Paddling in Mabou

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This past weekend, we had the opportunity to head to Cape Breton for some visiting and a few outdoor adventures with the girls.   One of them was a day of paddling on the Mabou River.  The day was overcast with a slight wind, but there was just enough wind to take the bugs away.


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The river follows grassy marshes which we found were full of nesting geese.  As we passed through the area, lots of noise from the geese followed as the males tried to lead us away from the area.


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We also were able to paddle underneath a large eagle's nest in one of the trees overlooking the river.


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Our turnaround point was this rail bridge on the Transcanada Trail in Hillsborough.


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We stopped for lunch and the girls were happy to skip rocks on the water in a heavy competition with their parents for the 'cross the river' title.  


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There are a few overhanging trees along the river.  The beavers have been working away on this tree for a while now.


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We passed by a little island where we saw a nesting goose trying to stay hidden in the grass.  We spoke with some locals who said she's been sitting here for three weeks, through floods and other weather.  The next day, we saw that she had moved off the nest and the eggs were hatched!

After leaving the river, the girls asked to go to West Mabou Beach to pick sea glass.  It was 19 C, but a little bit of wind to keep it still a bit cool at the beach.  


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I brought my kayak down for some self rescue practice in the ocean water.  I had only practiced in a warm pool over the wintertime during my kayaking course, but today had a chance to do it with some supervison from the beach.  With a wetsuit on, I worked on 'randomly' tipping my kayak and then practiced a re-entry using a paddle float.  


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It was a slight shock hitting the cold water even with a wet suit.  It was good to find out how the cold played a bit of a factor in my ability to get things started to get back into my kayak.  But, it was successful after slowing down a bit and taking time to blow up my paddle float properly (see below).

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Tricky, but a successful attempt nonetheless!  It didn't take long to warm up again while paddling around the beach area. 


Rebecca's Science Birthday

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Last Saturday, Rebecca celebrated her 8th birthday with a small group of friends from school.   Despite the SNOW (seen above), it turned out to be a really fun day for all.  This year, Rebecca asked for a 'science' party and she said she would invite all her friends that liked science from her school.  Sheena and her had prepared for the party by picking up some tools for science experiments to be done with the kids.  It actually turned out perfect on a snowy and cool mid-May day. (Might I add that later this week, we had two days with temperatures well into the high 20s).

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Here are the kids testing out the viscosity of certain liquids and the float-ability of objects in the various liquids!  The glass below looks colourful and you can see how the pasta and grape are floating on the syrup, but sank through the oil and water.


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At special request, two pizzas were promptly ordered from Chez MacDonaldo.  Everyone here seems to be eating intently.  It was neat to see all of Rebecca's friends in one place.  What was neat was that all played so well together and had really similar traits.  

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Since her birthday, the weather improved nicely.  The earlier cold weather had not stopped our tulips from blooming.  

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Here's Rebecca offering up one of her famous mud soups.  She may have been asking if we want some 'Meesi' soup.  (She hasn't mastered the pronounciation of 'Miso' soup yet).  We had some miso soup at a Japanese restaurant a few weeks ago and she's been asking for green tea and miso soup fairly frequently now.


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Here's Abby sporting her beautiful dress and concentrating on showing a few home picked flowers in her hand.  She loves picking flowers around the house and usually fills a glass on the counter with freshly picked yard and garden flowers of all types.  What you can't see is her rubber boots! A true country girl.  Her latest thing is playing catch with Dad.  She has a great throwing arm and catches well too.


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Saint John Kids Fun Run -- at the airport!

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A month and a half ago, Rebecca came home from school and said to us that she wanted to do a race at the airport.   We looked at her strangely at first, but then she went on to describe how her gym teacher had been talking about running and explained of a kids 'fun' run at the Saint John Airport on the runway.  She talked about doing the run since that time and Sheena and her signed up.  Sheena was to do the 5 K.  Both had done some preparatory running leading up to the big day.

So, then came May 2nd, the day of the run.  Unfortunately, Sheena had picked up the flu a couple of days earlier and was stuck at home.  But the other runner and cheering section headed into Saint John for the afternoon run.  When we arrived, Rebecca told the registration staff that it was her first run.  She was shaking in excitement when she received her race pinney, to the point where I thought she was cold!  I asked her, she just repeated, 'Dad, I'm just really excited!'

 

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After a little coaching on where to run, all were off down the runway.  The turn around was at a fire truck near the end of the runway 750 metres away.  


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You can see Rebecca there in the purple pants after turning around. 


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Rebecca was so happy to finish her first race.  She put her hands up in the air, gave us (cheering section) a thumbs up.


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A big smile walking back to the hanger where we were waiting for all of the runners.


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Easter weekend

The girls have been busy in the warm days leading up to Easter weekend. Sheena took them to a frozen waterfall for a hike and some fun play near the icefall. Knocking the icicles off was the big challenge for the day.

We were also in Shediac enjoying views of the ice in the bay amid 12 degree and sunny weather.

The girls also started decorating Easter eggs. They were excited to paint them and couldn't wait for the base to dry beforehand! The big hit for dessert was the 'dirt cake' made by Nana. A shovel full would bring you a delight made of vanilla pudding, cream cheese, cool whip, chocolate crumbs and gummy worms!

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Easter weekend