gimped up, i'd love to get some mail ;)

oh yeah - two more things: despite living in the land of lobster, people in cape breton love fried chicken and although their highway junction signage leaves much to be desired, they are overly diligent in marking road cautions - we saw many signs marking the presence of visually or hearing impaired persons, as well as dozens of signs warning you that you are travelling the wrong way - on divided highways!

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