asakiyume: (far horizon)
[personal profile] asakiyume
While we waited on the Bay of Fundy for a ferry to take us to Nova Scotia, we walked around on a little patch of shore. There were lots of sea-smoothened pieces of shale there, perfect for skipping on the waves, or for decorating a piece of driftwood.

shale (and coal) on driftwood

You see the slightly sparkly stone, four from the right end? I have another piece like that. That's not shale. We thought it might be coal, but couldn't be sure.**

Later, we were staying in an old house in the coastal town of Port Hood. The house looked, from the exterior, like it ought to be haunted. We found out it had been built by someone who had made money in coal mining. Among the setbacks (disasters, more like) were that the mines sometimes flooded. Gradually, we realized that the mines had been . . . under the sea. As Wakanomori said: they would have found coal seams in the cliffs and then... worked their way down to under-the-water.

I mean, coal mining is always scary work, but PUTTING IT UNDER THE OCEAN makes it considerably more scary. As the housekeeper at the (potentially) haunted house put it, "I don't know how hungry I'd have to be to go down into that."

A cliff (not at the same place... but representative)

Cliff, St. Croix Cove

Then at one of the northernmost inhabited points on Cape Breton, we went on a little boat out to see puffins (and did see them! I hope I can do a whole post about that trip) and other pelagic birds, and the young captain (third-generation of tour-boat operators) was telling us more about erstwhile undersea mines, and meanwhile there were seals out on the rocks, watching us.... and swimming in the water and regarding us with just their heads peeking out...

More seals at Bird Island, Big Bras d'Or

... and now I think, there is a story out there about the dangers of the mines, and flooded mines, and selkies, and when I have it worked out, I'll share it with you.

**The day after the puffin tour, we found ourselves a town called Sydney Mines, a much-boarded-up town that no longer has any mines, but that does have a fossil museum and a room given over to artifacts from the mining days. There was some coal on display, and I was able to confirm that yes, the item I'd picked up on Nova Scotia's southern coast was indeed coal. Maybe if I sleep with it under my pillow, that selkie mining story will come to me faster.

Date: 2017-07-04 07:21 pm (UTC)
minoanmiss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minoanmiss
Terrifying indeed.

Date: 2017-07-04 08:18 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
From: [personal profile] sovay
There were lots of sea-smoothened pieces of shale there, perfect for skipping on the waves, or for decorating a piece of driftwood.

Prrrt.

Gradually, we realized that the mines had been . . . under the sea.

Oh, wow. I knew about the practice of seacoaling, which is more like (arduous) beachcombing: there is a song about it. I had never heard of mining coal under sea.

[edit] I found a song for the miners of Cape Breton.

... and now I think, there is a story out there about the dangers of the mines, and flooded mines, and selkies, and when I have it worked out, I'll share it with you.

I look forward.
Edited Date: 2017-07-05 12:53 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-05 07:36 am (UTC)
sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Thank you!!

You're welcome! I shall hope it works its way into the eventual story.

Date: 2017-07-04 09:40 pm (UTC)
aamcnamara: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aamcnamara
"... and now I think, there is a story out there about the dangers of the mines, and flooded mines, and selkies, and when I have it worked out, I'll share it with you."

Oooooh.

Date: 2017-07-04 09:57 pm (UTC)
osprey_archer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] osprey_archer
I wonder if seals congregate on certain rocks in order to watch the entertaining antics of the humans on the tour boats. Free entertainment!

And definitely you should try sleeping with the coal under your pillow. It may indeed send you the selkie mining story!

Man, though, underwater coal-mining. That's a splendidly creepy setting for any story, selkies or no.

Re: underwater coal mining

Date: 2017-07-05 01:53 am (UTC)
osprey_archer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] osprey_archer
Will there be an unlikely friendship between a selkie and a mine pony? I CAN ONLY HOPE.

Date: 2017-07-04 10:00 pm (UTC)
e_d_young: (Default)
From: [personal profile] e_d_young
Did you get around with your own car? Or is this a situation where public transportation, like shuttle buses, will get you where you need to go?

Date: 2017-07-05 03:41 am (UTC)
queenoftheskies: queenoftheskies (Default)
From: [personal profile] queenoftheskies
Sounds like an awesome story!

Date: 2017-07-05 09:57 am (UTC)
shewhomust: (puffin)
From: [personal profile] shewhomust
The coastal pits, mining out under the North Sea, were the last ones still working in this part of the world. When you stop and think about it, it's pretty scary - though in practice, I don't know how much difference it makes.

Around here, sea coal doesn't come from coastal outcrops, but from the practice of tipping colliery waste out at sea - or 'didn't', rather than 'doesn't', because our black beaches have been pretty much cleaned up, now.

I hope you will write about the boat trip and the sea birds...

Date: 2017-07-06 04:38 pm (UTC)
shewhomust: (puffin)
From: [personal profile] shewhomust
(love the puffin icon)

Thanks! It's the publisher's logo from the cover of an old Puffin book - some of them were really ingeniuos about incorporating the puffin into the cover image!

Date: 2017-07-05 11:52 am (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
So pretty- but you know me and stuff found on beaches! :o)

Date: 2017-07-09 08:26 am (UTC)
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivy
Whoa! I had no idea about undersea coal mines; thanks for educating me/aaaaah, heh.

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