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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Ice boats

Cold and sunny, one of those glorious days when the wind didn't try to cut through to your bones. The park, near the entrance to the Confederation Bridge on Prince Edward Island, Canada, is frozen in time and place. 

 

Marine and rail history of the island are featured here. While the history of the railway 

 

and the ferries is important,

 

I cannot help but think of the history of the ice boats as I look out over the frozen Northumberland Strait. 

 

Imagine crossing that strait, 14.5 kilometers, or 9 miles, in a small wooden craft, pushed and pulled over the ice by the crew, who jumped into the boat in areas of open water. The primary purpose of the boats was to deliver the mail but passengers travelled in them too, some helping with the journey for a cheaper ticket.

Cape Traverse, one of the ice boat ports, is east of where the Confederation Bridge is today. 

 
                                          Google Map

Looking out over that icy water in the strait today, I can only imagine what that journey was like in those days. The cold, wind, ice and water required brave workers and passengers too. 

 
This history is another reason I love this island.

P.S. A blizzard is forecast for later today. Winter's last gasp, we hope!

22 comments:

  1. Wow,Such a severe history. It is hard to imagine how hard their work was! They were admirable people.
    Beautiful photo, and thank you for sharing the map.
    Stay warm! Marie.

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    1. Times were tough but the people rose to the challenge, Tomoko.

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  2. Good luck with that blizzard! I hope it comes and goes quickly. I enjoyed the history lesson. :-)

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    1. The blizzard hasn't started yet, Jan.

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  3. You make me so glad that I visited in summer!

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  4. Hope all you are safe during the blizzard. Such tough and enterprising people you all are. Fascinating history.

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    1. The people were determined to keep the mail going, that's for sure, Celia.

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  5. I absolutely cannot imagine what this trip would be like Marie.. I think they were so much heartier than we are today ☺

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    1. I agree, PDP. We have it so easy today!

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  6. I hope it's your last bout of snow, too. On the way to a warmer afternoon, it snowed this morning.

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    1. Spring is off to a slow start, Joanne.

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  7. Oh wow.
    The pioneers led such a hard life didn't they? And I am so grateful for their fortitude.
    Your opening paragraph made me smile. We refer to those winds as 'lazy'. They cut through you rather than go round.

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    1. I love that description of a lazy eind, EC. Leave it to the Aussies to come up with a great name like that one.

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  8. oh i hope you are right, about the weather!! here we are hoping we have see the last of the snow!!

    your captures are beautiful, an interesting place!!!

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    1. These islanders are hardy people, Debbie!

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  9. It's looking like the end of winter here in Iowa so maybe you'll have some good news soon as well. I'm going to miss wearing my winter coat though. It has so many pockets to put all my hiking stuff in.

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  10. We had what seemed like the worst storm of the season last night. Cold temperatures forecast too, so this stuff is not melting soon. Winter is reluctant to leave! Glad you are faring better.

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  11. I'm sorry to hear that you are getting another blizzard, my goodness, what a year! Can't imagine hauling those boats over the ice and then jumping back in, oh my goodness! So thankful for modern transportation, but it is nice to look back at the history and have much to be thankful for! Stay warm and safe in the blizzard!

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    1. Life was hard for sure and people worked hard to deliver the mail.

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  12. Fascinating learning about those ice boats. Sarah x

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  13. It is an part of the proud history of the island, Sarah.

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