After leaving Port Morien, I had driven out Long Beach Road, which continues along the Morien Bay coast before crossing the cape which ends in Northern Head to arrive at Schooner Pond Cove on the northern coast of Cape Breton Island east of Glace Bay and Donkin. As I was busy taking photographs there near a road clearly labelled as private, a car drove out and the guys therein asked if I had been on the trail along the nearby cliffs of Schooner Pond Head. When I said that I did not know of its existence, they told me that it follows the cliffs along the shore all the way to Wreck Point and then turns to the south towards Northern Head. I mentioned that the land appeared to be private and was told that it was now held by an Australian mining company who did not object to the trail being used by hikers. Since I had completed my tour of the east coast of Cape Breton Island and since the day was still sunny and warm to the east and not too disheartening (though by now quite grey) to the west, I decided to walk out along the trail to see some part of this coast while I was there.
The photo above was taken from the cliffs near Wreck Point towards the end of my hike. I was quite impressed with the huge slabs of stone that lie at the base of the cliffs; they are perhaps a third of a meter (foot) thick, from one to two meters (three to six feet) long, and a meter (three feet) wide, quite flat—they would make perfect flagstones! Notice also the coal seam showing at the far right of the photo on the far shore.
While I was busy admiring the view here, a golf cart bearing two employees of the mining company drove up. We got into an extended conversation; they told me that the subsided land seen along the cliffs near Wreck Point was caused by old mines dug beneath the surface that had since collapsed. They also said that the modern coal mines extend five kilometres (three miles) out underneath the sea floor here. By the time we had finished talking, the sun had disappeared and the skies to the west were now very ominous, so I headed back to the car, leaving the full hike to Northern Head for another day. The skies let loose a torrent of rain just a couple of minutes before I reached the car. It’s hard to believe that this beautiful, sunny scene was drenched in rain less than an hour after this photo was taken!