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Tusket Island Tours sets sail


The Tusket Islands have long been a magnet for those seeking a magical experience at sea.

Lucien LeBlanc says those he has taken there in the past have been “mesmerized” by their beauty.

As one of 28 business owners in the region to receive funding ($20,000) from the Southwest Nova Tourism Task Team, LeBlanc hopes to deliver memorable island tours to many more people.

 The funding was awarded for projects designed to bring new and repeat visitors to southwest Nova Scotia and encourage them to travel throughout the area.

LeBlanc, a councillor for the Municipality of Argyle, has been navigating the islands for sport fishing, lobster fishing, hunting and recreation since youth. At 18, he became the captain of his lobster boat. He’s also a navigation instructor at NSCC School of Fisheries in Yarmouth, teaching the fishing master fourth-class courses.

“I know the ocean and I love to share it with people,” he said.

He says the Tusket Islands themselves gave him the idea to open the Tusket island lobster boat tours.

“The islands have so much rich history and photogenic appeal that they simply cannot stay as our little secret in our community.”

Passengers will be travelling on a 50-foot by 22-foot-wide locally built "Leblanc brothers" lobster vessel that is captained by LeBlanc during the lobster season.

“The vessel is very large as a passenger vessel and offers comfort and protection from rain for the passengers,” he said.

A stop at the LeBlancs’ private floating dock facility on Big Tusket Island is included in the tour, where LeBlanc has all his lobster gear, bait freezers and the family’s fishing shanty.

Fresh seafood chowder will be served and there will be time to explore authentic fishing activities on the island.

“It's almost a walk back in time to when fishing was at slower pace and people really put their heart and soul in to the fishery. My uncles and father grew up on this island before they had a home on mainland. It's truly a family culture for myself,” he said.

Tours will be available every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to begin with. If passengers book online or call LeBlanc for those days, they will be sailing. Those who have a party of six or more can call and arrange for a tour any day of the week, at a time chosen by the group.

“We really are flexible and we encourage people to call and have a chat with me to see if we can cater around your schedule,” said LeBlanc.

Departure from the dock is typically at 10:30 a.m. Passengers are asked to arrive half an hour early and to bring sunscreen, camera and any beverages they would enjoy on the tour.

Live entertainment by Simon LeBlanc (Lucien’s brother) will be presented on the return trip and the crew will haul a lobster trap for passengers to show how it’s done.

The website for Tusket Island Tours should be live by late May and the Facebook page is under construction. Cost for the tour is $80 for an adult and $55 for a child, plus tax. The phone number is 902-740-2295. Tours are tentatively set to start in mid-June.

In total, the Southwest Nova Tourism Task Team provided $414,535 in funding to business operators in the region that were selected through a competitive process.

 

 

Lucien LeBlanc says those he has taken there in the past have been “mesmerized” by their beauty.

As one of 28 business owners in the region to receive funding ($20,000) from the Southwest Nova Tourism Task Team, LeBlanc hopes to deliver memorable island tours to many more people.

 The funding was awarded for projects designed to bring new and repeat visitors to southwest Nova Scotia and encourage them to travel throughout the area.

LeBlanc, a councillor for the Municipality of Argyle, has been navigating the islands for sport fishing, lobster fishing, hunting and recreation since youth. At 18, he became the captain of his lobster boat. He’s also a navigation instructor at NSCC School of Fisheries in Yarmouth, teaching the fishing master fourth-class courses.

“I know the ocean and I love to share it with people,” he said.

He says the Tusket Islands themselves gave him the idea to open the Tusket island lobster boat tours.

“The islands have so much rich history and photogenic appeal that they simply cannot stay as our little secret in our community.”

Passengers will be travelling on a 50-foot by 22-foot-wide locally built "Leblanc brothers" lobster vessel that is captained by LeBlanc during the lobster season.

“The vessel is very large as a passenger vessel and offers comfort and protection from rain for the passengers,” he said.

A stop at the LeBlancs’ private floating dock facility on Big Tusket Island is included in the tour, where LeBlanc has all his lobster gear, bait freezers and the family’s fishing shanty.

Fresh seafood chowder will be served and there will be time to explore authentic fishing activities on the island.

“It's almost a walk back in time to when fishing was at slower pace and people really put their heart and soul in to the fishery. My uncles and father grew up on this island before they had a home on mainland. It's truly a family culture for myself,” he said.

Tours will be available every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to begin with. If passengers book online or call LeBlanc for those days, they will be sailing. Those who have a party of six or more can call and arrange for a tour any day of the week, at a time chosen by the group.

“We really are flexible and we encourage people to call and have a chat with me to see if we can cater around your schedule,” said LeBlanc.

Departure from the dock is typically at 10:30 a.m. Passengers are asked to arrive half an hour early and to bring sunscreen, camera and any beverages they would enjoy on the tour.

Live entertainment by Simon LeBlanc (Lucien’s brother) will be presented on the return trip and the crew will haul a lobster trap for passengers to show how it’s done.

The website for Tusket Island Tours should be live by late May and the Facebook page is under construction. Cost for the tour is $80 for an adult and $55 for a child, plus tax. The phone number is 902-740-2295. Tours are tentatively set to start in mid-June.

In total, the Southwest Nova Tourism Task Team provided $414,535 in funding to business operators in the region that were selected through a competitive process.

 

 

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