It is approximately 14.5 km (9 mi) from where I was standing to Irish Vale on the eastern shore of the Bras d’Or Lake; I have been here often and the views, apparently because so much water is contained in the lake, have always been obscured by haze, softening, sometimes to the point of hiding, the details on the far shore. Thanks to this day’s strong winds, the photos on this page are better than most I have previously gotten from here, so I have decided to include them, even though they are not as sharp as I would like, primarily because this shore appears rarely in previous essays. They form a left-to-right panorama showing the eastern shore from Irish Vale to southwest of Johnstown.
Photo #1 starts at Benacadie Point with a view very similar to that of the last photo on the previous page, though extending further to the southwest (right). Irish Vale is in the centre of this photo. As usual, none of the prominences are named on the topographical map. The path that Highway 4 takes can be ascertained by the locations of the houses along the shore.
Photo #2 pans to the right from Irish Vale. The houses seen here in the centre of the photo are located on either side of the mouth of MacDonalds Brook, which flows down a valley behind the long slope left of centre to enter the Bras d’Or Lake here, but do not belong to a named locality. Those at the far right are in Irish Cove, which is on the boundary between Cape Breton and Richmond Counties.
Photo #3 has Irish Cove at the far left. At Irish Cove, Highway 4 turns due south (inland) around the mouth of Irish Cove Brook and then widens to offer a passing lane as it climbs to the top of MacLeods Hill, where the Bras d’Or Look-Off is located on Highway 4 (left of centre in this photo below the ridge where the cut the road takes through the terrain can be made out); anyone who has travelled this road and stopped at this look-off on a fine day will certainly remember the gorgeous views to be had from there.
Photo #4 continues towards the southwest. Highway 4 in this area runs along the hills high above the Bras d’Or Lake below, descending as it reaches Johnstown, some of whose houses can be seen at the far right of this photo.
Photo #5 looks southwest down into St Peters Inlet, as this arm of the Bras d’Or Lake is known. At the far left, the white shape of the Sacred Heart Church in Johnstown can be barely made out in the shade. Alas, the lighting, the greater distance, and some haze obscures the Red Islands which lie in the lake off Johnstown and leaves the several islands and coves of the Inlet simply too blurry to be distinguished, even in the original. At the far right is the area north of St Peter’s along the West Bay Highway from Cape George to Roberta.
These lovely views have long attracted me; some day I hope to capture them with the clarity that they so richly deserve!