The House

Main Floor 

Large master suite at one end of the house - bedroom, including sink, counter, and mirrored wall cabinets and propane fireplace, full bath with both shower and tub, and walk-in closet, two bay windows with window seats, 8 ft. sliding glass doors to outside deck.

Guest suite at opposite end of house – bedroom with bay window with window seat and sliding glass door to outside deck, adjoining 3-piece bath with doors opening into bathroom as well as hall to main living area. Bathroom likewise has doors opening into the bedroom as well as the hallway.

The plan may look a bit boxy, but the main floor actually has an open concept. The sunken living room is separated from kitchen and dining nook by railing and from foyer by 2-foot-high wall, making the living room, kitchen, and foyer essentially one large open space. High ceilings add to the sense of spaciousness. The living room also houses a wood-burning fireplace with raised hearth, flanked by two built-in wood boxes, Island in kitchen contains electric cooktop and grill, as well as breakfast counter for four. Spacious walk-in pantry off kitchen. Laundry/mud room and closet off kitchen. The ocean is visible from every room on both floors except for the storage room.

There are ocean views (roughly 270 degrees) from every room on the main floor. 

Lower Floor (walk-out basement)

The lower floor, unlike many “basements” is not blocked off from the outside world. The utility/storage room and a spacious area at the foot of the stairs are the only rooms in the house with no windows. The storage room houses the propane water heater, a water-softener unit, and the central vacuum unit. The “downstairs foyer” holds two large clothes closets plus a smaller storage closet. There is one window in the bedroom, two triple-pane windows in the family room, and a double-wide sliding glass door in the office. A double glass-paned door opens from the office to the family room as well. If desired, except for kitchen facilities, the lower floor could legitimately function as something of a downstairs apartment for guests.

Garage

Oversized (24.5’ x 22’5’), two-car, two sliding doors, both equipped with overhead automatic openers.

Misc.

All rooms, upstairs and down, contain electric heating units with separate controls.

All outdoor fixtures have been chosen with an eye to resisting the ocean air. Over twenty years the house has successfully weathered the occasional nor’easter, a couple of hurricanes, snow, rain, and sun. It has proved itself a well-constructed, durable dwelling.


The Land

The geography and vegetation are similar to Coastal Maine. Our search experience there, prior to buying this property, however, was highly frustrating. There was small choice available, and there was a major price differential for comparable properties in the two locales. Prices of similar properties and dwellings would run minimally two to five times higher in Maine, depending upon whether they were or were not oceanfront.

Vegetation: Sprinkling of conifers, covering of shrubbery (brilliant red in autumn), several kinds of berry bushes. Most of property has been left in natural state, needing no maintenance. An exception is sizable area immediately around the house that is kept mowed.

There is a boardwalk for easy access to a rocky shoreline and a deck set securely on large boulders – great for morning coffee, afternoon cocktails, and anytime contemplation of the ocean.

IMPORTANT POINT: Our shoreline is what folks call “bold frontage.” This means it is formed of solid bedrock ledges that will remain un-eroded for the next umpteen million years. That is an issue often overlooked by those seeking oceanfront property.

Privacy: We do have neighbors nearby, both Canadian full-time residents and American seasonal residents, but the only dwellings visible from the property are perhaps a mile across the water (several miles by road).


The Road

What most people regard as our driveway is actually a county road. It is not maintained by the county, because of minimum right-of-way restrictions (roughly a 50-foot right-of-way). In our 21 years , no one else has built along “our” road; any new residents, of course, would participate in maintenance of the road.

Maintenance has indeed proved minimal over our time here, consisting mostly of annual cutting back of alder bushes and an occasional pass along each side of the road with a mower. We do that ourselves, but there are those willing to do it for quite a reasonable price. On perhaps three occasions over the years, we have added a load of rocks to keep the road smooth and mud-free. A neighbor also handles any necessary snowplowing in winter.

Last winter, as in most of North America, was an aberration - the worst in decades. In the previous twenty years, there was only one winter when we had to have the road plowed more than once. It had to be plowed twice that winter. People from “away” often find such a statement hard to believe since they fail to take into account the tempering effect of being surrounded by ocean, which keeps temperatures a bit lower in summer and higher in winter – often a difference of as much as 8 degrees C (15 degrees F) between shorefront and inland temperatures.


Local Community 

Neighbors: It is a rural neighborhood. Within weeks of moving in, you will be known and recognized not only by your neighbors but by most of the population of Liverpool, a town of some 2,500 residents ten miles away. We have found the neighbors friendly and helpful without being intrusive. 

Services: Trash pickup every two weeks at the end of the road. Mail delivered five days a week at the end of the road as well.

Several people in the neighborhood sell firewood. Indeed, many houses in Nova Scotia are still heated primarily by wood.


Wildlife

We commonly see white-tailed deer in all seasons. It’s not uncommon to see them nibbling their way across the back lawn in spring, often with fawns gamboling about them. There are all sorts of small animals - porcupines, rabbits, a resident family of sea otters, an occasional coyote, on one occasion a silver fox. We see rare evidence of a black bear, although we’ve never actually seen one in the neighborhood. There are all manner of birds, both land- and sea-based. There is a bald eagle which we see so frequently that he must be nesting nearby. Pheasants, quail, gold finches abound. Gulls, of course, are plentiful, including one we’ve dubbed The Admiral, which always occupies the same rock on the shore, plus osprey, several varieties of ducks, herons, gannets, cormorants, and other species of aquatic birds that send us scrambling for our bird books.

Offshore, we are visited frequently by seals and even enjoy an occasional whale sighting. On one occasion, we witnessed a migration of pilot whales, which actually took several hours to pass by completely. Any visit to the onshore deck generally provides some sort of wildlife observation.

I doubt there is anywhere in North America that does not have the occasional snake. I occasionally see one as I’m mowing along the road, and they always give one a start. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are NO poisonous snakes in Nova Scotia. Makes no difference to my wife – a snake is a snake. But the reality is that non-poisonous snakes are harmless, and often helpful in their way.


Recreation/Things We Love

Deanna and a neighbor have long engaged in a morning 3-1/2 mile stroll along country roads that present little traffic. We often bicycled along those same roads to and from Liverpool (10 miles away) before we outgrew the impulse (as in “got old”).

A more sedentary pleasure is spending an hour – or several – on the shore deck, merely monitoring the ocean’s rhythms, while becoming mesmerized by waves washing on the rocks. It seems timeless, changeless, yet somehow never quite the same on each visit. 

On cool autumn evenings, or cold winter afternoons and/or evenings, there is nothing better than sitting before a crackling wood fire in the fire place, perhaps contemplating an imminent feast of Prince Edward Island mussels or hand-to-hand claw combat with a couple of lobsters delivered fresh off the boat a mile away.

If one can force himself from home for an overnight road trip in summer, Brier Island is a marvelous destination. It lies on the Digby Neck - the Bay of Fundy side of Nova Scotia, a leisurely two hours from home. Reached only by ferry (two ferries actually), it offers comfortable lodging (restaurant attached) in a laid-back setting. Not to be missed is a whale watch. Over the years we have succumbed to this pleasure several times, and we have never failed to see, performing “up-close-and-personal,” humpback whales. The Bay of Fundy itself, of course, is renowned for having the largest tide variations in the world – a record 56-foot differential from low to high tide in six hours. Curious thing about tides and the rule of twelfths. It is essentially six hours between low and high tide. The tide changes 1/12 of its total in the first hour after dead low, 2/12 the second, 3/12 the third and fourth, 2/12 again the fifth, and 1/12 the sixth. With a 56-foot tide variation in total, that means, at mid-tide, the ocean level rises or drops 28 feet in two hours. Pretty spectacular. The “tidal bore” is another phenomenon one should witness. Contrary to my own expectation the first time I saw it, it is definitely not a bore. There are several points along the Bay of Fundy where one can check it out.

Other Forms of Recreation

  • Photography - Ocean and seasons provide an endless canvas for photographs
  • Hiking, Biking - Lightly traveled country roads
  • Sea Kayaking - Several offshore islands in easy distance to explore)
  • Wildlife Refuges - Kejimkujik National Park, Seaside Adjunct
  • Sandy Beaches - Beach Meadows, Summerville Beach, Carter, Crescent Beach (wind -surfing)
  • Whale-watching - Lunenburg, Brier Island

Shopping/Nearby Communities

Liverpool, 20 minutes away, is a town of about 2,500 people. Two modern supermarkets, a drugstore/pharmacy, a handful of restaurants, and several small retailers can supply most everyday necessities. It also possesses several interesting museums as well as a movie theater, which also presents frequent live performances by both traveling and local talent. Liverpool has a noteworthy historical significance dating from the American Revolution. Nearby White Point Resort (10 minutes beyond Liverpool) is renowned throughout Eastern Canada. It boasts an excellent restaurant with gorgeous sea views from its dining room and decks.

Bridgewater, 35 minutes away, is a town of roughly 8,000 inhabitants. Unlike most communities on the South Shore, it is less tourist-oriented, being rather a commercial and business center. It has a variety of stores - groceries, clothing stores, electronics stores, including Walmart and Staples, plus several restaurants, as well as a six-screen movie complex.

Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, another ten minutes away, are primarily waterfront tourist attractions with abundant shops and restaurants as well as the annual Mahone Bay scarecrow festival and the wooden boat festival. Lunenburg has a deep-water port where cruise ships and private yachts frequently stop.

Halifax, the capital, 90 miles from home, is a modern, cosmopolitan city with all the conveniences expected of any large metropolitan area. It is an easy drive with far less traffic than one might expect.

Of course, as is true of the rest of the world, our few acres on Nova Scotia’s South Shore is a click away from the ultimate shopping mall on the planet – the internet.


Transportation

Halifax Airport is roughly one hour and 45 minutes away, with connections to every major city in the world. Portland, Maine, is a roughly 11-hour drive by land. The trip can be broken up by a 3-hour ferry ride from Digby Nova Scotia, to St. John, New Brunswick. There is a direct ferry from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, roughly a ninety-minute drive from us, to Portland.


Weather

Translating Between Celsius and Fahrenheit

Begin with the realization that zero degrees Celsius equals 32 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 5 degrees C. above zero, add 9 degrees F. to 32. Conversely, for every 5 degrees below zero, subtract 9 degrees from 32 F. For more precise figuring, 1 degree C. - plus or minus - equals 1.8 degrees F.

Examples

5 degrees C. = 41 degrees F. ( 32 = 0, 5 C. = 32 + 9 = 41)
-5 degrees C. = 23 degrees F. ( 32 = 0, - 5 C. = 32 - 9 = 23)

Quick Reference

-15 C. = 5 F.
-10C. = 14 F.
-5 C. = 23 F.
+0 C. = 32 F.
+5 C. = 41 F.
+10 C. = 50 F.
+15 C. =59 F.
+ 20 C. = 68 F
+25 C. =77 F.
+30 C. = 86 F.
+35 C. = 95 F.

From the temperature statistics chart, we see that the average daily high for January, the coldest month. is 0.4 C., a smidge less than 36 degrees F. The average low is -9.6 C. – about 15 F. The average high for July, the hottest month, is 25.1 C. or 77 F. The average July low is 13.5 C. or about 57 F.

Clear as mud, eh? Suffice it to say that if you check the averages for Maine, for example, you will find them somewhat more extreme in both directions.

Do realize also that these are Liverpool numbers. Only 10 miles away, our temperatures, because of ocean effect, are nonetheless moderated in both directions by some 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit on a daily basis. The ocean is indeed a significant tempering influence.