What does 2020 hold for Welshpool Landing?
The Covid-19 coronavirus has upset people’s plans around the world, with loss of lives and livelihoods. Canada and the U.S. are both grappling with difficult and heart-wrenching issues. But there will be a future. So despite the uncertainty, we’ll go ahead and share a posting on some hopes and plans for Welshpool Landing this year. (We’re posting this in late March and will do updates.)
The Canadian Whale Institute has decided to make Welshpool Landing its home wharf for whale research, whale rescue, and whale-rescue training operations. We welcome this dedicated group, and salute the work of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team. Besides being a Leap Year, 2020 brings our region a double anniversary. On the American side, Eastporters, Lubecers, and all Mainers can celebrate 200 years since official formation of the State of Maine. And “over home” on Campobello, it’s 250 years since Captain William Owen brought the first shipload of British settlers to Campobello. Theatre Without Borders plans to mark the historic event with a play in Welshpool Hall. As well, a second play this summer will highlight a notorious story from the early days of settlement, when John Dunbar murdered his wife and, it is said, pickled her in a herring barrel. All going well, the Hall will host other events such as Campobello’s ever-growing Fog Fest, receptions, and whatever comes along.
But we hasten to add, it’s all conditional on health, safety, and government regulations in the battle against the Covid-19 coronavirus. And obviously, personal well-being comes first. The planned visit of the cruise ship Pearl Mist on May 10 has been cancelled. That vessel’s visits on May 17 and October 18 and the Ocean Endeavour’s visit on October 18 are still scheduled. We’ll post any changes. The foot-passenger shuttle between Welshpool Landing and Eastport, Maine should finally start regular operations this year. Eastport Windjammers, well-known for its whale-watching and fishing cruises, will operate the shuttle three days a week. Again, we’ll post details when available. And if borders are open and conditions safe, we’ll expect a growing number of smaller vessels from the United States. American private boaters can clear Customs by calling Canada Border Services Agency from Welshpool Wharf or the phone booth at Welshpool Hall. See https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/pb-pp-eng.html
Seasonal traffic has been building up, even though renovations need completing. For now, large vessels like the Ocean Endeavour and Pearl Mist must anchor off and tender their passengers in. But when Welshpool Wharf, already half refurbished, is finished, they’ll tie up at the outer side of the main wharf. In the meantime sizeable vessels, though not the biggest, can use the floats in the interior basin. Visitors have included the cruise vessel Grande Mariner (184 feet long), the renowned schooner American Eagle (95 feet long), and smaller yachts and cruisers. That’s in addition to local fishing, aquaculture, and pleasure craft. But a fully renovated wharf will be much better for everyone. Welshpool Landing has already come a long way, with support from individuals, organizations, and governments. We hope that in this Leap Year we can jump ahead with final investments to finish the job.
To use Welshpool Wharf, primary contact is Peter Harwerth, harbour master (phone 506-752-1901, e-mail CampobelloSights@gmail.com). Secondary contact for wharf and primary contact for Welshpool Hall: Friars Bay Development Association (phone 506-752-2977, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). For either wharf or hall, you can use the form at the end of the website. www.welshpoollanding.com