One of the many motivations for heading up to Wreck Cove was the opportunity to seek out Little River Harbour. As I noted in the description of this stunning winter photo of Cape Smokey, taken from Little River Harbour by Jim Steele, I had never been able to stumble on a fishing harbour in the stretch of coast between St Anns and Wreck Cove, and I had looked for one, hoping to find a good view of Cape Smokey. Jim’s photo was proof positive that there was one, so, armed with its GPS coördinates, I set out to discover it. As it turned out, I had absolutely no problem finding the road into the harbour: it was clearly marked at the edge of the Cabot Trail and it would have taken a blind person not to have seen the sign. Yet I would happily swear in a court of law that it hadn’t been so marked when I drove by in past years!
Anyhow, I was delighted to have discovered it and its fine views. The impressive breakwaters sheltering the harbour were gleaming in the afternoon sun when I shot photo #1; some of the fishing boats had returned with the day’s catch and off-loaded it into the truck that can be seen waiting on the pier (to the left of the red roof about a quarter of the way in from the right edge of the photo) while others had not yet returned. The mountain rising acorss St Anns Bay in the centre of the photo is Kellys Mountain, with Cape Dauphin at its leftmost end.
The view to the northwest in photo #2 was quite different but gorgeous: the long cobblestone beach that lines the shore here dominated by the Cape Breton Highlands rising above the Cabot Trail. These latter lie mostly in the French River Wilderness Area; they are not part of the national park. Cobblestones are ubiquitous on both sides of St Anns Bay; they are piled high, just how high depends on where one is, but they can range from 1-3 m/yds in height. Polished by incessant wave action, they gleam in the sun and add their beauty to the scene.
Inland of the cobblestone beach is MacDonalds Pond, apparently a barachois, seen in photo #3. The stream which gave its name to the harbour runs down from the highlands across the Cabot Trail and enters St Anns Bay south of the harbour; its waters do not flow into MacDonalds Pond.
Yet another of the motivations for visiting Little River Harbour was to obtain a view like that in Jim Steele’s amazing photo. I don’t know what he was using for a lens, but the view I got in photo #4 shows that he must have a really powerful telephoto lens, way beyond the capabilities of my Nikon’s Nikkor 18-105 mm 1.35-5.6G ED lens, for this is the best I could get at full zoom. In spite of its irritating haze (certainly not the camera’s nor the lens’ fault), this is closest and best view of Cape Smokey that I have taken from south of Smokey and I am indebted to Jim for showing that it could be done.
I have a strong feeling that I will be returning here again and again in the future; this spot has great views and just the right “feel”: I suspect it will soon become an “old friend”, like so many other gorgeous places on this most beautiful of islands. If you don’t know of it, seek it out and you’ll see what I mean.