but they are an appropriate segue into the subject of this posting. We need to
learn how to welcome newcomers into our province, and an invitation to
a clam bake once in a while would go a long way to
making CFA welcome.
One of the things that has bugged me since we first printed the "Canada's Ocean Playgound" license plates and launched the tourist promotions of the same name... is that it is practically impossible to get to the ocean for 99% of the population and about the same for our visitors. When I ask people how much time they spend on or in the ocean, I often get a blank stare. When I ask them if they have ever looked at Nova Scotia "from the ocean"... the eyes begin to glaze over. Why is it then that we invite people to the ocean playground, but don't facilitate their getting 'close to' or 'in it'...
There are lots of reasons we don't really play in our ocean. We used to have a saying that "if you can't walk on it, you have to swim in it". But we who are Bluenosers know that either in or on is not really an option in the North Atlantic ocean... our 'playground'. The bay of Fundy is not really a swimming mecca, either. It is ironic that our 'north shore' is where the warmest water abounds... but if you don't own a cottage there, you can't see it, let alone swim in it. (Please don't write me about the few small public beaches we have, because most don't have life guards, change rooms, latrines or beverage/food service within miles.)
Now, I have taken a pledge that I will not be (or seem to be) negative on this blog anymore... I want to be a uniter... so my question is, how can we find ways to make this really Canada's Ocean Playground? Further, how can we learn how to wed our CFA's to the ocean? One of main things that Bluenosers who are in Ontario, Alberta (or the gazillion other places I seem to run into them around the world) miss is the ocean! If we could find a way to instill this love of the ocean in CFAs, they would 'get it'!
See, I was away for a long, long time. I remember coming home for my 20th high school reunion in Truro in 1986 and writing the Truro Daily News editor a letter that described my return to the United States as "my return to my home away from home". The folks in Truro had made me feel so good about it being my home I was totally humbled and blown away. How can we make CFAs feel that way? If we did, they would stay. How can we make the seasonal guests feel that way... if we do, they will come back, and better still, they would tell their friends about Nova Scotia.
A suggestion I would make would be to find a way to build on the great entrepreneurial efforts of the kayaking businesses around the province. Get Bluenosers, CFAs and seasonal guests (not just summer, eh) to adopt the most cost effective on water sport for individuals, friends and families. Have a program to teach the teachers and have free training at the wonderful beaches and even lakes/rivers for Nova Scotians, CFAs and seasonal guests (stop calling them tourists, it is so un-welcoming). This way, the folks will leave with a new skill, and a yearning to return to where they learned it.. like ducks, or whales, or Bluenosers.
We can do things like this, and stop wasting our money on advertising that competes with other jurisdictions with much the same as we... New England, New Brunswick and PEI. Please don't fuss about kayaking... just start thinking of other neat things we can give to our friends. As well, we need seasonal guests to learn to celebrate the fog and have cool things to do when it rains... instead of movies and things they can do at home. And as you do that, know that Lynnda and I do some tandem kayaking and I ride my Legend Kayak on the Eastern Shore regularly... in the fog, rain, wind and sun... and if we can do it, anyone can!
That's it for now friends. I am pasting in some links to outfitters that have figured out how to be successful with kayaking. They are giving us a chance to make this an ocean playground. We should be encouraging them by participating, and encouraging our visitors to get on the water and see Nova Scotia from the ocean, like never before. And remember that
SUCCESS NOURISHES HOPE