I had just gotten back from two weeks in Ireland. It was late October and Halloween was just around the corner. I had barely been home a full week when I got the call from Scott Hayward up in Portland, the forecast was shaping up again. It might be worth it to do a strike mission up north, destination: Nova Scotia. We had been planning our first Canadian adventure back in the spring, but real life had gotten in the way and we had to delay our plans as summer rolled around. Now that we were back into hurricane / winter storm season, it was shaping up nicely and on a Friday afternoon we decided to pull the trigger. Canada, here we come!
We called in reinforcements. It would be myself driving up from Rhode Island, Sam Levine from Connecticut, and the young Kai Nichols from New Hampshire, all meeting up with Scotty in Portland. We would be driving up all day Sunday, staying in Nova Scotia for 3 nights, and driving back on Halloween day. The plan was to leave Portland by noon, but with some of the guys getting in morning sessions, both Sam and Kai having to buy new booties, and Kai dropping his phone down a storm drain, the trip was off to a slow start. We departed Portland just before 4pm, and it was a 9 hour drive ahead of us.
We reached the Air Bnb well after midnight, but luckily Sam had already been to the area a few years ago so we had some good information going into scouting next day. As we drove around Canada for three days in the gray, cold and fog, I was quickly reminded of Ireland. They had just experience a week of freezing or below freezing temperatures, but luckily we arrived just as a warm swath of air hit, so we were greeted with temperatures in the low 50s. The water was much chillier though without that warm Gulf Stream.
The buoy had dropped a bit from the initial forecast but it was still chest to head high depending where you looked. While the beach breaks weren't working with the swell and wind directions, we had three days of point breaks almost entirely to ourselves! The tides were very extreme, but we quickly developed a few favorite spots. I got in a swim on day 2, and mother nature decided to provide us with a bit of sunshine, perhaps the only bit of sunshine we saw the whole trip!
While we didn't score double overhead, or those iconic corduroy lines stretching all the way to the Canadian horizon, it was still a terrific little strike mission. We thoroughly enjoyed Nova Scotia, however brief it was, and can't wait to get back. A 9 hour drive from Portland? More than doable. Especially when you have a car load full of friends to help share the drive.
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I haven't been in the water for sunset in a while. But the opportunity finally presented itself a couple weeks ago. The sky was clear for once, there was a bump of swell in the water but apparently no one really deemed it worthwhile because the lineup was empty. Fellow photographer friend Gus Potter grabbed his board instead of a camera, and the two of us hopped in with only half an hour or so before sunset to catch a few with the one other soul already in the water.
It was a little windy and wonky, and certainly cold, but it was one of my favorite sessions this month. You just can't beat that dusky light!