Thursday, 8 September 2011

Peggy's Cove

Last weekend, we took a trip along the south shore of Nova Scotia and one of the places that we visited was Peggy's Cove.  The lighthouse, which is one of Nova Scotia's most visited tourist attractions, sits on rocks at the eastern entrance to St Margaret's Bay.  On a previous visit some years ago, we had been inside the lighthouse, which used to be home to the Post Office: postcards sent from there were franked with the lighthouse symbol.  Now, the lighthouse is closed and it is no longer possible to go inside. 

Peggy's Point Lighthouse, as it is officially known, sits on a granite outcrop at the southern end of the village itself.  The original lighthouse was constructed in 1868: the current one was built in 1914.

Peggy's Cove is a fishing village and boats can be seen heading out into the Atlantic, mainly for lobster when they are in season.  Today, much of the income of the inhabitants of Peggy's Cove comes from tourism, as tourists from across the globe flock to this tiny village to see the famous lighthouse.

At the time of our visit on Sunday evening, the waters of the harbour were flat calm.

But venture just outside the harbour entrance and rocks and reefs abound.  This must be a dangerous harbour for anyone who does not know these waters well.

The village itself is clustered around the only road that leads to the shore, but there are isolated houses dotted about: their situation is so exposed that the inhabitants must feel very alone during winter storms.

The red buidling pictured below is the old schoolhouse.  With a present-day community numbering only 46, I wondered whether there were ever many children attending school in Peggy's Cove and tried to imagine the hardships endured by the original settlers 200 years ago.

I enjoyed revisiting Peggy's Cove and standing on the rocks high above the Atlantic Ocean staring out to sea.  The character of the place was completely different to our last visit six years ago when a blustery October day saw the waves crashing over the rocks.  On this occasion, the sun shone and the calm Atlantic waters belied the true nature of this mighty sea.

For a webcam view of the lighthouse, take a look at this.