Just Where in the World Are You??
So you have Canada… nestled on top of the USA, Western Hemisphere, hellish polite and the planet’s second largest country by landmass with only 35,000,000 people living here, 90% of which within 200km of the southern (american) boarder. Friggin’ cold, wicked-friendly. relatively relaxed laws and moderately taxed. Public healthcare, subsidized post-secondary education and the worlds longest unprotected boarder. 10 provinces, 3 terratories. There, you’re pretty well caught up for my purposes. I live on the island WAY over to the right, there, the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Now, once you get to our beautiful little clod of stone in the Atlantic, I’m sure you can see the resemblance, we live way up in the top-most landmass of the island. That said, Newfoundland (island) and its associated small islands have a total area of 111,390 km2 (43,010 sq mi) shared among 514,536 province-wide, while the mainland portion of the province, Labrador, has three-times as much area as the island, and 10% the population of the whole. The province (both parts) has a coastline of approximately 17,542 km (10,900 mi) in total, making for many craggy little inlets and coves. For example, this is Western Brook Gorge, about half way down the travel path from where I live currently, in Bide Arm to the north, to where I grew up, near St. Fintan’s in the south… a 500km trip.
Now, the town of Bide Arm, where I currently call home, is a town of 184 (as of 2011 National Census), and I’m convinced that was totaled when everyone who’s EVER lived here was home for holiday. It’s a teeny, tiny place. A sleepy little town, to be sure, it only has ONE residential street and one road that runs along the waterfront wharves, docks and stages. Only two stores, one of them is a gas station, hair salon, hardware, building supply, post office, grocery and ice cream parlor. I’m not joking. We’re as rural as it gets, and the population within a 50km radius is about 2000 people, with a handful of businesses, and the primary industry is fishing, forestry or travel to the oilsands in Canada’s central oilsand industries.
Point-of-fact, I myself work with the fisheries sector, as a Fisheries Observer with a company under contract with the Government Department of Fisheries and Oceans. I monitor fishing vessels while at-sea, I go out with the boats, like those seen here, out as far as 200 nautical miles (~370 km or ~230 mi), and monitor their catch, bicatch, the equipment they use, the manner by which they deal with the fish that they take aboard, etc, etc. The data is used by the government to help more accurately monitor fish stocks, and act as an extra layer of policing against mis-use of the precious resource. The photo of the vessels was taken in Goose Cove, about 100km (60mi) north of here.
My wife and I got married August 23rd of 2013, and bought a lovely house here in town. My job made my permanent address rather flexible, and her work as a High School teacher is relatively job-secure. I’m not even ashamed, our house is nearly 3000 sqft (~279 sq.m.), on a quarter acre lot (~1012 sq.m.) very, very close to the ocean. You can see my view here, which is also the same view as the title-image for the blog. This is taken at ground-level, looking south from the rear-end of my garage. I am standing on the very end of my land, looking towards Englee to the south of Bide Arm. The water ends about 15m (50ft) away from my lot, and for that reason I consider us ocean-front. That’s salt water, running 10km up the inlet (Canada Bay) from the Atlantic Ocean. The whole harbour freezes solid during the winter, we need icebreakers to come in during May-month to break it up. Snow mobilers frequently protest.
This is the view from my back deck, looking down at my back yard towards the land’s edge. You can see a horizontal line that delineates the edge of the land, and beyond that is a civic park, a protected wetland. I will never have neighbors to the east of the property. It’s magical. We regularly hear birds chirping everyone morning, hence my desire to build the birdhouse and bathouse project. I also intend on building some landscape furniture, like my Double-decker swing/deck, my summer patio furniture, and some similar renovations. All in good time.
The area is gorgeous, the people are friendly, the town is safe and we feel welcome. I can think of no other place I’d want to be to start a family with my beloved wife and 2 sweet fur-babies, Grim (in the silver collar) and Ruby (wearing the black, with the visible white paw and gorgeous face)