The Seal Island Bridge is sufficiently large and close enough to the Bras d’Or Look-Off that I couldn’t use Big Bertha at full strength if I were to capture the entire structure, which carries the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 105) across the Great Bras d’Or Channel (another view, with more context, can be found here). The Trans-Canada runs below the look-off so close to the base of Kellys Mountain that it is not visible from the look-off. The foliage across the water on Boularderie Island still has lots of green, but is clearly changing rapidly.
Photo #2 looks a bit further to the right of photo #1 at the Seal Island Lighthouse, sited on a sand beach that the topographical map labels as McNeil Beach. The map marks the lighthouse as a “beacon”, rather than using the normal symbol for a lighthouse, so it must once have had official status (I don’t know whether it continues to be used today). At least one other similar in shape to it lies along this channel. Also notice in this close-up how recent the changes in foliage are, though those at the base of Kellys Mountain appear to be considerably further along.
Photo #3 looks to the northeast along the Great Bras d’Or Channel to its mouth and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. A bit more context for this scene, though in winter, is available here. At the left, Carey Point is in the middle of the photo and Chain Point is in the foreground. On Boularderie Island, Table Head is at the edge of the ocean; Black Rock Point, with its still operating, though now automated, lighthouse, is in the middle.
Photo #4 looks to the left of photo #3, with which it overlaps somewhat; Kellys Point lies between Carey Point and Chain Point and marks the eastern end of Kellys Cove at New Campbellton. The New Campbellton Road leads out there (and beyond to Cape Dauphin) from the middle of the hairpin turn at the base of Kellys Mountain. I do not know what the object is off Table Head—magnification does not help: the maps show no island there and other views of those waters do not show any object in them, so my best guess is that it is a large barge carrying some kind of an irregularly shaped load, possibly coal—Nova Scotia Power’s Point Aconi Generating Station is to the right outside the scope of this photo.
Photo #5 looks east across Boularderie Island towards the New Waterford area. This view crosses two unseen bodies of water, the St Andrews and Little Bras d’Or Channels on the east (far) side of Boularderie Island and Sydney Harbour east of North Sydney and Sydney Mines. The two towers in the centre are at Nova Scotia Power’s Lingan Generating Station, built there to take advantage of the area’s coal mines which are now no longer exploited on a large scale, as they were in the middle of the 20th century. At the far left, the turbines of the wind farm along the coast west of New Waterford testify that not all of today’s power is coal-generated. The great gash from the centre to the bottom right indicates the path of the Trans-Canada Highway towards North Sydney; a portion of the roadbed is visible if you look closely. Given that much of the forest seen here is evergreen, it’s not surprising that the fall colours seen here are rather low key.
Photo #6 looks east of southeast across the Great Bras d’Or Channel at the area immediately north of the Seal Island Bridge in the foreground, Boularderie East according to the topographical map but often referred to as Kellys View. The building at the right is a motel and a second motel lies to the right, outside the scope of this photo; both are on the Trans-Canada Highway and are popular places to stay the night for travellers heading for the ferry in North Sydney, a ten-minute drive away. The eastern edge of Boularderie Island is difficult to make out, but the two dark spots at the left extending to the centre and another at the far right are close to the banks of St Andrews Channel. The Boisdale Hills are at the far horizon. At the horizon at the left, one can make out RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) Station Sydney on Lingan Road, a radar installation opened “in April 1954 as part of the Pinetree Line network of radar stations”, but decommissioned in 1992 and subsequently turned over to the CBRM (Cape Breton Regional Municipality).¹
¹ I am indebted to my friend, Mike Little, for the building’s identification and the reference to the cited Wikipedia article as well as for a link to a good photo of the structure, found here. ↩
Photo #7 looks across the Great Bras d’Or Channel towards the community of Big Bras d’Or on Boularderie Island and one of its churches. Clouds darken the landscape in this view, but it’s clear that large numbers of trees along the Atlantic Ocean have already lost their leaves, while those along the Great Bras d’Or Channel are still well before their peak of colours.
Photo #8 looks towards the docks at the end of Factory Road in Big Bras d’Or in the foreground and beyond to the Point Aconi Generating Station near the site of the Prince Mine at the north end of Boularderie Island. Point Aconi is at the northernmost tip of Boularderie Island, concealed here by the generating station, and has a fine lighthouse, still operating, that is well worth a visit; however, be prepared for strong winds as the point often gets blasts of wind off the ocean.