North Cape and the Wind Energy Interpretive Centre
There is something very awe inspiring about going as far as you can to a tip of land to the sea and North Cape is awesome in the truest sense of the word. The Northumberland Strait meets the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the result is spectacular. The longest rock reef in North America is located here and if you time it right and the tide is out you can walk the reef and view seals, seabirds, and other forms of marine life.
If the tide is in, the rush of the waters is breath-taking. Also taking your breath away is the wind created on this exposed site making it home to The Wind Energy Institute of Canada, where they do research on the development of wind energy.
Although controversial, there are huge windmills here and the grace of the windmill farm blends into the physical environment around it.
There is a lot to do here including visiting the Wind Energy Interpretive Centre, walk the Black Marsh nature trail and view the North Cape Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse, in service since 1866, is an octagonal shape and still a working lighthouse but not open to the public. An interesting fact about the lighthouse is that it has been moved six times since its construction due to erosion of North Cape.
The Wind Energy Interpretive Centre is worth the visit, well laid out with information which explains some basic concepts of wind energy for those like me who now have some understanding after visiting. They also have some great personifications of wind.
As you walk the trail, look to the beach and visitors have built small cairns and they dot the rocky beach, hard to spot as they blend in and of course don’t lead anyone anywhere-too may of them haphazardly laid out to find a path.
North Cape truly is a special place. The photos give you only a hint of the magic. To truly “see” it you must hear the sea and feel the wind.
The opening panel in the wind Energy Interpretive center, marrying science with poetry is fittingly the famous poem by poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.