Off Island

Les îles de la Madeleine/Magdalen Islands/The Maggies

Shortly we will be heading off to Souris (pronounced Surrey) to catch the car ferry to Les îles de la Madeleine. This will be our first venture off-Island since a few days spent in Fredericton back in September of 2020. When I told my nephew, who lives in Newfoundland (The Rock), he scoffed. “So you’re going from one sandbar to a smaller sandbar?” said he in a cadence that was decidedly derisive. In a loving familial tone I told him to go kiss a cod! Or words to that effect!

But to be honest he is right. Both PEI and the Maggies (the Mags) are the result of silt, sand and gravel deposits from the glacial period. And we share that porous red sandstone as bedrock with the same erosion problems that are not so slowly eating away at the coastline.

  • The Magdalens are made up of eight major island: Amherst, Grande Entrée, Grindstone, Grosse-Île, House Harbour, Pointe-Aux-Loups, Entry Island, and Brion. The total land area is 205.53 square kilometres (79.36 sq mi).
  • It is often claimed that Les îles were named after Saint Mary Magdalene however the truth is a touch more secular: in 1663 François Doublet, the seigneur of the island, name them after his wife, Madeleine Fontaine.
  • The year-round population is 12,010 (census 2016) with 94% being of French or Acadian ancestry. The small anglo communities are descendants of Scotish and Irish settlers who often ended up on the Maggies as the result of shipwrecks.
  • The Mi’gmaw visited Menagoesenog (Battered by the surf) for centuries on their seasonal migration. Digs have shown that they were attracted by abundance of walrus which also attracted the early French settlers and English traders.
  • Today the economy is based on seasonal tourism, fishing, and salt mining. The Canadian Salt Company Seleine Mines produces road salt for use in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the United States’ eastern seaboard. Over one million tonnes of salt are extracted from 30 metres (98 ft) below Grande-Entrée Lagoon.

I visited the Maggies for one day back in September 2015 and put together a film that I had hoped to post today. However I’ll be damned if I can find it amongst the far-too-many files on several hard drives. I’ll continue to look for it and work on some new shots over the next few days.

In the meantime here’s a few of the brief clips I took at that time and, yes that is the wind you are hearing. We are, after all, in the middle of the Gulf of Saint Laurent.

The word for May 31st is:
Travel /ˈtravəl/: [1. verb 2. noun]
1.1 To go from one place to another, typically over a distance of some length.
1.2 (of an object or radiation) to move, typically in a constant or predictable way.
2.1 The action of travelling.
2.2 The range, rate, or mode of motion of a part of a machine.
Middle English: a variant of travail, and originally in the same sense.

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

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