National Geographic : 1951 Oct
let us through. Mac jumped ashore and greeted the customs officer, an old friend who had been there almost as long as the Bowdoin has been entering Nova Scotia by way of the Bras d'Or Lakes.* It was a personal as well as an official visit. Soon we were on our way again. I always look forward to that run through the Bras d'Or Lakes, especially if we've taken a drubbing, as we often have, around Cape Sable. The pungent smell of spruce trees itself is worth a shaking up. And I love the peaceful green fields, dotted with grazing cows and sheep, which reach from the lake's edge back to neat farmhouses and white churches. Ahead, off our port bow, loomed a high point known as Red Head, a landmark and once the summer home of one of the world's great men, Alexander Graham Bell. A clearing on Beinn Bhreagh ("Beautiful Mountain" in Gaelic) marks his burial place. His large house, with its high trees and green lawn sloping down to the water, has been occupied for many years by Gilbert and Elsie Bell Grosvenor. We swung in close, but three toots on our horn failed to break the quiet ashore. There was no flag flying. Clearly the family had not arrived for the summer. A short distance beyond, at Big Harbour (Port Bevis), we stopped for the night. Here Mac had spent many happy summers with his grandparents as a boy. Last Tub Bath for Three Months When we landed in Sydney, Nova Scotia, next morning, I was the first ashore, hustling up the main street to order last-minute food supplies and presents for our many friends in the North. The Bowdoin had a refill of oil and water while the rest of us enjoyed hot baths at the hotel, our last good soak in real tubs until we returned to Sydney three months later. Only 80 miles of Cabot Strait separate Nova Scotia from Cape Anguille, Newfound land. Generally, however, it's a foggy stretch and a busy thoroughfare as well; so Mac watches the weather carefully. Late in the afternoon he decided: "Barometer's steady. Things look good for the crossing. We'll start." Having crossed Cabot Strait before (shall I ever forget the rolling and tossing!), I was prepared to "hang on." But the going was so good I could think only of what all Arctic travelers know too well: good weather now means something coming later. Old Torngak, the evil spirit of the North, would catch up with us somewhere, somehow. So far, Mac has always managed to get the better of Torngak, but there have been * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Salty Nova Scotia," by Andrew H. Brown, May, 1940; and "Charm of Cape Breton Island," by Cath erine Dunlop Mackenzie, July, 1920. I I STATUTEMILES 467 Drawn by Irvin E Alleman In These Waters Bowdoin Has Sailed a Quarter-million Miles On this trip, latest of 29 "Captain Mac" has taken to the Arctic, his 60-ton schooner started from Booth bay Harbor, Maine, and sailed along the Labrador coast. Crossing from Cape Chidley to Greenland, she pushed on through increasingly ice-filled water until she passed Etah, northernmost permanent settlement in Greenland. In Kane Basin, about 79° N., the ex pedition was stopped by unbroken polar ice and forced to turn back. Return trip followed the Elles mere and Baffin Island coastlines.