From Little River, I drove on up Mount Smokey and down the other side into Ingonish; it was already going on 15h by the time I left Little River and, given the lack of colours, I did not stop for photos, in spite of the beautiful day which tempted me at several points. When I reached Neils Harbour, I left the Cabot Trail in favour of the much prettier route to White Point and South Harbour.
As one descends the road down the mountain into White Point, the gorgeous view in photo #1 pops up on the left, made even more lovely by the blue sky to which clouds and a bit of haze had returned. This is one of the few photos in this essay where my eyes are unable to pick out any hint of fall colours; except for the lack of fishing boats at the pier, this scene looks very much as it does in high summer. St Paul Island sits on the horizon, some 38 km (23.5 mi) to the northeast.
Photo #2 is a close-up view of the community of White Point, birthplace of the legendary Scottish traditional music fiddler, Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald. White Point Harbour, with its pier protected by a stout breakwater, indicates the importance of fishing to this small community, though all but one of its fishing vessels are now out of sight, likely stored for the winter. The hill behind the harbour and the cliffs running out to White Point (the headland) shelter the harbour from the furies of the Atlantic, while the breakwater provides protection from any north winds, making it a fine place in which to weather a storm.
Photo #3 is a telephoto view of the northern end of the White Point peninsula, seen aslant from a bit west of south; it also brings into much sharper focus St Paul Island lying in the far distance in the Cabot Strait. Two islands are just beyond White Point, covered by distinctly whitish rock in the dead centre of the photo: White Point Island is at the left of the photo and a smaller, unnamed island, whose rounded crown can be seen to the right of White Point. Each is separated by a narrow passage of water from the headland; the topographical map names that between White Point Island and the unnamed island as “The Tittle”¹, but the house above the harbour is called the “Two Tittle [sic] Bed and Breakfast”, so I suspect that each of the passageways is a “tittle”.
The cliffs on both sides of the headland are a great place to explore on foot; park your car at the end of the road above the harbour and walk out along the road seen at the left of photo #2. You will presently reach the hill with the cross seen at the far right of photo #3, below which is found the grave of an unknown sailor who washed up on shore. White Point offers marvellous views of Aspy Bay and the Cape North Massif; it is criss-crossed by multiple paths and roads from which to explore the cliffs and rocks below. A trail leads out behind the hill seen in photo #2 to Burnt Head, a very fine hike along the Atlantic shore: while there is a fair amount of up-and-down and scrambling across boulders, this is not a very strenuous hike and is highly recommended.
¹ I am unable to find any information about the origins of this word. The English word “tittle” today means a trifle or a bit (small amount) or a diacritic such as the dot over the lower case letter ‘i’, so perhaps it’s intended to indicate a trifling passage of water between two pieces of land? On the topographical map, the similar name “The Tickle”, which differs from “The Tittle” by a single consonantal phoneme, designates a similar narrow passage between the island off the northern end of St Paul Island and the main part of the island. This latter name occurs elsewhere in the Maritimes as well, e.g., in “Tickle Harbour”, a former name for the Newfoundland community now called Bellevue, but better known today as the name of a Newfoundland musical group. However, the St Paul Island web site says that this passageway is known as “The Tittle”. It therefore seems likely that “The Tittle” and “The Tickle” are two variants of an older word that has gone out of common use.↩