|Photo: Tourism New Brunswick|
Marathon Inn is a hop, skip, and jump from the Grand Manan ferry dock. We checked in early Sunday afternoon. The Road Scholar group would not convene until suppertime. We used the free time to explore some of the island. Here is our 35th wedding anniversary photo, snapped at South West Head.
At last it was time for Road Scholar to begin! There were 19 people in the group. We came from
Arizona, Oregon, Montana, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Michigan, Virginia, and Illinois (us). Ages ranged from 60 to 90. We had a variety of professions including teachers, a nurse, an engineer, two pastors, two librarians, a medical illustrator (now watercolorist). One is a P.E.O.! Several were avid birders (the course advertised "a whaling and birding paradise").
Jim Leslie has owned the Marathon Inn since 1977 and has led Road Scholar programs since 1991. He is the group leader, on site coordinator, bus driver, and cook. (He's also the head of maintenance, an important job in a 125-year-old resort hotel.) He was among the best group leaders we've had -- attentive to individuals without being intrusive. And his storytelling led us to compare him to Garrision Keillor.
Our activities covered the island:
* Whale watching -- a beautiful day to be on the Bay of Fundy, but unfortunately for us the whales took the day off. We saw some harbor porpoises (a species of toothed whale) but that was all.
|I hold a stormy petrel chick|
* Daily life on the island: Grand Manan is an "industrial" island with active fisheries -- lobster, scallops, and salmon. The salmon are farmed and we got up close to the "tanks" where they are kept.
* Island history: the Grand Manan Museum has comprehensive exhibits (geology, early settlement, shipwrecks, and more) -- we had one rainy morning, perfect for visiting the museum.
|Willa Cather's cottage|
|Say Polar Bear!|
And then it was Saturday: time to pack our bags and head for the next part of our adventure.
On to part three . . .
|Modern lobster traps|
|Vintage lobster buoys|
|Rocks....just because. |