In the Maritimes, lighthouses have helped to keep ships off the rocks for centuries. Lights would warn the crew about rocks they might not have seen in the dark. Now, with a Global Positioning System (GPS), mariners know exactly where they are in all kinds of weather. They no longer have to steer by the stars or try to figure out where they are by what lighthouse they see in the distance. Unfortunately lighthouses are no longer needed and are being decommissioned.
For several years I have wanted to get back to Nova Scotia to do the lighthouse tour before they all vanish. One year we got as far as New Brunswick, and ended up doing what I called the All Saints tour instead. (St Stephen, St Andrews, St George, St John, and St Martins), and another year we tried the American route, and enjoyed Vermont and New Hampshire and never did get to the coast. We tend to head in a general direction, but if we end up discovering things along the way, that's fine. We are, after all, on vacation, and enjoying ourselves if more important than getting to a specific destination. Last year I let the possibility of bad weather keep us from the east coast and we had a staycation instead.
This year, we did actually get to the Nova Scotia, and followed the Lighthouse Route along the South Shore. Even though I had lived in NS as a child, I had a specific shape in my head as what a Canadian lighthouse looked like. We saw so many different varieties, I know now that there is no one shape, even in Nova Scotia.
Naturally, the people of Nova Scotia do not want to see their lighthouses disappear, so they are finding ways to preserve them. The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society maintains a list of lighthouses on their website, including ones that are open to the public.
I know we missed several, but here are the ones we saw:
This is the Gilbert Cove Lighthouse. It was also the home of the lighthouse keeper and his family. Now it's a museum.
Lighthouse on the Green, and functions as a restaurant.
We have always driven right past Fredericton, but this was our excuse to actually go downtown. There were other fascinating things to see in the same vicinity.
It may have taken us years to finally do the lighthouse tour, and though there were still many we didn't see, we had a very enjoyable vacation.