Views of Chéticamp Island

La Pointe from Grand-Étang
[#1] Photo 114 of 132: La Pointe from Grand-Étang
Taken 2011 March 5 in Grand-Étang from the Cabot Trail at the Post Office
GPS 46°35.052'N 61°00.061'W

La Pointe is the southern tip of Chéticamp Island, seen in photo #1 looking across the mostly iced-over Gulf of St Lawrence from the Post Office in Grand-Étang, a fine spot to get out of the traffic on the Cabot Trail to enjoy the great views from its parking lot. It was at La Pointe that fishermen from the Basque Country and Brittany, soon followed by merchants from the Isle of Jersey, established the first European summer encampments in this area to take advantage of the then abundant and very lucrative codfish. The harbour there survives to this day, used by fishermen who fish these waters still, though for lobster and crab now rather than codfish; it sits at water level in the centre of this photo, where a storage barn can be barely made out. The open water in the foreground is close to Grand-Étang Harbour, through which pass the tidal flows to and from the Grand-Étang estuary, a beautiful fjord-like inlet just a short ways down the Cabot Trail from the Post Office (see this photo for a summer view); these flows are apparently sufficiently strong enough to keep this area close by the coast open, whilst further out, there is ice well out beyond Chéticamp Island, as photo #2 clearly shows.

The heavy snow cover over La Pointe struck me as rather curious, as I had seen the identical phenomenon on the south end of Margaree Island as I passed by it on my way north Saturday morning. I puzzled over this for some time wondering why there was so much more snow at the south end of the island and relatively so much less in the middle and at the north ends of the islands, hypothesizing that it must have something to do with the prevailing winds. It now strikes me that it is far more likely to be a function of vegetation. I have never set foot on Margaree Island nor even gotten very close to it, but the photos I have of it show less vegetation on the southern end—the evergreen cover is missing from roughly the southernmost sixth of the island. I have hiked on Chéticamp Island and can attest that, while trees are not altogether missing on the southern end, the terrain is dominated by fields of hay and scrub brush. Whatever the cause, it is certainly striking how white the southern ends are relative to the remainder of the islands, especially in a bright sun!

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La Pointe from Mountain Road
[#2] Photo 115 of 132: La Pointe from Mountain Road
Taken 2011 March 5 in Point Cross from Mountain Road at its junction with le Chemin LeFort
GPS 46°32.827'N 61°02.913'W

Photos #2 and #3, taken from Point Cross at two different points along the route previously described from Flora’s, look at and across Chéticamp Island and allow one to judge the extent of the coastal ice; the blue on the horizon (and the dark breaks in the snow cover in photo #2) are open water; the rest is ice covered by snow. The southern end of Chéticamp Harbour, seen in photo #3, is also fully iced over. The blocks of stone of which L’Église-St-Pierre is constructed were quarried on Chéticamp Island and then dragged across the ice of Chéticamp Harbour by teams of horses, so, at least in those much colder winters, the ice was capable of carrying significant weight.

Chéticamp Harbour
[#3] Photo 116 of 132: Chéticamp Harbour
Taken 2011 March 5 in Point Cross from Mountain Road at house number 325
GPS 46°35.230'N 60°59.918'W