We were worried that our drive to Sydney would be affected by the hurricane down south. Thankfully, we only went through a bit of downpour while driving to the ferry at Port-aux-Basques. It was smooth sailing from there…except for those of us who got a tad sea sick on the ferry. The weather in Sydney was surprisingly sunny – where did all the rain and fog go? However, this was around the same time when Canada went through a bit of a heatwave, so I suppose the whole country was receiving nice weather. We had a few days off before starting our set-up at Cape Breton University and so we soaked up the sun and even enjoyed a nice night at the Lumière Arts Festival, which featured creatives from all different disciplines including acapella singers and theatre productions.
Cape Breton University was a lovely venue. Our hosts had worked hard to get as many schools through our exhibit and presentation, so kudos to Tim and Jenna for making that happen! Our set-up was fairly easy – we had plenty of access through wide front doors so everything rolled in perfectly. In the exhibit and presentation, we had eager students who had plenty of comments and questions. We even gave some teachers a good laugh when we brought out the boombox for their students to figure out.
We would also meet Nobel Laureate Art McDonald again, because Sydney is actually his hometown. He gave a lecture at his old high school, Sydney Academy and stopped by our exhibit once again to engage with students. He really wanted to show young people how an ordinary boy from this little town could go off and do big things.
One of my favourite things about the public night events is that it brings people of all ages to the exhibit. Since we were at the university, we were getting profs and undergrad students who were intrigued by our demos and exhibit. I also had a delightful conversation with an older lady who heard about our event through the radio and a newspaper. She had cut out the article and insisted I keep it.
We also had a bit of time to explore Cape Breton, although I wish we had more free time. We decided to venture off onto the infamous Cabot Trail. The weather wasn’t exactly ideal (cloudy and rainy), but we made it work. After all, we had already been spoiled with great weather, so we couldn’t complain. We decided to go to Ingonish Beach which had a spectacular sandy beach with mesmerizing waves. Despite the cold, some of us could not resist dipping our feet into the water and letting the waves splash onto our legs.