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THIS JUST IN: Brazilian Fisherman Save Bebeh Dolphin! #WIN

This is a video you just have to watch …what a feel-good! And I have to warn you, if you start looking around at “Cute Overload“‘s blog, you will laugh and smile for a few hours at least! Enjoy! -tk

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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Animals, Entertainment, Humour, Reblogged

 

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Even The Salmon Were Terrified!

The great Miramichi fire, 1825; The polar hero...

The great Miramichi fire, 1825; The polar heroes, and fourteen other poems / Le grand incendie de Miramichi, 1825, les héros polaires et quatorze autres poèmes [traduction libre] (Photo credit: BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives)

One of the most famous fishing and hunting areas in Canada is the Miramichi Valley in New Brunswick.  Sportsmen from all parts of the continent fish the Miramichi River and its many tributaries every year for Atlantic salmon.

Among the keenest fishing fans was Ted Williams, one of the greatest batters in baseball for many years.  As soon as the baseball season finished at the end of September, Williams would be out of his Red Sox uniform and heading for the Miramichi.  It was just as well — for his fishing — that the Red Sox got into the World Series only once during his career, for his team’s absence from the championship enabled him to reach Miramichi before the season closed.

The entire Miramichi area was almost destroyed by one of the worst forest fires in Canadian history on October 7, 1825.  In the afternoon the wind was moderate and shifting.  A broad cloud of smoke was seen to rise vertically, Northwest of Newcastle.  At seven o’clock in the evening the breeze freshened, and the air suddenly darkened.  Ashes and cinders came down so heavily that people were blinded and could hardly breathe.  About an hour later a loud roaring noise was heard in the woods, and the wind began to blow with hurricane force.  Suddenly sky and earth were illuminated by a sheet of flame which enveloped Newcastle and Douglastown.  Houses were blazing within three minutes.

People in Newcastle ran into a marsh about half a mile away, and tried to escape from the flames and heat by burrowing into the mud and water.  Others rushed to the river and clambered into boats, or hung onto rafts and logs.  Many simply stood or swam in the river and tried to protect themselves from the scorching heat.

Cattle and other animals, wild and domestic, followed the people into the river.  At one place a bear was seen sheltering in the river with some cows, but did not try to harm them.  Even the salmon were terrified of the flames.  They rushed from pool to pool, and many were bruised to death on the rocks.

New Brunswick is famous for its folk songs, and the story of the great Miramichi fire is still told in songs and verse.

There are sites on the Internet that cover this terrible tragedy. I would suggest the Miramichi Landings, and the John Wood 1946 blog, as well as the Charlotte Taylor webpage, and finally a .pdf Lest We Forget (a very good article about Canada’s major wildland fire disasters of the past, 1825-1938).

 

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Quiet Until Napoleon

Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Newfoundland

Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Newfoundland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Little noticed and seldom visited are the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off Burin Peninsula, south-west Newfoundland.  They are all that is left of the vast possessions France once held in North America.

France seemed glad to get rid of Canada through the Treaty of Paris signed in 1763, but she kept St. Pierre and Miquelon as bases for French fishing vessels.  fishing rights along the coasts were probably the most valuable thing Canada had to offer in those days.  Britain agreed to France’s retaining St. Pierre and Miquelon, provided they would be used only as fishing bases.  No fort could be built, and the police force was never to exceed fifty men.

France put the Baron de l’Espérance in charge of the islands on July 14, 1763.  Although many Acadians had drifted back to Canada after the expulsion of 1755, some of them refused to become British subjects.  The Baron de l’Espérance gave them land in St. Pierre-Miquelon, and hoped they would become good settlers.

This was a mistake.  The Acadians were farmers and the soil of the island was unsuitable for agriculture.  Many of them were so unhappy that they were taken to France.  They were unhappy in France too, and decided that the barren soil of St. Pierre-Miquelon was preferable to the tyranny and oppression in France in 1768.  So back they came!  A large number made a living by fishing and not farming.  Smuggling was a profitable sideline. When the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, Admiral Montague, Governor of Newfoundland, evacuated nearly 2,000 inhabitants of St. Pierre-Miquelon and sent them to France.  Most of them returned at the end of the war and there was quiet until Britain became involved in war again with Napoleon and the French Revolution.

Landscape of Miquelon.

Landscape of Miquelon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were even problems during World War II when France was governed by Vichy.  It was always possible to Germany would take over France completely, and that St. Pierre-Miquelon could be used as bases for submarines or spies.  The inhabitants were allowed to stay on the islands, but a proposal to build a powerful radio station was cancelled.

Gradually, St Pierre-Miquelon, through their direct link with old and new France, are becoming increasingly attractive to tourists.  the tourist trade will probably become the island’s most important source of revenue. To learn more about St. Pierre and Miquelon, I have a few places to suggest: a good place to start is at St. Pierre et Miquelon Tourism where they have lots in information and photos. I also suggest viewing a video on YouTube. It’ll give you a very good idea, I think, of what it is like there!

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2013 in On This Day

 

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Bluenose I Launched

Bluenose

Bluenose (Photo credit: lifecreations)

If a poll were taken of the greatest achievements by Canadians in the world of sports, there would be many nominations.  The greatest all-around athlete could be Lionel Conacher, who appeared to be able to play everything well. There would be runners like Tom Longboat and Percy Williams; boxers like Tommy Burns and Jimmy McLarnin; skaters like Barbara Ann Scott, Hockey players like Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr … so many athletes in so many sports.

But today, let’s talk about Nova Scotian fishing schooner Bluenose, long commemorated on Canadian 10-cent pieces (diimes).  She was launched at Lunenburg on March 26, 1921, built entirely of Canadian materials except for her masts of Oregon Pine.

In order to challenge in the International  Schooner Racing Trophy, Bluenose had to be a bona fide fishing vessel.  Her job was to go to the Grand Banks and catch fish.  She returned as best of the Lunenburg fleet, having caught more than the others.

Now Bluenose was qualified to race against the champion of the Gloucester, Massachusetts fleet.  The first contest was held in October 1921, and Bluenose was fifteen minutes ahead of the finish line.  From that time until her last race in 1938, Bluenose defeated all other challengers.

In 1935, Bluenose crossed the Atlantic to attend the Silver Jubilee of King George V, and was received with royal honours by the yachtsmen of Britain. She even raced the fastest schooner yachts in Britain and came in third. Well, to be fair, her opponents were designed for racing, not fishing.

W. J. Roue of Halifax, who designed Bluenose, built other vessels to try to beat her, but was unsuccessful.  It is believed there was something freakish about her hull, an accident of building, that could not be detected and copied.

During World War II, Bluenose was sold to the West Indies Trading Company and carried general cargo between Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala and Honduras.  On the night of January 28, 1946, she hit a reef off Haiti and sank the next day.  Not a sliver of her got back to Canada, although a replica now operates in Halifax as a cruise ship.

As commented below, here’s a link to a great article about the Bluenose, including a stamp commemorating her at Cotton Boll — a very good read!

Canadian dime.  Bluenose!

Canadian dime. Bluenose!

To watch in her glory, you can see her on YouTube, and you can watch Bluenose II live at Nova Scotia Webcams.

 

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